Historical Markers
Carbondale Historical Marker
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Poconos / Endless Mountains


Marker Location:
US 106 North of Carbondale

Dedication Date:
November 12, 1947

Behind the Marker

The Wurts brothers
A view of Carbondale around the turn of the century.
A view of Carbondale around the turn of the century
, William and Maurice, helped launch the powerful marker Delaware and Hudson Canal Company in the mid-1820s. This corporation, the largest of its time, had big plans for Carbondale. Originally, the company intended the small community to become the grand emporium of northeast Pennsylvania.

Carbondale had important advantages. It was close to the rich anthracite reserves of Lackawanna County and yet it was also not too far from the major market in New York City. The nearby D & H Canal and gravity railroad guaranteed that Carbondale would play a central role in the movement of Pennsylvania coal from mines to markets.
Birds eye view of the town of Carbondale, with numbered identification legend which includes the following: 7. Hendricks MFG Co. 9. Grist Mill Brownson and Fowler 10. Planing Mills 11. Breaker, Rease and Mosier 12. Colebrook Breaker Visible in the upper left corner of the image are two coal breakers
Carbondale, Pennsylvania, 1890. Drawn by T. M. Fowler. A. E. Downs, lithograph
It also became home to many "linkage industries" that developed around anthracite production: small shops that specialized in much-needed services, like repairs, or parts. The population in Carbondale grew quickly and soon it was twice the size of more-established Wilkes-Barre.

Carbondale, however, never quite achieved the status its founders had envisioned. There was a multitude of reasons for the community's eventual decline, including a weak municipal infrastructure and an almost complete economic reliance on anthracite. The result was a dangerous and dirty place, "among the dingiest," according to historian Burton Folsom, of some very dingy, nineteenth-century industrial cities.

The underground mines, once the pride of Carbondale, also eventually haunted the troubled community. During the twentieth century, a fire erupted in one of the city's abandoned mines that burned for thirty-three years before it was finally extinguished.
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