"Welcome to the official website of the City of Carbondale, Northeastern Pennsylvania's 1st City! I'm sure you will quickly realize that the "Pioneer City" truly is a great place to live, work, visit raise a family and do business! Become part of the progress. Help us write the next chapter in the American Story today!"
- Mayor Justin M. Taylor
Tucked away fifteen miles northeast of Scranton, Pennsylvania, you'll find a captivating city of historic charms and hidden treasures. Carbondale, known as "The Pioneer City," was the spark that ignited the Industrial Revolution more than a century ago. City founders led the way to unearth the site of the First Deep Underground Coalmine in the United States, giving rise to the industry and economic force that has shaped our region for generations. Centrally located, Carbondale promotes a true community in every sense. As we grow our neighborhoods to provide a sound quality of life and revitalize a vibrant Main Street into a busy, thriving district, the City of Carbondale holds close its rich history that gave birth to one of the most prosperous chapters in American history.
The City of Carbondale certainly holds a significant place in our country's history.... The fourth oldest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Carbondale was home to the first million dollar corporation in America, The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company which revolutionized the energy and transportation industry. The first settlers arrived in 1802. In 1814, the true pioneers of the upper Lackawanna River Valley, William and Maurice Wurts, traveled to the area from Philadelphia, where they discovered the "Black Gold" which was Anthracite Coal. The brothers formed the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, the first million-dollar privately financed enterprise in the United States, and built the historic Gravity Railroad to transport the coal from Carbondale over the Moosic Mountains to Honesdale and onto the New York market. When the railroad and the canal was complete it was looked upon as a marvel in civil engineering, and even now in these days of great achievement, it is referred to as one of the wonders of engineering skill.
In 1822, the Wurts Brothers sent a shipment of coal to Philadelphia with the name of their location of operation as "Carbondale Coal Fields." In June 1831, the first underground Anthracite Coal mine in the United States was opened near the base of Seventh Avenue. Washington Irving, a famous author, and Philip Hone, founder of Honesdale, Pennsylvania have been credited by many with choosing the name of Carbondale. This area was first known as "Ragged Island", later as Barrendale, and finally as Carbondale. "Carbon" meaning coal discovered here and "dale" meaning valley. The City of Carbondale received its Charter on March 15, 1851 with 5,004 inhabitants, fifteen years before Scranton, and twenty years before Wilkes-Barre.
Carbondale grew and prospered from the mining industry. Many Europeans from different backgrounds traveled to the New World in search of great opportunities and found it all here in Carbondale. Mining remained the chief economic source in the city until the late 1940's and early 1950's when light manufacturing became the new economic lifeblood of the community. However, it was mining that dominated Carbondale's early days and carried it to grow from a small settlement to the fourth oldest chartered city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the oldest, followed by Lancaster as the second, York as the third, and Carbondale as the fourth.