Then & Now
1892: The discovery of anthracite coal near White Oak Run in 1843 spurred the development of the borough of Archbald. The borough took its name from James Archbald, the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company engineer who discovered the coal. The D&H extended their gravity railroad to the Archbald in 1846, carrying coal along the northbound track to Carbondale. This image shows one of the gravity planes climbing Number 5 Hill (named for the nearby Number 5 mine) with Old Eaton’s breaker built over the tracks. In the distance, St. Thomas Aquinas church, dedicated in 1875, is visible in town.
2018: The D&H built a steam railroad line through Archbald in 1870, but continued using the gravity until abandoning it in 1899. Number 5 Hill still commands a view over the town, and St. Thomas Aquinas church, now part of Christ the King parish, still plays in important role in the life of the community.
— RESEARCH COURTESY OF LACKAWANNA HISTORICAL SOCIETY