Schuylkill County
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Gosffo
N 40° 41.257 W 076° 11.873
18T E 398780 N 4504770
Quick Description: The coal region!
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/15/2006 8:13:29 AM
Waymark Code: WMAG1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Gosffo
Views: 16

Long Description:
Marker Text:


Formed March 1, 1811 out of Northampton and Berks counties. Parts of Columbia and Luzerne counties added 1818. The name honors the Schuylkill River. County seat, Pottsville, was made a borough in 1828; city in 1911. A center of the anthracite coal industry.


Legend has it that a hunter, Necho Allen, fell asleep at the base of Broad Mt. and woke up to a large fire. His campfire had ignited an out cropping of coal. So, since 1790, the area has been know for it's coal fields. By 1795, the area got it's first anthracite coal fired furnace. 1806 the furnace was bought by John Potts, hence Pottsville. By 1828, the Schuylkill canal was built to transport coal to Port Carbon. The canal opened up more buisiness which meant more mines. More mines, more people. Between 1820-1840 the population doubled in size. In 1842 the railroad came to town.

During the Civil War, 2 companies of Pottsville soldiers went to Washington DC. Nicholas Biddle, an Africian American was traveling with the troops. He has the notoriety as the first person to shed blood during the Civil War. (If my memory serves me correctly: They where traveling by train and in one town they had to get off one train and walk down the street to get to the other train. While walking down the street he was hit on the head with a brick by southern symathizers.)

After the Civil War the area fell into a recession due to a reduced demand for coal. (other nearby areas had opened coal mines) The miners where demanding better working conditions and pay. Because of the unrest a crime wave followed and mine managers where killed. A secret organization called the Molly Maquires where blamed and brought to trail. (Who is Molly Maquire, she was a women, maybe fictional, who led reprisals against landlords for displacing Irish people from their homes in Irleland in the early and mid-19th century.) 9 men where hanged. (But, did they hang the correct men???)( I just read in the paper today, April 16, 2006, that they are going to recommend that Gov. Rendell grant a posthumous pardon to John Donahoe. He was one the miners hanged for the murder of Morgan Powell, a mine boss in Summit Hill, 1871. Many think the trials where rigged by the mining and railroad barons to quash a budding labor movement! One miner has already been pardoned! John J. Kehoe in 1976. Aaah! The mystery continues!)

John O'Hara, a short story writer, from Pottsville, wrote about Pottsville in his Gibbsville stories. Gibbbsville was a small city in the coal regions. (a fictional version of Pottsville). He wrote books, "Appointment in Samarra" and "Butterfield 8" and a noval Pal Joey which later became a play.


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Marker Name: Schuylkill County

County: Schuylkill

Date Dedicated: 05/26/1982

Marker Type: City

Location: SE corner, Laurel Blvd. & N 2nd St., Pottsville

Category: Government & Politics, Government & Politics 19th Century

Website: Not listed

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