The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is located on the third floor of historic Carbondale City Hall and Courthouse in Carbondale, PA. The building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is located at One North Main Street.
The first public meeting of the Historical Society, founded in October of 1974 by a group of six Carbondale Area school teachers, was held in January of 1975. On November 6, 1982, the Historical Society and the Committee to Restore Carbondale City Hall merged to form the Carbondale Historical Society and Museum, which was incorporated on March 15, 1983.
The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is an educational and historical membership organization whose mission is to record, gather, and preserve the history of the city of Carbondale and the surrounding area. Through its genealogical and local history research center and exhibition galleries on the third floor of Carbondale City hall (listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 6, 1983, through the efforts of the Society) and through an annual series of public lectures, programs, exhibitions, and commemorative ceremonies, in the community and in the public schools, the Society, at the same time, interprets and makes accessible to the public the City's rich, diverse, and unique history and heritage. The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is committed to the central values of (1) maintaining the highest possible standards in all its endeavors, (2) providing excellent service to the public at all times, and (3) demonstrating leadership and innovation in the field of local history.
The Society's research room and exhibition galleries are open from 1 - 5 P.M., Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Given the fact that we are an all-volunteer organization, it is always a good idea to phone ahead (570-282-0385, or firstname.lastname@example.org) to make sure that someone will be at the Society when you arrive. This is especially important if you're traveling from out of town to Carbondale to do research.
Carbondale City Hall on Saint David's Day (note the Welsh flag on the flagpole on the left)
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Our Taste of the Town
Many members of the Historical Society attend this wonderful holiday event every year. The big news this year is that the annual Christmas Ball will at the Best Western Pioneer Plaza in downtown Carbondale.
Make plans now to attend this important event.i
Pioneer City Christmas Ball
The Pioneer City
The earliest settlers came into the area which is now Carbondale in the first decade of the nineteenth century. Originally the city was called Ragged Island, then Barrendale, and finally Carbondale.
The true founders of Carbondale were William and Maurice Wurts who arrived in the area from Philadelphia, PA. in 1814. The Wurts brothers were instrumental in the formation of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, in 1823. That company developed the anthracite resources of the area and shipped, via its Gravity Railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale and its canal from Honesdale to the Hudson River, vast quantities of anthracite coal to the New York market, throughout the Northeast, and (via the Erie Canal) the Midwest.
As early as 1822, the area developed by the Wurts brothers began to be known as Carbondale. The City of Carbondale was incorporated on March 15, 1851, making it the oldest (the "Pioneer") city in Lackawanna County, PA, and the fourth oldest city (after Philadelphia, Lancaster, and York) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
D&H Railroad and Anthracite History
Andrew A. Collier, shown below on a fishing outing, worked in the Coal Brook Colliery of the Hudson Coal Company in Carbondale, circa 1917-1931. The Collier family lived at 40 Forty-Second Street.
In April 2012, his son, William A. Collier (Somerset, NJ) became a Friend of D&H Caboose 35964, which will be the center piece in the visitors' center (see photo below) soon to be constructed in Carbondale.
At that time, William A. Collier donated to the Historical Society in memory of his father, Andrew A. Collier, a number of rare and wonderful railroad and Carbondale-related photographs that had belonged to his father.
One of those photos is the track-level view, looking North, of the Carbondale D&H yard, shown below. The Coal Brook Colliery, where Andrew A. Collier worked, is shown in the left background of this photograph.
Andrew A. Collier
(November 14, 1899--July 11, 1968)
Andrew A. Collier's father, Charles J. Kollier, who died in Carbondale in 1915, worked on passenger cars for the D&H in the early 1900s.
Track-level view of Carbondale Yard, looking North, with Coal Brook Colliery in the left background.
D&H Caboose 35964
This is the exhibition pavilion that the Historical Society will have constructed in Carbondale on the Hotel Chellino site to house D&H Caboose 35964. We will need the help of a lot of people to make this pavilion a reality. If you can help in any way, we would be very pleased to hear from you at 570-282-0385.
Welcome to the Historical Society
Here are five recent photographs that were taken by Society member Hank Loftus at the Historical Society. In the first photograph, we see the main hallway on the third floor. Note the beautiful wrought iron work on the staircase and the oak wainscoting from 1895.
Here are four views in and around Room 301
Additional photographs taken in the D&H galleries will be shown very soon on the D&H/Mining page.
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