From Mine to Market

From Mine to Market (HM1YRK)

Location: Carbondale, PA 18407 Lackawanna County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 33.198', W 75° 29.695'

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Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway

Founded in 1823 by Maurice and William Wurts, two brothers of Swiss ancestry, the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company played a prominent role in the economic development of northeastern Pennsylvania. From its completion in 1829 until its abandonment at the end of the nineteenth century, the extensive D&H gravity railroad and canal system provided the vital transportation link between the anthracite coalfields of the Lackawanna Valley and the domestic and industrial markets of New York City.
The Lackawanna Valley contains the northernmost deposit of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania. By 1812 the Wurts brothers realized the economic potential of the Lackawanna anthracite fields but lacked both a major market and an economical means of transporting their coal. Because the Schuylkill and Lehigh anthracite fields already dominated the Philadelphia trade, the Wurts brothers viewed New York City as their best potential market.
Anthracite Mining
The extraction, processing, and shipment of anthracite coal was the primary economic activity in the Lackawanna Valley during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After mining, the coal had to be separated from waste rock, or culm, and processed in breakers, which dominated the landscape. Most sorting was done by "breaker boys," adolescent boys or men too old or disabled
to work the mines.
The Gravity Railroad
At Honesdale the Lackawanna Valley coal was transferred from gravity railroad cars to canal boats for the long journey to the Hudson River. The last canal boat loaded with coal departed from Honesdale in 1898.
The Canals
After the Lackawanna Valley coal was transferred to boats in Honesdale, it was transported on the Delaware and Hudson Canal for a distance of 108 miles. In the canal's final configuration, 110 locks and four aqueducts were required to traverse the 967-foot elevation difference between Honesdale and Kingston. In this photo, a mule-drawn canal boat has just crossed the Delaware River via an aqueduct near the town of Lackawaxen. This is the only D&H aqueduct that is still in existence.
To Market
The eastern terminus of the Delaware and Hudson Canal was located at Kingston, New York, where Rondout Creek drains into the Hudson River. At this point coal was either stockpiled or loaded directly onto large river barges. Although most of the coal was shipped down the Hudson River to New York City, some coal was shipped up-river to Albany.
[Background map showing the route of the D&H Canal]
Placed ByPennsylvania Dept of Transportation and the Federal Highway Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 458726 N 4600299
Decimal Degrees41.55330000, -75.49491667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 33.198', W 75° 29.695'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 33' 11.88" N, 75° 29' 41.7" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)570
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near US-6, Carbondale PA 18407, US
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