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Weatherly Borough

Weatherly Borough Hall is located at 10 Wilbur Street, Weatherly PA 18255; phone: 570-427-8640.

Beginnings [1]

The Borough of Weatherly, which is the largest and most important town in the upper portion of Carbon County, had its beginnings in the operations of the Beaver Meadow Rail road Company. Its later growth and development were brought about chiefly through the agency of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, by which the first named corporation was in 1866 absorbed. The place is picturesquely situated between the Broad and Spring mountains on the banks of Hazle creek and on the Beaver Meadow and Hazleton division of the Lehigh Valley system. The distance by rail from this point to Mauch Chunk is about fourteen miles. The incorporated territory of the town comprises four square miles, and is bounded on the north, east, and southeast by Lehigh Township, on the northwest by Lausanne township, and in the west and southwest by Packer township. It is divided into four wards.

Formerly the town was called Black Creek, from the color of the water of the stream on which it is situated. Originally the dark color of the water of the creek was due to the fact that dense forests of hemlock grew in the swamps where the stream has its source; but it is now contaminated with sulphur water from the coal mines lying north of the Spring mountain. In 1848, upon the establishment of the post office here, the name of the place was changed to Weatherly, being so christened in honor of David Weatherly, one of the directors of the Beaver Meadow Company, who was a watch and clock maker. He promised to present the place with a town- clock in recognition of the compliment conferred upon him by the bestowal of his name, but failed to redeem the pledge. The warrantee owners of the ground upon which Weatherly is built were Samuel S. Barber and John Romig, Sr. They purchased the land for the valuable timber that stood on it. The first settlement was made on the Romig tract about 1825, when Benjamin Romig erected a saw mill and a dwelling on the west side of the creek. The dwelling occupied the site of Elmer Warner's store, while the saw mill stood opposite the Lehigh Valley depot. Benjamin Romig moved his family to this place in 1826. The first lumber sawed in his mill was for the building of a school house in what is now known as Hudsondale. Soon after 1830 Romig erected a large house on the west side of the creek, near the "Rocks," and securing a license, conducted a tavern therein.

A portion of the Barber tract was purchased by Asa Packer, and about 1835, John Smith, who was conspicuous among the early residents, came to the place to supervise the clearing of the land and to take charge of Mr. Packer's interests in the vicinity generally. Under his immediate directions a saw mill was put up about a mile below Black Creek Junction, while a store was opened just across the creek from Romig's saw mill. A little later than this William Tubbs opened a tavern on the present site of the Gilbert House.

Barring the saw mill, the first attempt at manufacturing here was made by Samuel Ingham, president of the Beaver Meadow Railroad Company, and others. They made a certain kind of locks for a time, but the project was soon abandoned.

Weatherly was a part of Lausanne township until 1863, when it was organized as a borough. At the time of the taking of the census of 1870, it contained 1,076 people. During the succeeding decade, the population was nearly doubled.

The first postmaster of Weatherly was R. D. Stiles, who was appointed in 1848. During the incumbency of Thomas Dunn, in 1903, the only rural route starting from this office was established. This route leads through Packer township. James M. Dreher is the present postmaster.

The only newspaper published in the borough is the Herald, which was established by H. V. Mortimer in 1880. It is issued weekly, and has been owned and edited by Percy E. Faust since 1886.

A board of trade was organized in 1898, and this body has rendered valuable service to the community.

The various fraternal and beneficial societies are well represented here. The Grand Army Post was named in honor of Colonel James Miller, and was organized on August 11, 1882, with forty members. Not many of these remain. A soldiers' monument, which stands on the hill near the Schwab school building, was erected and dedicated in 1906.

The borough obtains its water supply from the Weatherly Water Company, which was chartered January 24th, 1882. The works were built the same year, and the source of supply at first was Shep's run. In 1883 an additional supply was obtained from Penrose Creek. The water works system now consists of storage and distributing reservoirs, gravity supply mains, and a high and low distributing system. Penrose Creek, which rises in Banks township, is the principal source of supply. A storage reservoir having a capacity of 3,000,000 gallons is situated on this stream.

Church services were first held here by the Presbyterian denomination in the year 1838. Rev. Daniel Gas- ton, who resided at Beaver Meadow was the pastor. After 1841, services were usually held in the school house until 1852, when a church building was commenced. The edifice was dedicated on the 9th of October, 1853. The adherents of the Methodist denomination and of several others also worshipped in this building.

In 1866 the Methodists erected a building of their own. The father of this church was Rev. Emory T. Swartz, now of Scranton. It was named the Centenary Methodist Episcopal church, because the year of its erection was the centennial of Methodism in the United States.

The corner stone of St. Nicholas' Roman Catholic church was laid on October 25, 1874. The building was completed during the following year. Rev. E. V. Mc- Elhone was the first rector. This church was for many years a mission of St. Mary's church at Beaver Meadow, as was St. Joseph's at Laurytown. In 1902, during the residence here of Rev. F. X. Wastl, St. Nicholas' was organized as a separate parish. In 1907 the building was enlarged and remodeled. Various other improvements of a substantial nature were made during the pastorate of Rev. Wastl.

Salem's Reformed church was the next to be built in the borough. The church edifice was erected in 1875, the first pastor being Rev. J. Fuendling. He was succeeded by Rev. M. H. Mishler, who served about four years, when Rev. A. M. Masonheimer, the present pastor, was called.

Zion's Evangelical Lutheran church was built in 1876. There were but thirty members at the time of organization, and for a time the church had no regular pastor. Its first regular pastor was Rev. Lewis Smith, who took charge on October 1st, 1883. Rev. W. Penn Barr accepted the pastorate of this congregation in 1903. During the following year the church building was remodeled at a cost of $7,000.

Christ Episcopal church had its beginnings during the eighties. Meetings were first conducted in Oak Hall, where the congregation and Sunday school was organized. Mrs. Emma J. Blakslee Pryor was one of the most influential persons in the establishment of this congregation. In 1888 the present church building was completed.

Bethesda Evangelical church was erected in 1890 on land donated by Dr. J. B. Tweedle and Daniel Yeakel.

The Holiness Christian Association gained a footing here in 1896, following a series of open air meetings. A house of worship was put up in the same year.

One of Weatherly's institutions which is believed to be unique is the town cane, given as a badge of honor by the people of the borough to the oldest male resident of the community. This custom was established in 1907, and its originator was J. F. Kressley, a former chief burgess of the town. The present holder of the cane, and the first to whom the honor has come, is Lewis Flickinger, who was born in Mahoning township, Carbon county, on December 3, 1818. It is provided that upon the death of the person entitled to possess the cane, it shall become the duty of the chief burgess publicly to present it to the oldest man remaining a resident of the borough. The cane is of beautiful workmanship and bears an appropriate inscription.

  1. Brenckman, Fred, History of Carbon County Pennsylvania, 1913, James J. Nungesser, Publisher, Harrisburg PA
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