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Port Clinton Borough

Port Clinton Borough Hall, P.O. Box 256, Port Clinton PA 19549; phone: 610-488-7422.

Beginnings [1]

Lenhard Rishel was granted the land in and around Port Clinton by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, January 30th, 1816. The village was laid out in 1829. Part of the land was sold by Mr. Rishel to the railroad company May 8th, 1829. The first engine, which was manufactured in England, came over the road to Port Clinton in 1832. The borough was incorporated in 1850. Its limits were extended in 1855. As now bounded, it is one mile square.

The first burgess was Richard Perry. The first councilmen of Port Clinton were Samuel Boyer, Daniel Eveland, William Province, John Bond and Joseph Perry. The first meeting of the council was held May 13th, 1850.

Port Clinton has for years been quite a thriving place. The leading business has been the shipment of coal from the mines in the vicinity of Tamaqua, brought over the Little Schuylkill Railroad, a distance of twenty miles. The coal schutes and the Schuylkill canal, which passes through the borough, have added much to its activity and prosperity, giving employment to many of its citizens. A forge was erected here about 1855, by George Ege. After a number of years' activity it was converted into a rolling-mill by Calvin B. Bertolette, from Reading, Berks county. Later it passed to the ownership of Robert Inness, of Pottsville, and was managed by him with varying success for eight years, when it was purchased by Mr. McDonald and others at sheriff's sale. This establishment is operated by steam and water power, and at times as many as 100 men have been employed.

During the freshet of 1850 the place was much damaged. Twenty-one houses were swept away, and the railroad bridge was carried off. Thirteen persons were drowned. A grist-mill, which had been erected near the present site of the borough in 1800, by whom is not known, was swept away by this flood.

Port Clinton contains about eighty good and many small dwellings, three stores, two hotels and two churches, with the usual number and variety of small mechanics' shops. The population of the borough in 1860 was 586; in 1870, 578; in 1880, 686. There are three schools in the borough, in which three teachers instruct about 150 pupils seven months during the years, at an average cost of eighty-eight cents per month each.

  1. History of Schuylkill County, PA, W. W. Munsell & Co., New York, 1881.
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