Duryea, Pennsylvania

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Duryea is a borough in the Greater Pittston area of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA, nine miles (14 km) south of Scranton on the Lackawanna River. Duryea was incorporated as a borough in 1891. Coal mining and the manufacture of silk were the chief industries in the early years of its existence. The population numbered 7,487 in 1910, and 8,275 in 1940. The population was 4,634 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

Duryea is located at 41°20′52″N 75°45′30″W / 41.34778°N 75.75833°W / 41.34778; -75.75833 (41.347729, -75.758302)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.8 km²), of which, 5.5 square miles (14.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (3.84%) is water. The borough is served by the Pittston Area School District. Though in its heyday and when it had a larger population Duryea had its own High School.

Mining and industry affecting environment and population (first half of 20th century)

Like many of the surrounding towns (Pittston, Hugestown, Old Forge), Duryea was abandoned when the need for deep-mined coal diminished. Three large colliers once operated there, processing the coal for transport. Like the other nearby towns the coal was often mined directly under the town itself. Remnants of strip mines and 'culm' banks that were never properly cleaned up and redeveloped litter the landscape.

On the other side of the Lackawana River, sand and gravel quarry operations continue to spoil what was once a beautiful landscape and riverway. The Lackawana River is heavily polluted with the outflow from abandoned mine tunnels and is choked with orange sediment.

Population has been declining for years, with increased gentrification.

Loss of independence from surrounding towns (Pittston) (last half of 20th century)

Duryea was once fiercely independent. Primarily populated by Polish immigrants and their descendants, the town benefited from the coal industry and silk mills and was a self-contained community with its own Main Street and School District.

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