Lackawanna River Watershed History
1700's (Native Americans & Early Settlers) — This area was once home to the Monsey Indians, a branch of the Delaware Indians. After William Penn bought land along the Delaware River from the Delaware Indians, the Monseys relocated along the Lackawanna River, under the leadership of Chief Capoose (Capouse), in a settlement called Capoose's Meadow. The location of the main settlement was just across the River from Sweeney's Beach closer to Weston Field. Until 1771 wigwams were common along both banks of the Lackawanna River. At that time the banks were fertile for farming and the River was abundant with shad and trout and the adjacent woodlands were home to turkey, rabbit, moose, elk, deer, beaver, otter and mountain lion. (The History and Geography of Scranton and Its Vicinity)
1800's (Industrial Revolution & Immigrants) — Iron Production, Coal Mining and Railroads dominated the Lackawanna Valley and greatly impacted the Lackawanna River and the local landscape. Development of the coal mines attracted thousands of immigrants, which further stressed local natural resources. In 1840, the
1900's (Environmental Degradation) — Scranton's population peaked at just over 143,000 in 1930. The anthracite industry remained the primary supporting industry, however, other industries like textile manufacturing also grew significantly. These industries and the basic needs of a large population stressed the environment. Coal waste piles, coal breakers, textile mills, button factories and housing all required large expanses of land and the Lackawanna Valley landscape was forever changed due to earth moving and loss of woodlands. Further, gas manufacturing facilities, direct release of sewage and wastewater to the Lackawanna River and municipal landfills and incinerators left the Lackawanna River devoid of life. The LRCA was founded in 1987 to start the healing process.
2000's (Environmental Restoration) — The LRCA decided to name the site Sweeney's Beach in recognition of Sweeney Brothers - a major highway and excavation contractor in the
Munsee Indian Village (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pine Brook War Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Memorial Stadium (approx. ¼ mile away); War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Weston Field and Field House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Reddington Field (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Electric City (approx. 0.4 miles away); Capoose (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Scranton.
Erected 2019 by the Lackawanna River Conservation Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1771.
Location. 41° 25.25′ N, 75° 39.69′ W. Marker is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in Lackawanna County. Markers are at Sweeney's Beach, SW off Poplar Street at the Lackawanna River. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 41 Poplar Street, Scranton PA 18509, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking
Also see . . .
1. Lackawanna River at Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 27, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. DIY Fly Fishing the Lackawanna River. (Submitted on June 27, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Lackawanna River Conservation Association. (Submitted on June 27, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 27, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.