Settlement of Scranton
Scranton was first settled just before the Revolution by some adventurous members of New England families who were spurred by the spirit of exploration and by the chance to acquire vast acreage at small expense. Scranton remained for the next seventy years largely a farming community served by a few purveyors of goods and services.
By 1840, the abundant supply of coal made the area attractive for the development of the iron industry as well as the production of that natural resource. Aided by the arrival of the railways, Scranton’s population grew from five hundred in 1840 to one hundred and thirty thousand in 1910.
This swift growth in population was made possible by the waves of immigration from Europe: Welsh, German, and Irish people were followed by people from Eastern Europe and Italy. These newcomers tended to settle in ethnically discrete neighborhoods in Scranton and its environs.