CARBON County, PA
Carbon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 64,749. Its county seat is Jim Thorpe, which was founded in 1818 as Mauch Chunk, a company town of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company (LC&N) along a new nine mile long wagon train the company was constructing to their coal mine in the area now known as Summit Hill.
Carbon County comprises the northern part of the Lehigh Valley and is part of the state's Coal Region. It is part of the Allentown–Bethlehem–Easton, PA–NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In 1827, LC&N's wagon road, the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway, became the nation's second operating railroad.. The Beaver Meadow Railroad and Coal Company, also located in Carbon County, was the first railway to operate steam locomotives as traction engines and prime movers in the United States and connected mines west of Beaver Meadows and Weatherly to the Lehigh Canal opposite Lehighton.
In 1745, the first settlement in Carbon County was established by a Moravian mission in Gnadenhutten, which is present day Lehighton. Deeply moved by the deplorable state of the Leni Lenape Indians in America, twelve Moravian missionaries left their home in Herrnhut, Germany and traveled by sea to the wilderness of Pennsylvania, a place known for religious tolerance under the auspices of Count Zinzendorf. Located where Lehighton now stands, Gnadenhutten exemplified communal simplicity. Home to hundreds of Lenape and Mohican Indians displaced by colonial settlements, predation, bigotry and subjugation to the Iroquois, the Delaware peoples were being squeezed out of the southern counties and New Jersey westwards and against the Blue Ridge escarpment. The mission was a scene of quiet, humble and unobtrusive heroism and the Indians' shelter. Although the wilderness of Carbon County was quite treacherous, the Moravians traveled in the wilds of Carbon County undaunted. By 1752, increased hostility put Gnadenhutten at risk for attack, but the missionaries' pious good works did not go unnoticed. The frankness and earnestness of the simple Moravians had won respect with the many tribes of Pennsylvania Indians, and they lived without incident until 1755. At that point an Amerindian uprising drove settlements away from the Lehigh Gap, and whites didn't reenter the area before the late 1780. In 1791, a homesteader, Phillip Ginter hunting on Sharp Mountain along Pisgah Ridge found a black tone coal outcropping, and conveyed a chunk of it to Weissport.
Lehigh Coal Mine Company (LCMC) operations had managed to open up the mouth area of the Nesquehoning Creek by 1800. This area became known as Lausanne, or Lausanne Landing, after the Inn & Tavern built there called Landing Tavern. An Amerindian trail crossed the stream near the confluence with Jean's Run and the camp grounds of their boat builders, climbing northwestwards along a traverse to the next water gap west, eroded into the southern flank of Broad Mountain in the Lehigh Valley. It connected across a barrier ridge whose waters originated in the saddle-pass in which Hazleton, Pennsylvania was built. The trail would become the Lehigh & Susquehanna Turnpike in 1804. Today, Pennsylvania Route 93 follows this route with the exception of where modern road building capabilities allowed improved positioning. This road cut off from a trip from Philadelphia to the Wyoming Valley and the northern sections of the Coal Region.
Carbon County was created on March 13, 1843 from parts of Northampton and Monroe counties and was named for the extensive deposits of anthracite coal in the region, where it was first discovered in 1791. Early attempts were made to exploit the deposits by the Lehigh Coal Mine Company (1792), whose expeditions broke trail and pioneered river bank sites using mule powered technology to log, saw, and build arks to carry bags of coal to Philadelphia with only scant success.
In the 19th century, Carbon County was the location of trials and executions of the Molly Maguires, an Irish secret society that had been accused of terrorizing the region.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (1.5%) is water. Blue Mountain forms the southern boundary of Carbon. The northeast area of the county is located in the Pocono Mountains and the northwest area includes portions of Broad and Spring mountains. It is drained by the Lehigh River except for a small area in western Packer Township and the borough of Lansford that are drained by the Still Creek and Panther Creek, respectively, into the Little Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River, and the Audenried area in the northwest corner that drains into the Susquehanna River via the Catawissa Creek. The Lehigh cuts a gorge between Jim Thorpe and White Haven which hosts the Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Carbon County has a humid continental climate (Dfa/Dfb) and is mostly in hardiness zone 6a, except for 6b in some southern lowlands and 5b in some northern highlands. Average monthly temperatures at Jake Arner Memorial Airport range from 27.8 °F in January to 72.5 °F in July, while at the Pocono interchange of the Turnpike they range from 22.9 °F in January to 68.3 °F in July. [http://prism.oregonstate.edu/explorer/]
Carbon County Community Transit fixed-route bus service consists of the Lynx 1 (Nesquehoning-Lehigh Valley Mall), Lynx 2 (Nesquehoning-Walnutport), and Lynx 3 (Nesquehoning-Tamaqua/Hometown). Also, Hazleton Public Transit (HPT) bus route 30 serves northwestern Carbon County via Beaver Meadows and Junedale to Weatherly. Audenried is served by HPT route 20 (Hazleton-McAdoo/Kelayres). Fullington Trailways provides intercity service to Carbon County with stops in Lehighton and Jim Thorpe. Martz Trailways has a stop in Kidder Township near the Pocono interchange of Interstate 476 for service between Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, Quakertown, and Philadelphia. This is an Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach route, connecting to Amtrak trains at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Martz also operates casino bus routes to Atlantic City from the stop.
Jake Arner Memorial Airport in Lehighton provides general aviation. The nearest commercial passenger service is at Lehigh Valley International Airport or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
As of the census of 2000, there were 58,802 people, 23,701 households, and 16,424 families residing in the county. The population density was 154 people per square mile (60/km2). There were 30,492 housing units at an average density of 80 per square mile (31/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.82% White, 0.60% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 29.4% were of German, 10.1% Irish, 9.2% Italian, 7.9% American, 6.6% Slovak, 6.0% Polish and 5.8% Ukrainian ancestry.
There were 23,701 households, out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.80% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.20% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 18.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 94.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.30 males.
Law and government
Carbon County has long been considered a bellwether county for Pennsylvania statewide elections. In gubernatorial elections, it was perfect from 1952 to 2014. At the presidential level, Carbon County was also a bellwether for Pennsylvania (although not the nation) until recently, with only 1 miss (in 1960) from 1916 to 2000, and with a margin within 3.5 points of the statewide margin in every election from 1940 to 2000 except 1964 (5.3% more Democratic) and 1976 (6.9% more Democratic). However, since then the county has trended Republican relative to the state as a whole, with McCain outperforming in Carbon by 8.5% relative to the state and Romney outperforming by 12.9%.
Republicans hold the commissioner majority while Democrats hold all county row offices. Al Gore carried it in 2000, and in 2004, Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry 49.99% to 48.81% or a margin of 296 votes.
In 2020, Donald Trump won the county with 65.4% of the vote, the largest presidential victory any presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson's landslide in 1964.
State House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
United States Senate
Community, junior and technical colleges
Public school districts
Career Tech School
Carbon Career & Technical Institute, public school located in Jim Thorpe
The public and private K-12 schools in Carbon County are served by Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21.
Mauch Chunk Lake is a county-run park that offers swimming, camping, hiking and cross country skiing in the winter. There are three Pennsylvania state parks in Carbon County.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in the case of Bloomsburg, a town. The following boroughs and townships are located in Carbon County:
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Carbon County.
† county seat
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Carbon County, PA, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.