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Timeline



WYOMING VALLEY HISTORY TIMELINE
1600's | 1700's | 1800's | 1900's

1600’s
Susquehannocks


1700’s
1701 - by invitation of the Six nations, the Shawanese Indians established a village in the valley
 



1740’s
1742    - six nations move another group of Delaware into valley
1742 - Count Zinzendorf travels to Wyoming Valley to preach
 



1760’s
1762 - Connecticut settlers had located their camp near the mouth of Mill Creek
1763 - Pontiac’s War
1763 - April 19; Chief Teedyuscung of the Delaware killed by fire in his cabin
1763 - October; Captain Bull Teedyuscung’s son avenges father’s death; kills 20 settlers
1766 - Conn. Yankees move onto Indian land despite warnings
1769 - April 17; 200 Yankees settle in the valley
1769 - Begin  first Yankee Pennamite war
1769 - Obadiah and Daniel Gore succeed in using coal to fire forge
 



1770’s
1770 - Paxtang boys take Fort Wyoming
1770’s - Matthias Hollenback and Jacob Cist open general store  50WM
1770 - plan for Wilkes-Barre city laid out by John Durkee
1776 - Revolutionary War begins; Yankees and Pennamites cease fighting each other
1778 - Battle of Wyoming and Wyoming Massacre
1778 - Frances Slocum captured
1779 - Sullivan’s march ordered by George Washington through Wyoming Valley
 



1780’s
1780 - Sugarloaf MassacreLCHPC
1780 - noted local historian Charles Miner born; died 1865   50 WM
1781 - renewed dispute between Yankees and Pennamites
1783-1786 - 2nd Yankee-Pennamite War
1786 - Luzerne County created; named for Chevalier de Luzerne

 


1790’s
1790 - Schuylkill coal fields discovered
1795 - Post Office opens in Wilkes-Barre  BC
 



1800’s
1804 - Berwick turnpike brought first pioneers to Hazleton  LCHPC
1805 - Easton and Wilkes-Barre turnpike opened
1806 - Borough of Wilkes-Barre formed
1807 - Wilkes-Barre Academy formed
1807 - Abijah Smith markets coal in Maryland
1808 - Judge Jesse Fell successfully burns coal on an open grate

 


1810’s
1810 - Susquehanna and Bradford counties separate from Luzerne County
1811 - Old Ship Zion church on public square completed BC
1819 - First Market Street bridge opened
 


1820’s
1821 - future abolitionist William Gildersleeve moves to Wyoming Valley
1828 - December 2; 1st canal boat moves through the D & H canal
1828 - North Branch canal begins operation from Northumberland to Pittston  BC
1829 - George Catlin paints Native Americans
 



1830’s
1830 - future PA governor Henry Hoyt born in Wilkes-Barre
1833 - Richard Jones builds county’s first steam engine
1834 - North Branch canal completed in Wilkes-Barre and Pittston
1831 - Wyoming Canal opened to Pittston LCHPC
1837 - Lehigh Canal to White Haven opened
1839 - Wilkes Barre Female Academy opens
 



1840’s
1840 - construction begins on Ashley Planes to transport coal over the mountain
1841-1842 - Wyoming Monument erected
1843 - 1st passenger train reaches Wilkes-Barre
1847 - Simon Long opens store on Public Square
1849 - Vulcan Iron works built
 


1850’s
1850 - 1st telegraph opens in Wilkes-Barre to Tamaqua
1851 - St. Mary’s church built in PittstonBC
1852 - Lackawanna/Bloomsburg railroad formed  BC
1856 - Wilkes-Barre gas company formed
1856 - 1st locomotive drawing passenger cars enters Kingston on D, L & W RR   BC
1856 - Wyoming Canal opens to New York
1857 - April, last stage coach trip between Wilkes-Barre and Easton
1857 - Charles Stegmaeir begins to brew beer
1859 - Chahoon Hall opens on Market Street
 


1860’s
1861 - Luzerne County Medical Society formed
1861 - Mary Louisa Trescott born; first named female lawyer admitted to Luz. Co. bar
1863 - Civil War draft riots in Pittston
1864 - St. John’s Academy opens in Pittston; Luzerne County’s first Catholic secondary school
1865 - Lycoming/Sullivan County Flood
1865 - July Battle of Gettysburg; Capt. Ricketts holds East Cemetery Hill in hand to hand combat against the Louisiana Tigers to help save the Union
1866 - 1st horse car line in Wyoming Valley built Wilkes-Barre to Kingston
1866 - 1st cobblestone street in Wilkes-Barre
1867 - county prison erected
1867 - Wyoming Valley manufacturing company erected
1868 - Isaac Perry architect design 1st National Bank; Music Hall in 1870 and others
1869 - September 6, Avondale mining disaster; 110 men and boys died
1869 - December 30, Mark Twain visits to lecture
 



1870’s
1871 - William Gildersleeve prominent abolitionist dies
1871 - October 10, Mark Twain returns for a visit and lecture; stays in Wyoming Valley Hotel
1871 - Music Hall completed corner of Market St and River Street
1872 - City Hospital (later General Hospital) opens  50 WM
1872 - Myers Opera House opens
1872 - Memorial Presbyterian Church built in Wilkes-Barre
1874 - Rosie O”Neill Kewpie Doll creator is born
1875 - Wyoming region is producing 50% of state’s coal
1875 - Flood
1877 - 1st telephone comes to Wilkes-Barre
1878 - 1st electric lights come to Wilkes-Barre
1878 - Henry Hoyt elected governor of PA
1878 - St. Ann’s Academy opens in Wilkes-Barre   BC
1878 - July 3: President Rutherford B. Hayes and cabinet come to memorial of 100th anniversary of Wyoming Massacre
1879 - Boston Store opens in Wilkes-Barre
1879 - April 21, Dallas borough incorporated
1879 - James Eley dies; 1st stage driver for Wilkes-Barre to Easton run started before
1880 - LCHS
 



1880’s
1881 - Flood
1881 - sewers planned for Wilkes-Barre
1881 - February; steam boat Hendrick B. Wright crushed by river ice
1881 - Last canal boat passes through Wilkes-Barre
1881 - Pittston YMCA started
1882 - Isaac Osterhout dies
1883 - July, steamboat Susquehanna blows up in river
1883 - Wilkes-Barre Academy changes name to Harry Hillman
1884 - Kirby & Woolworth open 5 & 10 stores in Wilkes-Barre; eventually had 1,957 stores domestic and international by 1934
1884 - Wilkes-Barre post office handles 443,836 pieces of mail
1884 - Luzerne County sent 32 insane persons to Danville Asylum
1884 - April 26:  14 deaths in Plymouth; next day 6 more; a Hungarian shot and killed at Nanticoke; still another murdered and placed on the Penna. RR track
1885 - typhoid fever epidemic in Plymouth
1885 - July 23; Wilkes-Barre in mourning for General Grant
1885 - Aug. 31; survey of railroad to Harvey’s Lake begun
1885 - Nov. 14; Wyoming Seminary football team defeated by Lehigh University
1885 - Dec. 14; death of first executioner in Luzerne County Sheriff Wm. Koons
1886 - Wilkes-Barre Lace Manufacturing Company opens; largest in world
1886 - Wilkes-Barre baseball club organized
1886 - Wilkes-Barre warmed for first time by steam heat
1887 - Andrew Sordoni born; becomes state senator
1888 - Mud Run disaster
1888 - Hollenback Coal Exchange designed
1889 - Osterhout Library formed
1889 - William Conyngham forms Eastern Penn Supply Co. with Wooward Leavenworth
1889 - Epidemic in Laurel Run
1889 - West End wheelman formed; high wheel bike club
1889 - John P. Powell Squibb Factory explosion 
 



1890’s
1890’s - Lyman Howe creates Animotiscope
1890 - August 19, 1st known tornado
1890 - long distance telephone line opens
1892 - Ellen Palmer begins work with breaker boys; starts national Boys Industrial Assoc.
1892 - Grand Opera House opens in Wilkes-Barre
1893 - Cholera epidemic
1893 - Wilkes-Barre City Hall erected
1895 - Irem Temple organized
1896 - June 28; Twin Shaft Mining Disaster in Pittston
1896 - Charles Parrish dies; well-known entrepreneur and benefactor
1896 - Joe Rice takes second place in 6 day national bike race at Madison Square Garden
1897 - Polish National church formed in Plymouth
1897 - September 10; Lattimer Massacre takes place near Hazleton; 19 killed
1897 - St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church erected in Wilkes-Barre
1897 - Nesbitt Theater erected
1898 - Wilkes-Barre Institute formed
1898 - Colonel Ernest Smith cited for gallantry in action in Spanish-American War - Later decorated in World War I
1899 - the Harvey book published genealogies of famous Valley families
 



1900’s
1901 - North Branch canal closed below West Nanticoke
1902 - anthracite miners strike immobilizes the country; Father Curran helps President
1902 - Theodore Roosevelt settle the strike
1902 - Flood as the Susquehanna rose to 31.3 feet
1903 - Franklin Club formed for bowling
1903 - 205 cases of scarlet fever reported; 18 deaths
1904 - Flood
1904 - Daniel J. Flood born in Hazleton; becomes major influence in U.S. House of  Rep.
1904 - 10 die in Auchincloss mine in Nanicoke
1905 - Father Murgas sends signal over land; 1st in the country
1906 - C. Edgar Patience born in West Pittston; becomes famous coal sculptor
1908 - Planter’s Peanuts company formed
1908 - Martz Bus company formed
1908 - Ed Walsh wins 40 games for Chicago White Sox; Hall of Fame; career ERA 1.82 is the best in history
1908 - Poli’s Theater opens
1908 - Fannie Sax Long elected as first president of Visiting Nurses Assoc.
1908 - The Luzerne Theater opens
 



1910’s
1910 - Min Matheson brought ILGWU to Wilkes-Barre
1911 - Lyman Howe takes aerial motion pictures of Wyoming Valley; 1st in nation?
1911 - Lewis Hine photographs child labor inWyoming Valley
1912 - Nesbitt Hospital opens
1912 - Coughlin High School dedicated; 1st graduating class
1913 - 15 Kirby summer home built
1914 - Wyoming Bridge opens
1914 - August 14; 2nd tornado
1915 - October 14 street car strike
1915 - American theater in Pittston built
1916 - Wilkes-Barre campus of Penn State opens
1917 - Wilkes-Barre branch of Penna. Assoc. for Blind opened by Arline Phillips
1919 - June 5; Baltimore Tunnel mining disaster 92 lives lost
 



1920’s
1921 - summer; 5 semi-professional baseball leagues were in play
1921 - 2110 births were recorded in Wilkes-Barre
1921 - Taxes placed on women for first time; $1 for city tax and $2 for school tax; Protest begins
1921 - Grand Opera House sold
1921 - Irem Temple Country Club erected in Dallas
1921 - Westmoreland Club moves into new accommodations on Franklin Street
1921 - Wilkes-Barre’s first municipal pool opened
1922 - anthracite strike from April 1st to September 9
1922 - September 25 1st electrocution
1922 - Ray Bertels reopens Bertel’s cans; largest in U.S. for single seam cans
1922 - Sterling Theater opens
1922 - Kingston Coal co. No. 2 breaker in operation for 50 years
1922 - New milk ordinance requiring that all milk sold in the city be pasteurized or sterilized
1922 - Earl W. Gehringer, veteran of World War I, awarded the Croix de Guerre
1922 - Black Diamond Powder Mill explosion kills five
1923 - Irving theater opens in Wilkes-Barre
1924 - Kirby Park donated
1924 - Flood
1924 - College Misericordia founded
1925 - Ernest G. Smith builds Dutch colonial home on Riverside Drive
1925 - Wilkes-Barre Institute moves to new $500,000 building in Forty Fort on 6 acres
1925 - GAR High School completed
1925 - Mayor Hart of Wilkes-Barre penalizes the playing of jazz music
1925 - 4,030 marriage licenses given; 209 divorces
1926 - Fort Jenkins Bridge in Pittston opens
1928 - November 19; 3rd tornado
1928 - Hoyt Library opens
1929 - Great depression starts
1929 - Italian Service Club formed
1929 - Market Street Bridge opens
 


1930’s
1930’s - coal era winds down
1930 - Meyer’s High School completed
1930 - Glen Alden pay car dynamited
1931 - Kirby Health Center opens
1931 - Poli Theater’s name changed to Penn
1931 - Pennsylvania State Highway formed
1932 - Kehoe-Berge Coal Company formed
1933 - Hayfield House built
1933 - Now Wilkes University opened as Bucknell Junior college
1936 - President Franklin Roosevelt visits area twice
1936 - flood; loss set at $11,000,000; 12,000 people evacuated; 33 foot crest
1936 - 3 miners killed in gas explosion at the Dorrance Colliery of LV Coal Co.
1936 - Dr. Levi Sprague president of Wyoming Seminary dies
1936 - Anna M. Olcott, principal of Wilkes-Barre Institute, retires
1937 - Harry Hopkins, Works Progress Adminsitrator visits Wyoming Valley
1938 - Arthur James from Plymouth becomes PA governor
1938 - Comerford Theater opens in Wilkes-Barre
1939 - Wilkes-Barre Day School formed
1939 - Admiral Stark of Wilkes-Barre named as chief of U.S. naval operations; 40 year career
1939 - “John Wilkes” new train of the Lehigh Valley RR begins service to Wyoming Valley
 



1940’s
1940 - Citizen Kane, considered one of the best films ever, written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
1940 - Huber breaker built for $6 million; last one in Wyoming Valley
1940 - Flood
1940 - Walter S. Carpenter of Wilkes-Barre named president of E.I. DuPont Company
1940 - 19 men wanted in first draft call in Luzerne County for WW II
1942 - FBI visit 125 homes in Alien roundup in Wilkes-Barre
1942 - Flood loss set at $1,000,000
1942 - Miss Margaret Nash, Navy nurse for Hanover, is captured by the Japanese
1942 - Capt. J.D. Mainwaring of forty Fort is awarded the Silver Star for  gallantry in action
1943 - Luzerne County collects 22,217.5 tons of scrap metal in first five months
1943 - purchase of Ricketts Glen for park announced by state
1943 - $403,000 in war savings bonds raised by B’nai B’rith League results in B-17
1943 - Flying Fortress named Wilkes-Barre
1943 - Meyers High School holds service dedicating a flag with 1,108 stars representing former students and faculty now in military service
1944 - Dan Flood elected to Congress for first time; eventually served 16 terms
1944 - USS Wilkes-Barre launched; 10,000 ton vessel
1946 - King’s College opens
1945 - one-armed Pete Gray hits .218 and played outfield for the St. Louis Browns; movie of his life “A Winner Never Quits”
1945 - Wyoming Valley celebrates end of WW II
1946 - Charlie Trippi of Pittston nominated for Heisman Trophy; member of Pro Football Hall of Fame
1947 - Flood
1947 - 9 men lose lives in Exeter mine explosion at the Knox Mine Company
1948 - President Truman campaigns in Wilkes-Barre
1948 - Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks at Sugar Notch
1948 - 22 locomotives built by the Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre leave for Turkey
1948 - Alex Junevitz signs professional contract with new York Yankees
1948 - Late 40’s early 50’s boxer Rocky Castellani of Luzerne wins 70 fights
 



1950’s
1950 - John S. Fine of Nanticoke becomes Penna. governor
1950 - Sept. 11, train wreck kills 33 members of the 109th Regiment in Ohio
1951 - Wilkes-Barre Day School merges with Wyoming Seminary
1952 - President Harry Truman visits area
1952 - William McGowan graduates from King’s College; eventually directs MCI corp.
1952 - Bobby Weiss wins second place at national Marbles Tournament
1953 - 1st television station formed
1953 - Barbara Weiskerger founds Wilkes-Barre Ballet Guild
1953 - Glen Alden Coal Co. closes Truesdale No. 20 tunnel; idles 1, 066 workers
1953 - Gas is 12.2 cents per gallon
1955 - Flood
1955 - Ham Fisher dies; founder/artist for nationally syndicated Joe Palooka comic strip;
1955 - Estimated 50 million readers in 1947
1956 - Fine Arts Fiesta started by Annette Evans
1959 - January 22; Knox Mine Disaster

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