Forest City, Pennsylvania

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Forest City is a borough in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Forest City is situated at the corner of Susquehanna County, Lackawanna County and Wayne County, Pennsylvania and is designated by a marker which is located in the Forest City Industrial Park.

Forest City is 4 avenues by 10 blocks as the 'main city' with a small surrounding suburb housing 1,855 in the 2000 census, with 87% of the population living 'in town'.

At its height in the early twentieth century, between the timber, silk, lumber and coal industries, the population was close to 6,000- a booming town with a busy Main Street, as seen by 1930s YouTube films of this town.



The land that would become Forest City was settled in 1864 by William Pentecost and family and chosen for its dense forest, of which only a small portion of the original forest still remains today in the Industrial Park (where mine #1 was once located) and at the beginning of Delaware Street. Originally called "Forest Mills", it was settled by lumbermen and their families.

Between 1866 and 1871, the Jefferson Branch, a railroad spur of the D & H Canal Company., was built in Forest Mills. It ran between Susquehanna Depot and Carbondale, transporting the harvested lumber. Lumbering was the only industry of this area, with the exception of a small mining operation run by William Pentecost, which supplied only sufficient coal to neighboring farmers for winter fuel.

In 1871, an outcropping of coal was discovered. The Hillside Coal and Iron Company bought large tracts of land in the area, and by 1872 the first commercially profitable coal mining enterprise was established at North Railroad Street. A small breaker erected on Railroad Street processed the 75 ton daily output from this operation until 1883.

In 1886, another shaft, Shaft No. 2, was opened. This brought an influx of miners, mostly Welsh, into the area. There were now 300 men and boys employed in the production of coal.

Coal mining continued until The Great Depression hit this town hard, as primary sector of the economy products as lumber and coal were hardest hit. The population slowly dwindled as the coal mining came to a halt. Today, "The Coalminer's Inn" on Main Street, and Red Cross Pharmacy's anthracite souvenirs serve as a reminder of this once flourishing coal town.

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