History of Hawley
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
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
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
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Watching Over Their Livelihood and Their Homes (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Canal and the Rails Spark the Growth of White Mills... (approx. 3.4 miles away); From Alsace, France to White Mills... (approx. 3.4 miles away); Dorflinger: America's Finest Glass... (approx. 3½ miles away); Dorflinger Glass Works (approx. 3½ miles away); As the Company Prospered, So Did the Community. (approx. 3½ miles away); When Christian Dorflinger Melded His Art with History... (approx. 3½ miles away); Skills Passed Down through Generations... (approx. 3½ miles away).
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 10, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 212 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 10, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.