Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania

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Schuylkill Haven is a borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, four miles (6 km) south of Pottsville and 89 miles (143 km) north-west of Philadelphia, in the United States. The borough's population was 5,548 as of the 2000 census. Schuylkill Haven is situated along the Schuylkill River for which it is named. Schuylkill Haven is a focal point of activity in southern Schuylkill County.

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Early settlements

Before Europeans settled the land that is now part of Schuylkill Haven, the area was occupied by the Lenape people (who were known as the Delaware Indians by the English). The earliest white settlers first traveled north of the Blue Mountain (which is located south of Schuylkill Haven at the Berks-Schuylkill County line) in the 1730s. The first settler in Schuylkill Haven was John Fincher, a Quaker from Chester County, Pennsylvania. Fincher received a land grant of 225 acres (0.91 km2) on March 5, 1750, the day which Schuylkill Haven considers to be its unofficial founding. Fincher constructed a house and barn near the Schuylkill River, and called his settlement "Fincher's Ford." The next known settler of Schuylkill Haven was Martin Dreibelbis, a German who came to modern-day Schuylkill Haven in the Spring of 1775. Martin Dreibelbis constructed a house, saw mill, distillery, and a grist mill on the eastern bank of the Schuylkill River. He later built a log house near modern-day Main Street, giving Martin Dreibelbis the title of the first citizen of Schuylkill Haven. Martin Dreibelbis willed the original plot of the town to a son, Jacob. Another son, Daniel, received an area east of the original plot, and a third son, George, received an area outside of the present borough known as "Seven Stars" (located north of Schuylkill Haven on the Schuylkill River). The original plot of Schuylkill Haven shows that the borough stretched from the Schuylkill River on the west, to present-day Main Street on the north (then known as Front Street), to Saint Peter Street on the east (then known as Jacob Street), and Liberty Street on the south. Present-day Columbia Street was supposed to be the main residential district.[1]

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