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BRIEF HISTORY OF DURYEA BOROUGH


Forty original settlers arrived from Connecticut on February 8, 1769 and set up temporary cabins near the junction of the Lackawanna River and Susquehanna River. One of the first settlers was Zebulon Marcy for which Marcy Township got its name. Marcy Township was the original name of the area known as Duryea Borough. He built the first log cabin in 1770 on the west side of the present Main Street of Duryea not far from the Old Forge line.


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As more settlers located in the area, the development of mining caused the citizenry to petition for township status. Marcy Township was founded in 1880 with a population of 1159. A canvas of the township in 1894 noted a population of 2396 and 475 dwellings in a 400 acre settlement. Duryea Borough grew in population and listed 1306 taxables and 1005 registered voters in 1901. Duryea Borough was incorporated on May 28, 1901. Doctor J.A. Burlington was elected as the first burgess, now known as mayor. Duryea Borough was named in honor of Hiram Duryea, a Civil War general and owner of extensive tracts of land in sections of the country. He was a prominent figure in the starch industry, a coal operator and an official of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. It was the practice of this railroad to name its section stops after officials of the line, hence the name of Duryea.

Farming was the principal occupation in the earliest days. Pioneer settlers found many portions of the land suitable for raising food that they needed for existence. Shortly after, mining would become the area’s greatest source of prosperity, along with silk mills and stone quarries.

Today, Duryea Borough has a population of approximately 4634 residents and consists of about 14.45 miles of road. The borough is located in Luzerne County, 10 miles northeast of Wilkes-Barre and 2 miles north of Pittston. Duryea Borough held a centennial celebration in 2001.

If you want to share your Pre 1960 pictures or documents contact Mike Lizonitz at 570-655-8336 or Bernie Stiroh at 973-838-7126.

Duryea Borough 315 Main Street, Duryea, PA 18642 Phone: 570-655-2829 Fax: (570) 457-4792


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