Hazleton, Pennsylvania

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Hazleton
City
Panoramic view of Hazleton overlooking Downtown and the southern section of the city.
Panoramic view of Hazleton overlooking Downtown and the southern section of the city.
Nickname(s): The Mountain City,Mob City, The Power City
Hazleton is located in Pennsylvania
Hazleton
Hazleton
Location within the state of Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°57′32″N 75°58′28″W / 40.95889°N 75.97444°W / 40.95889; -75.97444Coordinates: 40°57′32″N 75°58′28″W / 40.95889°N 75.97444°W / 40.95889; -75.97444
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Luzerne
Settled 1780
Incorporated (borough) January 5, 1857
Incorporated (city) December 4, 1891
Government
 • Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi (R)
Elevation 1,689 ft (515 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 25,340
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 570 Exchanges: 450, 453, 454, 455, 459
Website http://www.hazletoncity.org/

Hazleton is a city in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 25,340 at the 2010 census, an increase of 8.6% from the 2000 census. Hazleton is the 17th largest city in Pennsylvania.[1]

History[edit]

Sugarloaf Massacre[edit]

Main article: Sugarloaf Massacre

During the height of the American Revolution in the summer of 1780, British sympathizers, known as Tories, concentrated from New York's Mohawk Valley, began attacking patriot outposts located along the Susquehanna River Valley in Northeast Pennsylvania. Because of the reports of Tory activity in the region, Captain Daniel Klader and a platoon of 41 men from Northampton County were sent to investigate. They traveled north from the Lehigh Valley along a path known as "Warrior's Trail," which is present-day State Route 93, since this route connects the Lehigh River in Jim Thorpe (formerly known as Mauch Chunk) to the Susquehanna River in Berwick.

Heading north, Captain Klader's men made it as far north as present-day Conyngham when they were ambushed by members of the Seneca tribe and Tory militiamen. In all, 15 men were killed on September 11, 1780 in what was known the Sugarloaf Massacre.

The Moravians, a Christian denomination, had been using "Warrior's Trail" since the early 18th century after the Moravian missionary Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf first used it to reach the Wyoming Valley. This particular stretch of "Warrior's Trail" had an abundance of hazel trees. Though the Moravians called the region "St. Anthony's Wilderness", it eventually became known as "Hazel Swamp," a name which had been used previously by the Indians.

The Moravian missionaries were sent from their settlements in Bethlehem to the site of the Sugarloaf Massacre to bury the dead soldiers. Because of the aesthetic natural beauty of the Conyngham Valley, some Moravians decided to stay and in 1782, built a settlement, St. Johns, along the Nescopeck Creek, which is near the present-day intersection of Interstates 80 and 81.[2]

Jacob Drumheller's Stage Stand[edit]

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the "Warrior Trail" was widened and became the Berwick Turnpike. Later, a road was built to connect Wilkes-Barre to McKeansburg. This road intersected with the Berwick Turnpike at what is present-day Broad and Vine Streets, in downtown Hazleton. An entrepreneur named Jacob Drumheller decided that this intersection was the perfect location for a rest-stop, so in 1809, he built the first building in what would be later known as Hazleton. Though a few buildings and houses began to be built nearby, the area remained a dense wilderness for about 20 more years. Aside from small-scale logging, the area offered little else. Jacob Drumheller is buried at Conyngham Union Cemetery.

Discovery of coal[edit]

Anthracite coal mined from Hazleton was shipped via the Lehigh Canal to Bethlehem Steel Corporation during the American Industrial Revolution.

Railroad developers from Philadelphia became interested in the Hazleton area once previous rumors were validated that in 1818 anthracite coal deposits had been discovered in nearby Beaver Meadows by prospectors Nathaniel Beach and Tench Coxe.

A young engineer from New York named Ariovistus "Ario" Pardee was hired to survey the topography of Beaver Meadows and report the practicality of extending a railroad from the Lehigh River Canal in Jim Thorpe to Beaver Meadows. Pardee, knowing that the area of Beaver Meadows was already controlled by Coxe and Beach, bought many acres of the land in present-day Hazleton. The investment proved to be extraordinarily lucrative. The land contained part of a massive anthracite coal field. Pardee will be forever known as the founding father of Hazleton.[citation needed]

Pardee incorporated the Hazleton Coal Company in 1836, the same year that the rail link to the Lehigh Valley market was about to be completed.

The Hazleton Coal Company built the first school on Church Street, where Hazleton City Hall is now located. Pardee also built the first church in Hazleton located at Church and Broad Streets. The Pardee mansion was built on the northern block of Broad Street, between present-day Church and Laurel Streets.

The coal industry attracted many immigrants for labour, mostly German and Irish in the 1840s and 1850s, and mostly Italian, Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, and Slovak in the 1860s to 1920s.

The coal mined in Hazleton helped to establish the United States as a world industrial power, primarily fueling the massive blast furnaces at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.[3]

"Patch Towns"[edit]

Many small company towns, often referred to by locals as "patch towns" or "patches" surrounded Hazleton and were built by coal companies to provide housing for the miners and their families. These include:

  • Beaver Meadows, coal was discovered here
  • Stockton, founded by John Stockton
  • Jeansville, founded by James Milens
  • Milnesville, founded by James Milens
  • Tresckow, formerly known as Dutchtown
  • Junedale, formerly known as Colraine
  • Freeland, originally called Freehold (South of South Herberton; founded by Joseph Birkbeck in 1846)
  • McAdoo, originally called Pleasant Hill, then Saylors Hill
  • West Hazleton, founded by Conrad Horn
  • Eckley, founded by Eckley B. Coxe
  • Jeddo, named after a Japanese port to which coal was exported by the Hazleton Coal Company
  • Hollywood, part of Hazleton, named before Hollywood, California.
  • Weatherly, small borough outside of Hazleton

Sudden prosperity and growth[edit]

Mine workers began their protest march near Harwood and many were eventually killed by the Luzerne County sheriff in Lattimer in 1897.

Hazleton was incorporated as a borough on January 5, 1857. Its intended name was supposed to be spelled "Hazelton" but a clerk misspelled the name during incorporation, and the name "Hazleton" has been used ever since. The borough's first fire company, the Pioneer Fire Company, was organized in 1867 by soldiers returning from the American Civil War. Hazleton was incorporated as a city on December 4, 1891. The population then was estimated to be around 14,000 people.

In 1891, Hazleton became the third city in the United States to establish a city-wide electric grid.

On September 10, 1897, the Lattimer Massacre occurred near Hazleton.

Post WWII Hazleton[edit]

After World War II, the demand for coal began to decline as cleaner, more efficient fuels were being used. Readily available, cheap energy helped open the door for manufacturing. The Duplan Silk Corporation opened and became the world's largest silk mill.[4] The garment industry thrived and was invested in by New York mobster Albert Anastasia.[citation needed].

In 1947, Autolite Corporation was looking to expand operations in the East, and had been looking into Hazleton. Officials from Autolite came to the area to survey it and in their report, they noted Hazleton is a "mountain wilderness" with no major water route, rail route, trucking route, or airport. In response, several area leaders gathered to address these problems.

CAN-DO (Community Area New Development Organization) was formally organized in 1956 by founder Dr. Edgar L. Dessen. Their main goal was to raise money, through their "Dime A Week" campaign, in which area residents were encouraged to put a dime on their sidewalk each week to be collected by CANDO. The company raised over $250,000 and was able to purchase over 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land, which was converted into an industrial park. Because of CANDO's efforts, Hazleton was given the All-America City Award in 1964. Hazleton's economy is now based largely on manufacturing and shipping, facilitated by the relative closeness to Interstates 80 and 81.

An article published in December 2002 by U.S. News & World Report was entitled "Letter from Pennsylvania: A town in need of a tomorrow" which reported Hazleton's shortcomings to the world. It was criticized by local politicians and business leaders alike, and again prompted local leaders to address the problems facing the community.

Changing demographics and a new wave of immigrants[edit]

In 2006, Hazleton gained national attention as Republican mayor Lou Barletta and council members passed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.[5] This ordinance was instituted to discourage hiring or renting to illegal immigrants. Initially, the ordinance levied an administrative fine on landlords for $1,000 per illegal immigrant rented to and a loss of permits for non-compliance.[6] Another act passed concurrently made English the official language of Hazleton.[7]

Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton estimated that as "many as half" of the estimated 10,000 Hispanics who were living in Hazleton left Hazleton when the ordinance was passed.[8] The issue was covered by the television program 60 Minutes in 2006[9] and the Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor in March 2007.[10]

The ordinance was criticized as illegal and unconstitutional. A number of residents (landlords, business owners, lawful aliens defined as illegal under the act, and unlawful aliens)[11][12][13] filed suit to strike down the law, claiming it violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. After a trial and several appeals including a remand from the Supreme Court, the Third Circuit found the ordinance invalid due to federal preemption.[14]

Geography[edit]

Hazleton is located at 40°57′32″N 75°58′28″W / 40.95889°N 75.97444°W / 40.95889; -75.97444 (40.958834, −75.974546).[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (16 km2), all of it land.

Hazleton is located 12 miles (19 km) north of Tamaqua and 25 miles (40 km) south of Wilkes-Barre. Located in Pennsylvania's ridge and valley section on a plateau named Spring Mountain, Hazleton's highest elevation is 1886 feet above sea level, one of the highest incorporated cities east of the Mississippi River and the highest incorporated city in Pennsylvania. It straddles the divide between the Delaware and Susquehanna River watersheds.

Greater Hazleton[edit]

Hazleton and its surrounding communities are collectively known as Greater Hazleton. Greater Hazleton encompasses an area located within three counties: southern Luzerne County, northern Schuylkill County, and northern Carbon County. The population of Greater Hazleton was 77,187[16] at the 2010 census. Greater Hazleton includes the City of Hazleton; the boroughs of Beaver Meadows, Conyngham, Freeland, Jeddo, McAdoo, Weatherly, West Hazleton, White Haven; the townships of Black Creek, Butler, East Union, Kline, Foster, Hazle, Rush, Sugarloaf; and the towns, villages, or CDPs of Audenried, Coxes Villages, Drifton, Drums, Pennsylvania, Ebervale, Eckley, Fern Glen, Haddock, Harleigh, Harwood Mines, Hazle Brook, Highland, Hollywood, Hometown, Hudsondale, Humboldt Village, Humboldt Industrial Park, Japan, Jeansville, Junedale, Kelayres, Kis-Lyn, Lattimer, Milnesville, Nuremberg, Oneida, Pardeesville, Quakake, St. Johns, Sandy Run, Still Creek, Stockton, Sybertsville, Ringtown, Sheppton, Tomhicken, Tresckow, Upper Lehigh, Weston, and Zion Grove.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,707
1870 4,317 152.9%
1880 6,935 60.6%
1890 11,872 71.2%
1900 14,230 19.9%
1910 25,452 78.9%
1920 32,277 26.8%
1930 36,765 13.9%
1940 38,009 3.4%
1950 35,491 −6.6%
1960 32,056 −9.7%
1970 30,426 −5.1%
1980 27,318 −10.2%
1990 24,730 −9.5%
2000 23,329 −5.7%
2010 25,340 8.6%
Sources:[17][18][19][20]

Economy[edit]

All of Hazleton's major mining and garment industries have disappeared over the past 50 years. Through the efforts of CANDO and a practical highway infrastructure, Hazle Township's Humboldt Industrial Park has become home to Coca-Cola, Hershey, Office Max, Simmons Bedding Company, Michaels, Network Solutions, AutoZone, General Mills, WEIR Minerals, EB Brands and Amazon.com [21] are just some of the large companies with distribution, manufacturing, or logistic operations in Hazleton.

6.7% of Residents had an income below the poverty level as compared to a statewide average of 12.5% in 2010 Hazleton, Pennsylvania (PA) Poverty Rate Data

Notable people[edit]

A view of downtown Hazleton from the south

Local media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • The Standard-Speaker, daily newspaper, name merged from the Standard Sentinel (morning paper) and Plain Speaker (evening paper)
  • Poder Latino

Radio[edit]

  • WAZL-AM. 1490 on the dial. The station has been on the air since 1932. WAZL's studios are located on South Poplar Street in Hazleton.

Television[edit]

Education[edit]

The first school was built in the 1830s by the Hazleton Coal Company. It was a private elementary school at the corner of Church and Green Streets, the present-day site of Hazleton City Hall. Hazleton High School, the first high school, was built in 1875 at Pine and Hemlock Streets, the present-day site of the Pine Street Playground. Bishop Hafey High School, the Vikings, was Hazleton's only Roman Catholic High School, owned by the Diocese of Scranton. It was opened in 1971 and closed in 2007 by the order of former Bishop Joseph F. Martino.

Hazleton Area School District[edit]

Between 1966 and 1992, the Hazleton Area School District closed all area high schools except Hazleton, Freeland, and West Hazleton. The Hazleton Area High School opened at 1601 West 23rd Street beginning in the 1992-1993 school year, which resulted in the complete consolidation of all remaining area high schools.

The Hazleton Area School District encompasses 300 square miles (780 km2), which is one of the largest school districts in the state. It includes 1 city, 6 boroughs, 9 townships, (16 municipalities) and 3 counties. Enrollment is currently over 10,000 students. In 2004, the Hazleton Area High School was the 11th largest high school in the state.

The schools of the Hazleton Area School District are:

  • Arthur Street Elementary School / Arthur Street Annex, the Lions
  • Drums Elementary / Middle School, the Tigers
  • Freeland Elementary / Middle School, the Whippets
  • Hazleton Area High School, the Cougars
  • Hazleton Area Career Center (through Hazleton Area High School)
  • Hazleton Elementary / Middle School, the Mountaineers
  • Heights-Terrace Elementary / Middle School, the Hawks
  • McAdoo-Kelayres Elementary / Middle School, the Mustangs
  • Ninth Grade Center (through Hazleton Area High School - located at the former Hazle Township Elementary School building)
  • Valley Elementary / Middle School, the Eagles
  • West Hazleton Elementary / Middle School, the Wildcats

Current Hazleton Area School Board directors are:

  • Robert Wallace, President (End of term December 2015)
  • Robert Mehalick, Vice-President (End of term December 2017)
  • Anthony Bonomo (End of term December 2015)
  • James Chapman (End of term December 2017)
  • Robert Childs, M.D. (End of term December 2015)
  • Brian Earley (End of term December 2015)
  • Clarence John (End of term December 2017)
  • Jared O'Donnell (End of term December 2017)
  • Marfy Yanac (End of term December 2015)

Private schools[edit]

  • MMI Preparatory School, the Preppers
  • Holy Family Academy, the Golden Eagles (located at the former St. Joseph's Memorial School). The school is owned by the Diocese of Scranton.
  • Immanuel Christian School, the Lions

Colleges and universities[edit]

Government[edit]

Mayor[edit]

  • Joseph Yannuzzi

City Council[edit]

  • Jack Mundie, President
  • Jean Mope, Vice President
  • Keith Bast
  • Jeff Cusat
  • Dave Sosar

Transportation infrastructure[edit]

Air transit[edit]

Hazleton's commercial passenger airport is the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport located in Avoca, Pennsylvania. The Lehigh Valley International Airport also serves Greater Hazleton. The Hazleton Municipal Airport is the general aviation airport for the city.

Public transportation[edit]

Public transportation is provided by the Hazleton Public Transit, a service of the City of Hazleton's Department of Public Services. HPT operates nine routes throughout the city and neighboring communities.

Rail[edit]

While Hazleton currently has no passenger rail service, it is a major regional center for commercial rail traffic, operated by Norfolk Southern Railway.

Roads[edit]

Three Interstate highways run outside the Hazleton area, with associated exits to the city.

There are five major inbound arteries into Hazleton: Church Street, Broad Street, CAN-DO Expressway, Arthur Gardner Parkway, 22nd Street.

Museums and organizations[edit]

  • Eckley Miners' Village
  • The Greater Hazleton Historical Society and Museum- http://hazletonmuseum.org/
  • The Hazleton Area Public Library
  • The MPB Community Players
  • The Nuremberg Community Players
  • The Pennsylvania Theatre of Performing Arts (PTPA)

Parks and recreation[edit]

Annual festivals[edit]

Hazleton's annual street festival, Funfest, is celebrated usually during the second weekend of September. The festival includes a craft show, a car show, entertainment from local bands, and many games of chance. The Funfest parade is held on Sunday during the Funfest weekend. Valley Day is celebrated in Conyngham during the first weekend of August. Many church festivals, including the Festival of the Madonna del Monte at Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church in Hazleton, is celebrated to preserve the Italian heritage of Hazleton. This is honored by carrying candle houses (cintis) by men up and down the streets of the eastern side of town, from the church to the Key Club, which is located on Monges Street.

Regional parks and outdoor entertainment[edit]

  • Altmiller Playground
  • Hazle Township Community Park & Soccer Fields
  • Eagle Rock Resort (private)
  • Edgewood In The Pines Golf Course
  • Greater Hazleton Rails To Trails
  • Hickory Run State Park
  • Lehigh Gorge State Park
  • Paragon Off-Road Adventure Park
  • Valley Country Club Golf Course (private)
  • Whitewater Challenge, in Jim Thorpe

Sports[edit]

Hazleton was a long-time home to minor baseball. On April 14, 1934, the Philadelphia Phillies entered into an affiliation agreement with the New York-Penn League Hazleton Mountaineers. This was the first ever minor league affiliation for the Phillies.[22] The last minor-league club to play in Hazleton was the Hazleton Dodgers in 1950, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm-club which played in the Class D North Atlantic League.[23]

Landmarks and historic locations[edit]

Hazleton's modest skyline is remarkable for a city its size. Almost unaffected by examples of modern architecture, it provides an interesting window on American urbanism prior to World War II.

Sister cities[edit]

Hazleton has several sister cities. They are:

Climate[edit]

The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Dfb" (Cool Summer Continental Climate).[24]

Climate data for Hazleton,Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −1
(30)
1
(33)
5
(41)
12
(54)
18
(65)
22
(72)
25
(77)
24
(75)
20
(68)
14
(57)
7
(45)
1
(34)
12.3
(54.3)
Average low °C (°F) −11
(13)
−9
(15)
−5
(23)
1
(34)
7
(44)
11
(52)
14
(58)
13
(56)
9
(49)
3
(38)
−2
(29)
−8
(18)
1.9
(35.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 81
(3.2)
71
(2.8)
86
(3.4)
100
(4)
117
(4.6)
130
(5)
112
(4.4)
114
(4.5)
130
(5)
97
(3.8)
100
(4)
81
(3.2)
1,219
(47.9)
Source: Weatherbase [25]

References[edit]

External links[edit]