Was formed of territory taken from Pittston, Ransom and old Forge townships, January 19, 1880, and named in honor of the sturdy old pioneer and first settler in this region, Zebulon Marcy, a name that figures extensively in the first account of the people of Pittston Township. A census was taken at its formation and found to be 1,159 inhabitants, which in 1890 had increased to 2, 904, and the rapidity of the growth of the population since the recent opening of her collieries is specially marked in the growth of the village of Duryea, which by actual count in June, 1892, had a population of 2, 195. No township in the county has had a greater comparative prosperity than this the past two years. It is rich in mining and agriculture. Three railroads, the Lehigh Valley, and the Erie and Wyoming Valley and the D. L. & W. railroads pass through it, and it enjoys every facility of transportation.
As stated, the new township was named in honor of Zebulon Marcy, who emigrated from Connecticut in the spring of 1770, and located about three miles above Pittston borough, on the left side of the road leading up the valley. Choosing this spot for his residence, upon the warriorís path, his rude log hut soon became famous for convenience and for the genial hospitality of its host. Mr. Marcy became a man of local importance, and was elected in January 1772, the first constable of Pittston township.
When Conrad Weiser, a celebrated Indian interpreter, visited Wyoming in 1754, he found an Indian village called "Asserughney." On the banks of the Susquehanna between the mouth of the Lackawanna River and Campbellís ledge, near the site of the depot of the Lehigh Valley railroad. It was a small village, hunting and fishing being the main sources of support. The summit of Campbellís ledge, towering above, afforded an uninterrupted lookout over the valley below, and was used by the Indians not only in watching over their wigwams, nestled along the river, but as a place to kindle their beacon or signal fires. This castle or encampment was the upper one of the Delawares in the Wyoming and the south, and the trail down from the Lackawanna from the Minisink homes on the Delaware, passed through it.
The far-famed Campbellís ledge is situated on the west border of the township, where the Susquehanna seems to have broken through the mountain barrier, forming a wide gorge. The ledge was formerly called Dial rock, from the fact of its presenting a nearly perpendicular face of considerable length, lying directly north and south, and being first illuminated when the sun reaches the meridian. The Indians and the white people of the upper end of the valley thus had a timepiece more serviceable than many town clocks. It is a historic spot in the way of a natural curiosity. The mountain here is 2, 800 feet high and from it is one of the finest views of the valley and its towns and boroughs. The ledge is only 2, 000 feet high, but is approachable by a good road. This name was adopted for the ledge in compliment to Campbellís "Gertrude of Wyoming." Of course, like every other perpendicular ledge in America, that is finished off with a curdling legend of the "maidenís leap," or the "loverís leap," or something of that kind, always where "the villain still pursued her." This, too, has been applied to the poet Campbellís name sake, and into its legend, the story teller had a man named Campbell hemmed in by the legion of savages, and when fairly at bay on the edge of the precipice and the savages upon him, jumped over, horse and all, rather than be slowly roasted by the painted cannibals. But this weak story has gone out of fashion.
Duryea is the post office village in the township situated two miles north of Pittston borough. In the vicinity of this place have recently been erected new coal breakers, and not only here but all over the township there has been a rapid rise in real estate. The village has postal, telegraph and telephone communications, as well as being topped by three leading railroads. The village is laid off and built up in good style, and elegant business and residence houses are just built or building on every hand. It already has a population of 2, 200 and constant increase is of daily remark. A Catholic and a Methodist church are already built. The Epworth have a league here, and the musical tastes of the village has supplied a cornet band under the leadership of John Farraday.
The collieries here are the Phoenix breaker and the Columbia breaker, of the Old Forge Coal Company, limited, and the Babylon breaker, of Simpson and Watkins. The business houses are: 1 baker, 2 blacksmiths, 3 carpenters, 3 milliners, 1 drug store, 2 dry goods, 2 general stores, 1 gentís furnishing, 3 grocery stores, 1 hats and caps, 4 hotels, 1 iron fence manufactory, 1 meat market, 1 drill moving factory, 3 physicians, 2 livery stables, 1 undertaker.This Town History was donated by Cathy Ailstock.
© 1997-2010 by Mary Ann Lubinsky for the PAGenWeb Project, and by Individual Contributors
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