Carbondale was founded by William and Maurice Wurts. On March 15, 2019 the Carbondale Historical Society will celebrate the 168th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Carbondale on March 15, 1851 with a festive Birthday Dinner/Celebration. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend. Details on the dinner/celebration on March 15, 2019 will be be posted here.

………………………………………………………………………………………………..William Wurts

………………………………………………………………………………………………..William Wurts

…………………………………………………………………………………………………Maurice Wurts

…………………………………………………………………………………………………Maurice Wurts

 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

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Carbondale Historical Society and Museum

2019 Members

Michele Bannon, Carbondale

John Bifano, Cape Coral, FL

David Buonomo, Laytonsville, MD

Leo B. Burke, Vestal, NY


Joe Callahan, Dickinson, ND

Christopher Cieszkowski, Carbondale

Tom and Kitty Collins, Gaithersburg, MD

James and Mary Dirlam, Florham Park, NJ

John Fagan, Carbondale

Sean Farber, Charlottesville, VA

Thomas and Ellen Farrell, Carbondale

John R. Hollenback, Greenfield Township, PA

Anthony Di Marino, Massapequa Park, NY

Trudy Gerlach, Wyalusing, PA

Judy Gretzula, Carbondale

John A. Gummo, Beech Creek, PA

Bernard W. Kalt, Port Matilda, PA

Nicolekeephart and family, Trenton, NJ

Ronald F. Krastek, Greenfield Township, PA

Morton and Lucille Kubel, Easton, PA

Alan and Diane Kurlansky, Carbondale

Craig and Ellen Price Kutchmanich, Carbondale

Martin L. Langan, Greenfield Township, PA

John Lawler, Esquire, Carbondale

Attorney Jeffrey & Mrs. Lisa Levine Family, Carbondale

Matthew Levine, Carbondale

Pierre Mancuso, Carbondale

Donald and Kimberly L. McCarthy and family, Carbondale

Attorney Fred Moase and family, Carbondale

Mary Monahan, Carbondale


Marty Mulholland, Hertford, NC

Vincent and Mary Lynn O’Bell, Olyphant, PA

Ann Marie Pettinato, Carbondale

Peter L. Pettinato, VMD, and family, Carbondale

S. Robert Powell, Carbondale

John and Mary Ellen Price, Carbondale

G. J. Price Insurance Agency, Carbondale

Carl Reichart, Honesdale, PA

Robert S. Ryczak, Bel Air, MD

Joe and Alice Scotchlas, Carbondale

Marie Gillette Speicher, Carbondale

Jason Smith, Honesdale, PA

Barbara and Joe Sprovkin, Lake Lorraine

Sandra Stuztman, Simi Valley, CA

Bob and Mary Tomaine, Crystal Lake

Shirley A. Trayford, Goshen, IN

Susan Valentine, Alexandria, VA

Gloria A. Wilson, Waymart, PA

Michael Yavorosky, Hop Bottom, PA

Mary C. Zlobl, New Bern, NC

Matthew Levine – The Carbondale Report:

By Matthew Levine

                        This is Matthew Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to expand on some of the books that I have read recently. Particularly, the book I am focusing on is Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent (1989). Here is an expanded synopsis.

            The Lost Continent takes place between the fall of 1987 and the spring of 1988, and reflects Bryson’s trip through two halves of the United States: East (’87) and West (’88). He starts and ends both segments of his trips in his home state of Iowa, describing the certain peculiarities that characterize it. During his Eastern leg, Bryson visits historical sites in Illinois and Missouri, describes the legacy of social change in the Deep South, witnesses autumn in New England, and bemoans the unchecked effects of industrialization on the Great Lakes region. Bryson visits more big cities in the East, possibly a tribute to the larger concentration of America’s population in this area. As mentioned in my previous column, Bryson visits these cities briefly, moving on just as quickly after offering his take on them.

            Out West, Bryson notices more empty landscapes, yet still takes watch of the effects of tourism on even the smallest of towns; this reflects his notion that Americans take matters of “authenticity” so far - in other words, they spend so much time appealing to tourists that they tend to forget what makes these communities so unique, so relevant to history, and so reflective of America. He cites this as a reason, for example, to deliberately bypass Los Angeles on his journey through California; Bryson also thinks the national park system is in need of improvement, as indicated by his less-than-savory description of Yosemite. I would say that, ultimately, Bryson is more pessimistic about the West than the East.

            The previous was a snippet of this gripping travelogue. I would highly recommend this as “not your average travelogue.” Once again, feel free to check out my next column for more exciting events and happenings!w Levine, from The Carbondale Report, here to inform all of you about local events and happenings in the Pioneer City. The Wine Train, on September 14, is approaching, with the September 28th Wine Train on its way just as quickly, too. The column after this one will devote space to that. At this moment, I will reflect on a couple of books that I read.

            This past spring and summer, I read two books by a travel writer named Bill Bryson. Bryson, an American who currently has a residency in England, is known for works such as The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (1989) and Notes from A Small Island (1995), which depict his respective travels around the United States and Great Britain. Bryson’s The Lost Continent provides a humorous critique of life in small-town America, analyzing especially the effects of tourism on communities of that size. Despite this type of focus, Bryson does not snub big cities, stopping by in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston, for instance; he only stays in those places for a short time, however, before moving on again.

            The other book, Notes from A Small Island, provides a description of Bryson’s journey around the island of Great Britain. In this book, Bryson provides his analysis of some famous landmarks, as whatever he seems to visit; also, he discusses what traits the British have that make them unique, and what their peculiarities are that make them so special to him. Particularly, Bryson takes the time to describe every detail of the history behind a certain community, the benefits of preserving important buildings like cathedrals, estates, and railway stations, and the care that the British, like many other Europeans, take to ensure that this all is not lost forever. Having read both books, I would highly recommend both of them to you.

            The previous was a look at a travel author whose works are highly important to me for the reasons I have just mentioned. Once again, please check out my next column for more exciting events and happenings!

Carbondale, PA: Most probably this photograph was taken at the time of the Centennial Celebrations in Carbondale in 1951. This photograph of South Main Street was taken from Carbondale City Hall.

Carbondale, PA: Most probably this photograph was taken at the time of the Centennial Celebrations in Carbondale in 1951. This photograph of South Main Street was taken from Carbondale City Hall.

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. 



2018 Historical Society Membership Campaign: To renew your membership in the Society for 2018, 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, 2018

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

52. Joe Callahan, ND

53. Tony Mickloiche, Carbondale

54. Judy Gretzula, Carbondale



























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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.