Lehighton's Been Workin' on the Railroad!
"The first workers' whistle [at Packerton Yard] sounded at 5 a.m. as a wakeup call while the second at 7 a.m. was the signal for the men to start work."
Thomas D. Eckhart
The History of Carbon County, v. III
When the Lehigh Canal was completed in Weissport in 1829, it sparked significant growth both there and in Lehighton. Soon after, in 1835, railroads began competing with the canal for transporting anthracite coal and other goods to major markets.
First came the Beaver Meadow Railroad, which constructed a single track from Beaver Meadows to Parryville. Twenty years later, the Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVRR) used this same railroad bed to extend its tracks from Mauch Chunk to Easton. In 1863, the LVRR established sprawling railroad repair shops and a large rail yard at nearby Packerton. The next year, its competitor Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad, which later became part of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, also extended its line through Lehighton to Easton.
Already an important regional railroad hub, Lehighton Borough was incorporated in 1866. Many railroad employees lived in Lehighton,
[Photo captions, from top to bottom, read]
• The Lehigh Valley Railroad's Black Diamond was said to be the handsomest train in the world. It was nicknamed "The Honeymoon Express" because it carried thousands of newlyweds to Niagara Falls.
• Lehigh Valley Railroad established the Packerton Yards in 1865. The two-mile-long yards were not only a coal and freight hub, but also where the LVRR's wooden coal cars were constructed. After coal cars began to be made of steel, the shops remained a major car repair and maintenance site.
• At its height, Packerton Yards employed over 2200 men, many of whom commuted on LVRR trains from as far away as Allentown.
Erected by Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Borough of Lehighton.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Parks & Recreational Areas • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Lehigh Canal series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1829.
Location. 40° 50.102′ N, 75° 42.44′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Rails to Trails (here, next to this marker); Exploring the Corridor (here, next to this marker); Waterborne Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Military Working Dogs Memorial (about 400 feet away); Lehighton Area WWII Honored Dead Memorial (about 400 feet away); World War I Centennial Commemoration (about 400 feet away); War at Home Memorial (about 500 feet away); American Maritime Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lehighton.
Also see . . .
1. Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. (Submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Packerton Once Had Two Roundhouses, 2,200 Rail Workers (The Morning Call, 1993). (Submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society. (Submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Jersey Central Railroad Historical Society. (Submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Anthracite Railroads Historical Society . (Submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 149 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 15, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.