Dickson City, Pennsylvania

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Dickson City is a borough in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, 4 miles (7 km) north of Scranton. Coal mining had been an important industry in the past. Some of the population totals follow: in 1900, 4,948; in 1910, 9,331; in 1920, 11,049; and in 1940, 11,548. Coal miners are much scarcer in Pennsylvania today than they had been, so populations have fallen in many places such as Dickson City; The population was 6,205 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Dickson City was once known as Priceburg. It was the newest village in the valley and one of the most progressive. German immigrants then founded the village of Priceville in 1863, in honor of Eli Price. This section of the town developed rapidly after 1880, when John Jermyn sank the shaft which is now known as the Johnson shaft. Here the population had grown from 329 to 841.

In April 1875, Dickson City was incorporated as a Borough, including at the time all of the present Borough of Throop. It received its name from the late Thomas Dickson.[1]

Once dominated by coal mines, this borough has in recent times become the center of a thriving retail corridor focused along Business Route 6 and around the Viewmont Mall. Many of the nation's "big-box" stores and chain restaurants are represented here.

Most of the newer retail complexes are located along Viewmont Drive and Commerce Boulevard, both built by developers to access the borough's vast dormant coal lands. Some of the centers that were built in the 1990s and early 2000s include Dickson City Crossings, Dickson City Commons, Park Center and Commerce Plaza. A Target center, the largest gaming shop in Northeastern Pennsylvania,plans for a movie theater by 2011, and stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods and the only Borders book store in the area are located at these shopping centers. The borough also boasts northeastern Pennsylvania's first Starbucks location.

Recently, the borough did unexpectedly enter the pop culture scene. In a 2006 episode of NBC's sitcom, The Office, entitled "Take Your Daughter to Work Day", Michael (Steve Carell) asks Ryan (B.J. Novak) to get a particular video from his mom's house "in Dickson City." The show uses Scranton as its setting.

After Route 6 (also named the Scranton/Carbondale Highway), Main Street serves as the borough's other major thoroughfare. It features a slightly older stock of stores, bars, professional offices and homes.

One recent point of major contention in the borough has been a 240-acre (0.97 km2) swath of reclaimed coal-mining land south of Commerce Boulevard that was deeded to the borough for public use after the state government cleaned it up. Plans to build a bond-financed municipal golf course on the land launched during the early 2000s were scuttled after some borough council members campaigned against that form of borrowing and won the majority of seats. The land was seized by a local bank after interim loans went unpaid, but because the state stipulated that it has to remain in the hands of a municipality, neighboring borough Dunmore, snapped it up.

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