Carbondale Historical Society and Museum, Inc.

Location: One North Main Street, Third Floor, Carbondale, PA 18407

Mailing Address: Post Office Box 151, Carbondale, PA 18407

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, noon to 5 P.M.; Saturday by appointment 

Phone: 570-282-0385



The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine

January 12,. 2018


            This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of events and happenings in the Pioneer City. Welcome to 2018! The Pioneer City certainly looks forward to another eventful year. We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year. Now that the cold weather has temporarily disappeared, here’s a listing of events that will take place in Carbondale the following week.

            This semester, I will be auditing a graduate course on Pennsylvania History. During this time period, I will happily share a fun fact that I learned that night in class. For example, a statement might read something like this: “Did you know that…?,” followed by the fun fact of the week. I hope to share the information I learned in class with all of you, perhaps learning something you may not know about our State. Anyway, that is the pure joy of learning something every day. I am not taking this class for credit, but I choose to audit it just for the fun of it. The rest of the semester is devoted entirely to my thesis work.

            At the Greater Carbondale YMCA, there is now a whole new set of programs designed to keep the youth sector of the population busy. Activities offered include Photography Club, Nerf Club, Family Game Night, Dodgeball, STEM to Story, Arts Alive!, and Kickball, which is one of the new additions to Saturday morning sports. The program is for children ages 3-6, and runs until January 27th. Of course, there’s the sport of the hour: Pickleball, which combines ping-pong and tennis for an exhilarating experience! This program runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m., and Monday nights, from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!

            The previous was just a snippet of events during January. To read up more, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine

December 15, 2017


          This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of events and happenings in the Pioneer City. This week’s column is more of a re-telling of historical events, rather than a listing of what the Pioneer City currently has in store. Read below for more information!

          The past two editions of the Valley Advantage (this week’s one included) have been notable for including articles about the Pioneer City’s mine fires. This was a tragic event for Carbondale, plaguing it for about thirty years before being eradicated. The fires affected mostly the West Side, but also threatened to spread to other neighborhoods of Carbondale and even surrounding municipalities, if left unchecked. The consequences for West Side residents were disastrous; an elderly couple was killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning from the fires, homes were damaged, and people risked being burned just from walking across a hot floor. In 1955, a young boy almost died after falling into the middle of a fire. If his father had not rescued him, he would have been killed right on the spot.

          After local and federal aid reached Carbondale, there began a big dig to eradicate the fires and rebuild on top of former mine sites. Even during this process, people still risked having their homes damaged, mostly from the effects of the construction equipment. Digging out the fires took at least fifteen years to complete. Finally, in 1972, the digging project came to a close. On top of the mines were built new residential and industrial areas. In fact, Carbondale Area Junior/Senior High School is one of those buildings today that was built upon ground that housed coal mines beneath the surface.

          The previous was a re-telling of some Carbondale history. Once again, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!



Matthew Levine – The Carbondale Report

December 1, 2017

            This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of events in the month of December. This is a festive time of year for the Pioneer City, so read on to find out more!

            Aside from the Pioneer Ball and the Historical Society’s Christmas Party, December has plenty to offer. Tomorrow, December 2nd (a Saturday), the annual “Santa Train” will appear in Carbondale at 10:30 a.m., with Santa and Mrs. Claus in tow! After Santa arrives, a horse-drawn carriage escorts guests from the train station to Carbondale’s City Hall for a holiday party. After leaving Carbondale, the train will make stops in Archbald, Jessup, Olyphant, and Dickson City. All activities are free. The project is a gift from the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area in partnership with Steamtown National Historic Site. For more information, call 570-793-3692 or email You can also follow the Santa Train on Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s Facebook page. Don’t miss out on this; every stop has live entertainment, food, and lots of holiday cheer.

            In conjunction with Santa’s visit to Carbondale, the Carbondale Public Library will be hosting their Annual Christmas Ornament from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Children are invited to the library to make a Christmas Ornament for their tree and one for home as part of Carbondale’s Annual Christmas in a Small Town celebration. To learn more about “Christmas in a Small Town” throughout the Lackawanna Valley, see the article about it on the Lackawanna Heritage Valley website.

            The previous was just a snippet of events going on during the month of December! To read up more on future events, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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Matthew Levine – The Carbondale Report

November 17, 2017


            This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of the upcoming Pioneer City Christmas Ball! This is a festive event for Carbondale, so read on to find more!

            The Ball, this year, will be held on Friday, December 1st, in the Chandelier Room at the Carbondale Grand Hotel in downtown Carbondale. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will begin at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7, and then dancing to the music of the Jeffrey James Band will follow. Admission is $100, with an extra fifty dollars for couples. Dinner is family-style; a wine bar is a new addition to this year’s Ball. Lucci Winery will be responsible for serving the wine.

            This year, proceeds from the Ball will go to the Greater Carbondale YMCA, the FCR Lettermen’s Club, Coaches vs. Cancer, and the Main Street Christmas Lighting Fund. In addition, attendants have the chance to win stuff. Each ticket purchased has a chance to win monetary prizes totaling $10,000 (with a top prize of $2,500), holiday wreaths, gift certificates from local businesses, and more. The Ball is not only a fundraiser; it is a holiday season tradition for the Greater Carbondale community. Here, at the Ball, people have an opportunity to enjoy the Christmas spirit with one another!

            Also, starting tomorrow, the Chamber Gallery, in the Chamber of Commerce, will offer some activities related to the holiday experience throughout the Christmas season. The activities will be held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Events include gallery exhibitions and “The Christmas Shoppe,” which is a fundraiser for the Chamber Gallery that hosts local artisans and craftsmen who will offer their wares, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the Chamber Gallery.

            The previous was a sampling of Christmas-related events, including the Ball, which will be held in Carbondale. Once again, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!

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Matthew Levine – The Carbondale Report

November 10, 2017


          This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of the Historical Society’s Christmas Party! Join us in celebrating the holiday season with good friends and cheer. Here’s more information about this event!

          The Christmas Party will be at Pettinato’s Restaurant (located on 78 Dundaff Street in Carbondale, Pennsylvania) on Monday, December 4, 2017. The party’s schedule is as follows: 5:30 P.M. – Open Cocktail Bar, followed by dinner at 6 P.M. The menu consists of a miniature anti-pasto salad and pasta to start, followed by an intermezzo (in-between) course of fruit sorbet, then the main course; diners have a choice of veal Marsala, chicken in butter and garlic, and eggplant Parmesan. The dessert is brownie à la mode. There is limited space, so reserve a spot fast! All who are interested must RSVP by December 1, 2017. For more information about this event, e-mail Michele Bannon at or Mary Tomaine at, or call them at their respective numbers: (570) 351-5607 or (570) 851-0236. All are welcome! When reserving, please indicate the number of people attending. Altogether, the open cocktail bar and dinner are $30.00 per person.

          The previous was a description of the upcoming Christmas Party! Once again, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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The Carbondale Report

Matthew Levine

November 3, 2017


            This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of upcoming events at the YMCA! We have a lot of programs there to choose from this month, so read on to find out more information!

            First, in the Youth Sports category, Youth Basketball starts on November 11th for eight or twelve weeks. This program runs for forty-five-minute time spans for different age groups; as part of the eight-week program, there is basketball from 10-10:45am for ages 3-4, and from 11-11:45am for ages 5-6. The 12-week program is for ages 7 and up, running from 12-12:45pm for ages 7-9, and 1-1:45pm for ages 9 and up. For youth with Family Memberships, there is only a $10 registration fee. Other programs include a Dodgeball League, Cardio for Kids, and Swim Lessons. Again, for both Dodgeball and Cardio, there is only a $10 registration fee for youth with Family Memberships. Monday Night Lessons begin November 6th, while Saturday Morning Lessons begin November 4th.

            Release your inner artist with a sampling of these following programs! Offerings include Mad Scientist, Holiday Crafting, Drawing Basics, Arts in Action, Lego Robotics, and Lego Club. As with most of the Youth Sports programs, there is only a $10 registration fee for youth with Family Members. All of these programs start next week, so take the weekend to consider if they are for you. If they are, we hope to see you at these gatherings!

            Finally, on Saturday, November 25th, from 5-8pm, is our Carbondale YMCA Christmas Festival! This year is the 8th annual event. Offerings include basket raffles, a candycane scavenger hunt, an Ugly Sweater Contest, a DVD bingo, and carnival games. Family pricing is included; all games are $.25. If any of you have questions about the events I just described, call the Y at (570) 282-2210 or Steve Durkin, the Executive Director, at (570) 960-2277 for more details.

            The previous was a description of events at the YMCA this month! Once again, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine

October 27, 2017


            This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform you of the upcoming Taste of the Town. This is an exciting – not to mention tasty – event, so read on for more!

            This year, the Taste of the Town will be held at the Anthracite Center (corner of Salem Avenue and North Main Street) on Sunday, November 12th, from 2 – 5 P.M.; this is Veterans’ Day Weekend. At the Taste of the Town, vendors from all of Carbondale (as well as other Valley cities) will offer free samples of their tasty offerings to the public and give them a taste of Lackawanna County. Thirteen different restaurants will be featured. Here is a listing of them, followed by what they are selling to the public:

1.      Amber’s Restaurant & Bar (Penne Spinach Alfredo & Apple Stuffed Pork)

2.      Barret’s Pub (Chicken Marsala & Pizza)

3.      Capra Collina Winery (Wine tasting and sales)

4.      Chinese Foliage Restaurant (?)

5.      Chip & Stone (formerly the COACH) (?)

6.      Iron Hart Brewery (tasting and selling specialty brews)

7.      McDonalds (soft drinks)

8.      PersoNellized Cakes & Café (?)

9.      Plate d’Azure (?)

10.  Something Sweet (Chocolates)

11.  Steve Pendrak Winery (tasting and selling wine)

12.  The Manor (?)

13.  Weis Markets (Sushi, Pizza, Hoagies & Floral arrangements)

Raffle items are also available, and live entertainment will be provided by the one and only Chris Mullineaux! This year’s partial proceeds will go to the Gino Merli Veterans’ Center. Menu items are subject to change; in addition, some restaurants are still unsure about what they are making to sell. If any of you have any questions, do not hesitate to e-mail either Laure Carlo at or Michele Bannon at

            The previous was a description of our upcoming Taste of the Town! Once again, please check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!

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The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine

October 20, 2017


          This is Matthew Levine, from the Carbondale Report, here to recount a very exciting series of events that happened last week! Here’s a look at them all!


          This past Friday, October 13th, I had the pleasure of bringing the Greater Carbondale YMCA’s A-Team down to the Historical Society so they could see it for themselves. While there, they had a chance to witness how history in Carbondale happened, including seeing the pictures of people who influenced its development and the artifacts that best represent the industrial past of the Pioneer City, as well as the work that Dr. Powell does on a day-to-day basis. The fact that most of these kids are not Carbondale natives made it an even more exciting visit for them; they had a ball there! I actually heard a girl in the group tell her mom, “Now I know where to go for my next history paper!” It truly touched my heart to hear that from someone who was just so blown away by what she saw! This trip was a huge success, and I hope to be able to do something like this again.


          The next day was the Trolley Tour that had been announced since September. The ride started at City Hall, making stops at Gravity Park, the Pat Monahan house at the corner of Washington and Spring Streets, and the Trinity Episcopal Church. At each stop, Dr. Powell shared his knowledge of Carbondale history with the crowd, even participating in a choir called Classic Voices, of which Dr. Jay Best is the director. The choir performed at the house on Washington and Spring, singing a couple of Welsh tunes, which reflected the heavy immigration from there to Carbondale. Dr. Powell, himself of Welsh ancestry, informed the crowd that the Delaware & Hudson recruited heavily in Wales to bring workers to the Lackawanna Valley. The D & H was not the only railroad to attract immigrants from Europe, of course; the Northern Pacific set up recruiting offices in England, Germany, and Scandinavia, promising jobs for people interested in working on the railroad. This was one of the factors influential in the development of the Trans-Mississippi West.


          The previous was a description of what happened last week! Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!

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The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine

October 13, 2017


          This is Matthew Levine, here from the Carbondale Report to inform all of you of upcoming events and happenings in the Pioneer City! Here’s an update as to what is occurring during the month of October.

          The outdoor music might be gone, but the Hotel’s festivities most certainly will not go away! On Tuesdays, Amber’s Restaurant hosts Ladies Night from 5:30-8:30 P.M.! Features include musical entertainment, drink specials (including $1 drafts and $3 martinis), and a specialty menu. The entertainment act that played on Tuesday night was Right Side Up, a band specializing in classic and contemporary rock. They will return to Amber’s on October 24th. If you have any questions about future Ladies Nights, call Amber’s at (570) 536-6224. In addition, Amber’s hosts All-You-Can-Eat Pasta on Thursday nights; diners have the option of choosing from a variety of pasta types (including a gluten-free option available), accompanied by a side salad and the addition of a meatball for $1. The total cost of a dinner amounts to $7.95. Again, if you have any questions, call Amber’s at the preceding number.

          Next week, the Carbondale Library will host the Art Club on Tuesday, October 17th, from 3:30-4:30 pm, a Making Books Come to Life Series the following day from 6-7 pm, and a Freeplay and Storytime event from 11 am-12:15 pm that Friday. If you’re particularly artsy and/or crafty, Art Club is the thing for you; this is your chance to share your work with others, work on projects, and help out each other. All levels are welcome; this event is for teens and adults. The book that author Tracy Doherty-Williams will be presenting will be called “Ladybug Girl;” please register by stopping by the library or calling there to register. Finally, Freeplay and Storytime both help children with various early learning skills. Freeplay allows children to explore and learn through play, a natural way for young children to learn, and work on social skills such as sharing. Storytime encourages the love of reading, exposes children to larger vocabulary, and teaches school readiness skills such as paying attention and taking turns. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Leigh-Ann Pugliese at (570)-282-4281 for more information.

          The previous was a description of some upcoming events next week! Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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The Carbondale Report

Matthew Levine –

September 29, 2017



          This is Matthew Levine, here from the Carbondale Report to inform all of you of upcoming events and happenings in the Pioneer City! This is what is occurring as we exit September and enter the month of October!


          The Wine Train was hugely successful. It brought people back to Carbondale (including new faces), encouraged everyone to sample local food and beverages, and provided a major asset for both the City of Carbondale and the Chamber of Commerce. Overall, it was the perfect community event. Moreover, as October approaches, a key milestone will highlight the importance of the railroads in Carbondale’s history; thus, a citywide cause for celebration will be in store.


          On October 9th, 1829, the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company began operations out of Carbondale. Every year, to commemorate this event, Dr. Powell publishes a series of five books that analyze specific aspects of the D & H. The topics cover the history of the Gravity Railroad, locomotives and rolling stock, the people associated with the company, and the Honesdale Branch, to name just a few. Currently, there are fifteen books published overall. Dr. Powell hopes to publish the next five on October 9th, 2017, in time for the D & H’s 188th birthday. Since publishing his first five books in 2014, he has released ten more over the next two years. By 2018, Dr. Powell hopes to have his last four volumes out, completing the series.


          On Monday, October 9th, Steamtown will be operating a special train up to Carbondale. The train will leave Scranton at 10 A.M. and return at 4 P.M. Excursion passengers will be free to explore the downtown area, including a visit to where the Gravity Railroad opened in 1829. Reservations, which opened on September 24th, are still ongoing. Tickets are priced at $24 for adults 16-61, $22 for seniors 62 and older, and $17 for children ages 6-15. Children to age 5 require a “no-charge” ticket. Locomotive power may change without notice.


          The previous was a description of the D & H’s birthday celebration. Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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  1. The Carbondale Report


Matthew Levine


          This is Matthew Levine, here from the Carbondale Report, here to inform all of you of upcoming events and happenings in the Pioneer City! This is what is going on as we now enter the fall!


          Several of you probably received an e-mail from Dr. Powell about a Trolley Tour and Box Luncheon. In case any of you did not receive it or do not own a computer, here is some information about it. The Tour and Luncheon will be held on Saturday, October 14th, from 10 A.M. – 1 P.M. The event features a trolley that will visit a few of Carbondale’s historically interesting sites. One of the places that might be on the list is the location of the first-ever underground mine in the United States, which I discussed in more detail in my last blog (check that one out to learn more about it). The tour will conclude at the new Anthracite Center, where the participants will gather for lunch and visit with Mayor Justin Taylor. Lunch choices are turkey, ham, or vegetarian.


          Seating is limited; all participants who are interested must RSVP no later than October 12th. If you are interested or have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact Mary Parise Tomaine at 851-0236 or Dr. Powell at 282-0385. The cost is $25.00 per person. We would love to see you there!


          The previous was a description of the Trolley Tour/Luncheon. Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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  • The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine –

September 15, 2017


This is Matthew Levine, from the Carbondale Report, here to share a bit of local history in anticipation of the Wine Train, both this weekend and the next. Normally, historians tend to despise local history, due to its one-sidedness (mainly in depicting only the positive events of that locale). However, Carbondale’s story is unique due to factors that helped to shape America’s growth in the nineteenth century.


If one word can summarize Carbondale’s historical significance, it is coal. Ever since Carbondale’s founding in the 1820’s, coal helped to fill a void in fueling after wood sources were mostly depleted by the time of War of 1812. This hard, black mineral was first extracted from a mine in town, carried over the mountains to Honesdale, and converted into a fuel source that provided the impetus for America’s Industrial Revolution. This is the interpretation that Dr. Powell posits as to how America grew to be the mighty nation that it was in the 1800’s. Thus, the area surrounding Carbondale rightfully earns its place in national history.


The D & H Railway took advantage of the vast anthracite coal deposits in the Lackawanna Valley after the Canal Company and the Gravity Railroad both folded. During this time, it operated a yard that benefited from its proximity to mines and coal breakers. The D & H was not the only railroad to serve Carbondale; the Erie Railroad had trackage rights through the city, and the New York, Ontario, and Western Railway (commonly called the Ontario & Western, or the O & W) passed through Carbondale on its way to Scranton. Yet, the D & H remained the most prominent railroad in the area.


The lucrative industries in the area proved attractive to European immigrants. The people who came reflected national immigration trends: the first wave of immigrants originated from Ireland and Wales, while the next wave consisted of southern and eastern Europeans, such as Italians, Jews, Poles, and Russians, as well as Slovaks. These immigrants not only provided the labor force in Carbondale, but also contributed to Northeastern Pennsylvania’s multiethnic culture. While the coal industry no longer provides employment today, the immigrants and their descendants have left their vibrant legacy in the city of Carbondale to this day.


Today, historical markers that commemorate Carbondale’s past are found throughout the city; for instance, a marker located next to Hendrick Manufacturing (on the West Side) notifies the spot on which America’s first underground mine was situated, while a monument located in Gravity Park marks the place where the Gravity Railroad took coal over the mountains to Honesdale. Both historical markers lend Carbondale historical importance by paying testimony to its role in American – and, potentially, world – history.


The previous was a description of Carbondale’s history. Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!




The Carbondale Report

By Matthew Levine

September 8, 2017


This is Matthew Levine, from the Carbondale Report, here to keep you updated on events for the month of September. Aside from the Wine Train (see the previous blog for more information on that), the Pioneer City has plenty to offer for both residents and non-residents. Here is a synopsis of what’s happening this month.


The previous report on the Wine Train left one crucial tidbit out about this event. Our town’s historian, Dr. S. Robert Powell, will be aboard the train both weekends to talk some history about the Delaware and Hudson (D & H) Railway. The D & H was a transportation company essential to the Pioneer City’s growth; although both the Canadian Pacific and the Delaware-Lackawanna Railways own it today, the D & H’s name still lives on in Carbondale history. This is a topic near and dear to Dr. Powell’s heart, so here’s another reason not to miss the Wine Train!


At the Hotel, the outdoor music will be on hold until the summer starts again. In the meantime, local musicians will continue to provide entertainment, usually at the bar on Friday night. Plus, its restaurant, Amber’s, will be one of the featured vendors on the day of the second Wine Train (September 23rd). The restaurant will serve a Tomato Pepper Jack Soup, as well as a Spinach/Tomato Risotto. September is tomato season, another excuse to make summer last longer!


In keeping with the festive atmosphere, the YMCA will host its annual Fall Mum Sale on Tuesday, September 12th, from 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Large plants are $7 each, coming in various colors. In addition to mums, pumpkins and fall decorations are available for sale on the same day as the pick-up. There are more prepaid orders available. If you have any questions that staff will happily answer, please call the Y at (570) 282-2210. Hopefully, the Mum Sale will start off the fall on a high note!


The previous was a description of upcoming September happenings. Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!


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The Carbondale Report

September 1, 2017

By Matthew Levine


            This is Matthew Levine, from the Carbondale Report, here to report information to all of you about the upcoming Northeastern Pennsylvania Wine Train excursion. This is a nice transition from summer to fall, as everyone gathers outdoors one more time before cold weather strikes again. Here is what is happening with that.

            The train runs from Carbondale to Olyphant (its final destination, for the past two years, was Scranton) on two consecutive weekends. The first excursion is Saturday, September 16th, while the following one is September 23rd. On both weekends, the train will depart from Carbondale at 3:00 P.M., and arrive in Olyphant about two hours later, or so. During the course of the trip, the train will make stops in Archbald and Jessup before letting passengers off for the final time in Olyphant. At each stop (including Carbondale and Olyphant), local restaurants and wineries will provide both delicious food and wine for the passengers. Additionally, a band also travelling aboard the train will perform music while the train is stopped at each station. While passengers are able to drink wine at each stop, they are forbidden to drink while aboard the train. They are, however, allowed to bring food on the train with them. Even if you don’t drink wine, you can still come on the train! This is open to anyone, alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike! Plus, who doesn’t enjoy the thrill of riding in a passenger car in an era where planes and automobiles dominate? Come if you want to enjoy yourself before a chilly fall!

            If any of you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Laure Carlo, the director of the Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, at (570) 282-1690, or Michele Bannon, the Carbondale City Clerk, at (570) 282-4633. They will happily answer any questions that you may have! The previous was a detailed description of the NEPA Wine Train. Once again, check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!






          Many of you reading this column, in addition to getting a sense of what Carbondale is all about, probably desire to know about what I do and what my interests are, as well as how I got here today. I hope you find my background interesting after reading this.


          I had been enthused with maps and geography when I was a kid, and, eventually, found myself entertaining the idea of becoming a geography teacher. However, during my junior year of high school, one of my history teachers told me that I had a gift for understanding the subject he taught. Upon him telling me this, I started to consider majoring in history when I went to college. I kept to it, and graduated from high school in 2011. For the next four years, I completed my history degree at Misericordia University, in Dallas, Pennsylvania; its health sciences and education programs overshadowed the history one a bit, but I enjoyed both my time and my studies there. To this day, I still want to go back there and re-live the whole experience.


          Now, I am at East Stroudsburg University, where I am completing my Master’s program in history. Right now, I am writing my thesis; the topic is on how nationalism originated in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. If any of you have any questions to ask me, feel free to do so! I hope to become an expert on this subject when all is said and done. I also plan on being done by the end of next semester, just in time for the summer! After graduating, I plan to maybe take some time off from school and find work, or head right to library school. I originally wanted to be a history professor, but loads of graduate work convinced me that that was not the way to go. Instead, I want to be a reference librarian, helping people out with any questions they may have about finding sources or navigating the cataloguing system. I look forward to pursuing this line of work. I have not picked a school for that yet, but I have some time to think about that stuff. Right now, finishing my thesis is my top priority.


          This is just a sampling of what my background is, as well as what Carbondale has to offer. Check out our next column for more exciting events and happenings!



Also, too:

            This is Matthew Levine, reporting from the Carbondale Report, here to share a few important details about the nature of history. Now that many of you have learned a few facts about me, I want to share with you the passion I have for my field of study, what it means to me, and, more importantly, that history means much more than people think it does. Hopefully, after reading this report, you will have a better sense of what I mean.

            There are people who claim that history is “just the facts, ma’am.” They think that it is nothing more than reading passages from a textbook, memorizing the said facts, and, regurgitating them on a test. They think that history is a “done deal -’’ it justifies the present – and, that’s it. However, history is more complex than that. History is not just about facts – it is about interpretation, too. It is full of lively debate and differing opinions, as well as varying interpretations of people, eras, and, events. It also has the power to dazzle all audiences, no matter what they comprise. More importantly, it is about a people – how they got there and what they did. It explains change over time, and, how future historians interpret it.

            I lent Dr. Powell a book a couple of weeks ago, when I met with him. It is called Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen. It explains the various mistakes that American history textbooks make and pass on to students. It also demonstrates everything that I have explained above – that history is not “just the facts,” but interpretation, too, that history is full of lively debate, and, that it has the power to entrance people. Unfortunately, most history textbooks only turn American students off. They present half-truths, sanitized versions of our history, and purely false statements. For example, Loewen reveals how Columbus was not merely our first great hero, but a plunderer whose explorations kicked off mass genocide against Native Americans that lasted into the 1800s. He explains how Wilson’s policies helped keep certain government positions segregated for decades after his administration ended, set the stage for the Cold War, and sowed the seeds for the Vietnam War that would tear Americans apart in the ‘60s. Loewen also lists the causes of why American history is taught the way it is, what can be done about it, and, how to present historical truths to children of various ages. He, in particular, focuses on high-school audiences in his book.

            The United States may have a problem coming to terms with uncomfortable aspects of its own history, but it is not the only country that suffers from a whitewashed version. For example, Japanese textbooks cover up its World War II-era atrocities, and Turkey still has problems admitting that it committed genocide against the Armenians about a century ago. The United States, particularly, is still touchy about slavery and our long history of wars against the Native Americans. In attempting to forget these horrible events, these societies have attempted to portray themselves in the best light possible. However, as Loewen points out in his book, keeping certain parts of our history hidden from the public is not helpful in healing old wounds and uniting all peoples across the country. Moreover, while the United States is attempting to correct its history, it still has a long way to go in terms of shaping a wholly accurate history.

            Loewen’s book was eye-opening the first time that I read it. I knew that Dr. Powell would like it as soon as he glanced through it the first time that he saw it. He has yet to read it all the way through, but I’m sure he will have a lot to share with me once he is done reading it. If any of you are interested, you have the choice of either buying it at a bookstore or on Amazon (assuming that you are computer-literate). Take just one look at it, and prepare to be amazed! Check out the next edition of The Carbondale Report for more exciting events and happenings.


* * * * * * *


Pennsylvania Coal Company Gravity Railroad


There were two "Gravity" railroads in northeastern Pennsylvania in the nineteenth century: the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's Gravity Railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale, and the Pennsylvania Coal Company's Gravity Railroad from Pittston to Hawley.


The article given below is about the presentation that Dr. Powell gave on April 22nd at White Mills, PA, on the Pennsylvania Coal Company's Gravity Railroad. This talk, which was very well attended and very well received, was a part of the annual Tom Kennedy Local History Festival.

Research Requests

Genealogical and/or historical research requests must be received by the Historical Society through one of the research request options offered under "Research Services." Genealogical and/or historical research requests that are sent to the Historical Society's email address can not be processed appropriately by the Society. 

For general research not related to genealogical items, select Research Option #6.

City Drinking Fountain a.jpg

"City Drinking Fountain, Carbondale, Pa." This drinking fountain for horses was located in the center of the intersection of North Main Street and Lincoln Avenue. 

1951 Parade.jpg

In 1951, the City of Carbondale celebrated the centennial of the incorporation of the City on March 15, 1851 with a week-long celebration, featuring several street parades, all with a wide variety of floats. In the photograph shown here, we see a D&H steam locomotive pulling a Gravity Railroad passenger coach down Main Street. 



2017 Historical Society Membership Campaign now underway. To renew your membership in the Society for 2017, click on "Membership" at the head of the webpage. Select the level of membership that you wish to register for, and fill out the membership form there.


To continue to do all that we do for the community, we need the membership support of many people. Please help to continue our work on behalf of Carbondale's past, present and future.


Mason Jars: Among the many remarkable items in the holdings of the Historical Society are many home canning jars from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some remarkable green jars from the mid-nineteenth century. These jars have all come from houses in the Carbondale area.

Mason Jars: Among the many remarkable items in the holdings of the Historical Society are many home canning jars from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including some remarkable green jars from the mid-nineteenth century. These jars have all come from houses in the Carbondale area.


Carbondale Historical Society Members, 2017

1. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Williams, Carbondale

2. Nancy and John Hollenback, Greenfield Township, PA

3. Hendrick Manufacturing Company, Carbondale

c/o Kathy Saslo

4. Ben Franklin High School Class of 1961 and

Saint Rose High School, Class of 1961

Courtesy of Ronald Konosky

5. Carbondale Chapter of UNICO National

"Service above Self"

c/o Yvonne Gatto

6. Pierre Mancuso, Carbondale

7. Attorney and Mrs. Fred Moase and family, Carbondale

8. Attorney and Mrs. Jeffrey Nepa and family, Carbondale

9. Marie P. Greto, Carbondale

10. Mary C. Zlobl, New Bern, NC

11. Chris Wade and family, Dickson City, PA

12. Marjanie P. Hellman, Carbondale

13. Jeffrey Davis, Naches, WA

14. Nancy Moran, Port Orange, FL

15. Anthony Di Marino, Massapequa Park, NY

16. Edward J. Spall, Manassas, VA  Corporate Member

17. Mary Parise Tomaine, Carbondale, and Madison, Alabama

18. Gloria A. Wilson, Waymart, PA

19. Leo B. Burke, Vestal, NY

20. Patti Morrell, Carbondale

21. Ann Marie Pettinato, Carbondale

22. Sean P. McGraw, Esquire, Carbondale

23. Frank Moro, Waymart, PA

24. Thomas and Ellen Farrell, Carbondale

25. Neal and Susan Davis, Carbondale

26. Benjamin Schnessel, Esquire, Carbondale

27. McGovern Insurance Agency, Carbondale

28. John J. Price, Carbondale

29. Dan, Eliza, Sarah, and Anna Totsky, Carbondale

30. John M. Coleman, Esquire, Pasadena, CA

31. Tony Mickloiche, Carbondale

32. Alex Kelly family, Carbondale

33. S. Robert Powell, Carbondale

34. Marie and Charlie Speicher, Carbondale

35. Barbara A. Campbell, Archbald, PA

36. Kevin L. Tomaine, Alexandria, VA

37. Dawn Bentley, Mitchellville, IA

38.  John Bifano, Cape Coral, FL

39.  John Fagan, San Francisco, CA

40.  John Fagan, Greenfield Twp, PA

41. Anne Maleskey Rose, Merritt Island, FL

42. Joan Chellino, Carbondale

43. Mazza Linen, Carbondale

44. Joseph P. C. Surace, MGySgt. USMC (Ret.), Meridian, ID

45. Carl Reichart & Jason Smith, Honesdale, PA

46. Ben Franklin High School, Class of 1951

47. Russell Bonacci, Paoli, PA

(age 90; grew up in Carbondale; visited Historical Society on July 27,  2017)

48. Matthew Levine, Carbondale

49. Jeffrey & Lisa Levine, Carbondale

50. Delores Levine, Carbondale

51. Aaron Levine, Philadelphia, PA



























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A View of the Park


On a recent afternoon, I visited Dr. S. Robert Powell at the Carbondale

Historical Society and Museum on the third floor of Carbondale City Hall.

Walking through the exhibition galleries, where so many artifacts are so

proudly displayed, I was filled with nostalgia. It was exciting to see the

memorabilia of the many stores that were a big part of our lives. Do you

remember Fulkerson's Music store, on Salem Avenue? Cramer’s

Photography Studio on Main Street? The Elite at the Park?


As I looked at Memorial Park, out of the third floor windows of City

Building, I smiled when I saw the monuments, one of which my dad helped

to dedicate. Over the years, the Park has maintained its peaceful and quaint

look and along with the City Building remains the centerpiece of our small

town. In my youth, Main Street was always filled with pedestrian traffic but

on this sunny day, the sidewalks were empty.


I was born in Carbondale and raised on Lincoln Avenue, in a home my

grandfather built in 1927. Both my husband and I are graduates of Benjamin

Franklin High School but like so many of our contemporaries, we left our

hometown for college and to establish careers.


Because we have built a retirement home in the area, we are fortunate to

spend time in our beloved hometown. Looking at the park that day, I

wondered what I could do to help maintain our heritage. What could people

who are non-residents do to support the efforts already established by the

Carbondale Historical Society? What about the residents of Carbondale?

Your membership is fundamental to keeping the Society viable. If you have

not yet renewed your membership for 2016, I encourage you to do so. If you

are not certain if you have renewed, Dr. Powell has supplied a list of current

2016 members. Please see below.


What could I do as a part time resident? The answer came through clearly as

I spent time with Dr. Powell-- -- volunteer, get involved in creating a new

vision for Carbondale, learn more about our shared history, visit the

museum. The enthusiasm among the members of the Chamber of

Commerce and the City Building is contagious. Those citizens are working

vigorously to revitalize the spirit of Carbondale but it can't be done without

the support and encouragement of not only the residents of our town but

those of us who are non-residents as well.


For your convenience, membership can be renewed via the Historical

Society's webpage: Click on "Membership"


Please consider a membership to the Carbondale Historical Society and

Museum (if you are not already a member) or contact the Society (570-282-

0385) to get on the Volunteer Schedule. It is one small thing but it will make

a huge difference.


Best regards,

Mary Parise Tomaine

Welcome to the new and improved Carbondale Historical Society website! Please bear with us as we migrate to the 21st Century and update this site with all of our archived content from our old site as well as provide new content for you to enjoy.

The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is located on the third floor ofhistoric Carbondale City Hall and Courthouse in Carbondale, PA. The building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is located at One North Main Street. 

The first public meeting of the Historical Society, founded in October of 1974 by a group of six Carbondale Area school teachers, was held in January of 1975.  On November 6, 1982, the Historical Society and the Committee to Restore Carbondale City Hall merged to form the Carbondale Historical Society and Museum, which was incorporated on March 15, 1983. 

The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is an educational and historical membership organization whose mission is to record, gather, and preserve the history of the city of Carbondale and the surrounding area. Through its genealogical and local history research center and exhibition galleries on the third floor of Carbondale City hall (listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 6, 1983, through the efforts of the Society) and through an annual series of public lectures, programs, exhibitions, and commemorative ceremonies, in the community and in the public schools, the Society, at the same time, interprets and makes accessible to the public the City's rich, diverse, and unique history and heritage. The Carbondale Historical Society and Museum is committed to the central values of (1) maintaining the highest possible standards in all its endeavors, (2) providing excellent service to the public at all times, and (3) demonstrating leadership and innovation in the field of local history. 

The Society's research room and exhibition galleries are open from 1 - 5 P.M., Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Given the fact that we are an all-volunteer organization, it is always a good idea to phone ahead  (570-282-0385 or email to make sure that someone will be at the Society when you arrive. This is especially important if you're traveling from out of town to Carbondale to do research.