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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hawley in Pike County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

History of Hawley

 
 
History of Hawley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 28, 2015
1. History of Hawley Marker
Inscription. In the late 18th century, pioneers moving west through the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania found a place where three streams converged. They settled here and built a sawmill, eventually rafting lumber down the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers to Philadelphia. The first child of the settlement was born in 1812 and the first store opened in 1827.

Much of the early history of Hawley is connected to the movement of anthracite coal from the Lackawanna Valley to major markets along the Eastern seaboard. First came the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company and their 108 mile long canal which traversed downtown Hawley built during the 1820’s. Initially, coal was transported from Carbondale to the D&H Canal in Honesdale using a new transportation system known as the “Gravity Railroad.” Coal was then placed into canal boats in Honesdale for its journey to major eastern cities.

Because of the intense demand for coal as a fuel, it was necessary for a second “Gravity Railroad” built by the Pennsylvania Coal Company (PCC) to operate from Pittston to Dunmore to Lake Ariel to Hawley in the late 1840’s. PCC coal was then loaded onto boats in the D&H Canal basin in Hawley until 1865. At that time, the Erie Railroad built a spur line from Lackawaxen to Hawley. Subsequently, the PCC coal was transferred to the Erie Railroad

History of Hawley Marker-Map upper right image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 28, 2015
2. History of Hawley Marker-Map upper right
in Hawley. In 1885, the Erie Railroad extended its steam railroad to the Lackawanna Valley, and the PCC Gravity Railroad line was abandoned.

During this time, the area experienced great prosperity. People were employed at the transfer docks, in train car and repair shop, storehouses and other business places. At first the town was known as Paupack Eddy. It was renamed to Falls Port, then Hawleysburg in honor of Irad Hawley, the first president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company. In 1851, the name was shortened to its present name, Hawley. The basin of the canal system (across the river from this spot) was filled in and became a playing field. In 1929, the Albert W. Bingham family donated this land to the borough as a park that now bears the family’s name. Other industries followed Hawley’s lumber and coal beginnings, including fine cut glass and silk and textile mills.

Another cycle of growth and prosperity began for this community in 1925. In that year, the Pennsylvania Power & Light Company dammed the nearby Wallenpaupack Creek for hydroelectric power and created the largest man-made lake in the state at that time. Hawley’s back yard became a new resource for recreational and business opportunities that continues today.

(Inscription under the images in the lower right)
Behind this sign you are looking at a Pennsylvania Coal Company (PCC) Gravity Railroad passenger

History of Hawley Marker-Map lower right image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 28, 2015
3. History of Hawley Marker-Map lower right
car. This car was primarily to transport workers and passengers between Hawley and Dunmore—the main office of the PCC. To the right of the PCC car is an original “snubbing post” from the Delaware & Hudson Canal. The purpose of this “snubbing post” was to secure canal boats at night, by wrapping the rope around this large stone. And nearby the snubbing post, is the bell from the old Hawley High School.

A. As can be seen from these photos, Hawley was a major railroad yard. Take notice of the numerous tracks in the yard, coal pockets, passenger trains, railroad bridges over Middle Creek, box cars, coal cars, the water tower for steam engines, buggies, early automobiles, Hawley School on the hill, Hawley Glass Works, passenger station, and freight station..just to mention a few landmarks.

B. The Hawley Public Library is also known as the Helen Decker Blough Public Library. In the late 1960’s. a group of women indentified the need for the Hawley area to have its own library. Thanks to a substantial donation and significant legal work performed by Roger Blough, a library was built for the community and named in honor of his wife.
 
Erected by Lackawanna Heritage Valley.
 
Location. 41° 28.699′ N, 75° 11.039′ W. Marker is

History of Hawley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 28, 2015
4. History of Hawley Marker
Behind this marker you are looking at a Pennsylvania Coal Company (PCC) Gravity Railroad passenger car.
in Hawley, Pennsylvania, in Pike County. Marker is on Main Street (US 6). Click for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Hawley Public Library. Marker is in this post office area: Hawley PA 18428, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The White Mills Community Trail (approx. 3.4 miles away); a different marker also named The White Mills Community Trail (approx. 3.4 miles away); a different marker also named The White Mills Community Trail (approx. 3.4 miles away); Dorflinger Glass Works (approx. 3.5 miles away); Delaware & Hudson Gravity Railroad Coal Wagon (approx. 7.4 miles away); Stourbridge Lion (approx. 7.5 miles away); Zenas Russell House (approx. 7.5 miles away); Delaware & Hudson Canal (approx. 7.5 miles away).
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers
 
Hawley School Bell image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 28, 2015
5. Hawley School Bell
(Inscription on the plaque at the bell) From 1879 to 1964 this bell called the children to classes at the Hawley School. Restored bell and relocated belfry dedicated October 31, 1982.
Sculptur on the lawn of the Hawley Public Library image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 28, 2015
6. Sculptur on the lawn of the Hawley Public Library
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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