Lehigh Township


Covering pages 740 & 741


Page 740

Including sections on:

                                    Early Roads

                                    Early Settlement


Justices of the Peace

                                    Assessment for 1883

                                    Penn Haven


  THIS township, with Lausanne, forms a triangle.  It is bounded on the east by the Lehigh River, which runs the entire length of the township; on the west by Packer and Banks townships; on the north by Lausanne township and Luzerne County.  The Quakake Creek flows eastwardly through the township, and empties into the Lehigh at Penn Haven.  Spruce, Laurel, and Indian Runs form a stream that flows southeastwardly, and empties into the Lehigh below Rockport.  Leslie's Run rises near the Luzerne County line, flows eastwardly, and empties into the Lehigh at Leslie's Run Depot, in the north part of the township.  Broad Mountain constitutes the southern portion of the township.  The Quakake Valley passes between it and Bald Ridge, which reaches across the township from east to west, near the middle.  Its northwestern point is near Weatherly, its eastern at the Lehigh River.  The settled portion of the township is from the northern slope of Bald Ridge northward.  The territory was embraced in Lausanne township from 1808 till 1875, when it was set apart as Lehigh.



-The first road within the limits of the present township was a State road that ran from the Lehigh and Susquehanna turnpike, at the Spring Mountain House, through Weatherly borough, near Rockport, to White Haven.  The next of importance was the White Haven and Lausanne turnpike, which was commenced in 1840.  The portion from the Compton House to Morrison's was completed in 1841, and was not a success financially.  The Lehigh Valley and the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad run along the bank of the Lehigh River in the township.  The Beaver Meadow, Hazleton and Mahanoy Division of the Lehigh Valley road runs through the township, and connects with the main line at Penn Haven Junction.



-The assessment of Lausanne township in 1808 shows a tract of land assessed to the Moravians.  This tract was located along the Lehigh River, on the site of the present village of Rockport.  The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company finding it necessary to obtain a supply of lumber for building coal-barges, purchased the lumber-right on this tract of the Moravians in 1824, and at what is now Rockport erected four saw-mills and houses for laborers.  The first settlement there was known as Lowrytown, and was located on the high bluff above.  Lumber was cut on the tract back of Lowrytown, and slid down the mountain-side, about three hundred feet, to the mills, where it was sawed and rafted, mostly to Mauch Chunk.  Jedediah Irish and Abiel Abbott were in charge of the mills.  A store and chopping-mill were also built by the company.  The raftsmen who went down with the rafts to Mauch Chunk returned on foot, by what was called the "Indian Path," which led from Gnadenhutten to Wyoming.  These raftsmen were hardy, vigorous, and brave men, who feared no danger.  Among them were Spencer Cassidy, Samuel Mantawny, Peter Steel, James Evans, Alexander Santee, and Thomas Jenkins.

  In the fall of 1839 the Buck Mountain Coal Company contracted with Foster, Hogendogler, and Neleigh for the grading of a railroad from the mines of the company to Rockport (a distance of about five miles).  A. L. Foster contracted to cut a tunnel through the rock a distance of two hundred yards at the foot of the inclined plane, which extended to the river from the side of the mountain.  Mr. Foster sublet the tunneling to Peter Dunworth.  The work on the tunnel and road was completed in the early fall of 1840, and in November of that year the Buck Mountain Coal Company shipped the first boat-load of coal to Philadelphia by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company's Canal.  A little before this time lumber operations had practically ceased, and making the place then known as "Grog Hollow" a shipping-point for coal, gave it new impetus.  One hundred thousand tons of coal per year were shipped from that time to 1862, when the canal was washed away, and the Buck Mountain Coal Company was forced to seek another outlet.  During the building of the Upper Lehigh Navigation System, between 1836-39, the laborers on the works, in numbers at least a thousand, were in the habit of gathering on Sunday at Jake Morris' tavern (a small log building) and pitching quoits, playing cards, shooting at a mark, jumping, fighting, and drinking whiskey.  The bar-room was small, and Jake passed the whiskey out of the window in buckets, which were furnished with tin cups, and passed among the men, who were ranged in line.  This state of affairs continued till 1840, when the Canal and Buck Mountain Coal Company's railroad was completed.


Page 741


  A post-office was established at Lowrytown about 1830.  Samuel Wolf was the postmaster.  He also had a store and kept tavern on the Lehigh and Susquehanna turnpike.  He continued business at both places till about 1839, the time of the completion of the Upper Lehigh Navigation, when he sold out and removed.  He was succeeded in the post-office at Lowrytown by Asa Packer in 1836, who served two years, and was succeeded by R. Q. Butler, who served until 1844.  While under the administration of Mr. Butler the name of the post-office was changed from Lowrytown to Lockport.  William C. Cortwright and many others filled the position later.  The present postmaster is Alfred Shaffer.  The office is in the depot of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.  Samuel Wolf kept a store at Rockport from 1830 to 1836, when it was purchased by Asa and R. W. Packer, who kept it till their canal contract was finished, when they sold to A. L. Foster, who was about to commence explorations for coal at Buck Mountain.  He sold out his interest in the fall of 1839 to Reed & Butler, who continued business until Thomas Broderick (now, 1883, mayor of Wilkesbarre) took the contract to mine and deliver the Buck Mountain coal in boats at Rockport.  At this time he established a store, which R. Q. Butler entered as clerk, and the store of Reed & Butler was discontinued.  This store was continued till the freshet of 1862, which destroyed the canal.  Rockport to-day contains a church, a hotel (kept by Mrs. Charles McGill), a school-house, post-office and store, depot, and several dwellings.

  A Methodist Church was organized at Rockport about 1851.  The Rev. John H. Vincent, of New Haven, Conn., famous in Sunday-school work and in connection with the Chautauqua Scientific and Literary Association, preached in this church when he was nineteen years of age.  It has had many pastors, and is not at present in a very prosperous condition.



-There are but three school-houses in the township, located at Rockport, Penn Haven, and at a point north of the poor-house, on the Leslie Run road.  The directors of schools since the organization of the township, in 1875, have been as follows:


1875.-C. A. Weiss, B. A. Hainey.

1876.-David Petry, Jacob Hellinger.

1877.-Joshua Kingle, John F. Blakslee.

1878.-John Shafer, Edwin Fritz.

1879.-Charles McGill, Jacob Petry.

1880.-Michael Meyers, John F. Blakslee.

1881.-Hugh Dever, Reuben Serfass, Jacob Hellinger.

1882.-Edwin Fritz, Alfred Shaffer.

1883.-Michael Meyers, Jacob Hellinger.


The poor-house of the Middle Coal-Field Poor District is situated in the northern part of this township.



-The justices of the peace for Lausanne township since 1847 were mostly residents of Rockport.  The following are the names of the justices since the organization of the township:

George Stetler, elected March, 1876.

Patrick Laughlin, elected March, 1878.

Conrad Heimer, elected March, 1879.

Michael Meyers, elected March, 1880.

A. S. Steigerwalt, elected March, 1882.

John Shaffer, elected March, 1883.



-A summary from the assessment-roll of this township for 1883 is here given.  It contains one hundred and eighty-nine taxable inhabitants.  The total tax is one hundred and eighty dollars and forty-seven cents.  The Buck Mountain Coal Company are assessed on twenty-three lots, three houses, and five acres of land at the old store.  The New Jersey Central Railroad Company is assessed on a house at each of the places given,--"Turn Hole," Penn Haven, Oxbow, North Penn Haven, Stony Creek, Rockport, Cains, Mud Run, Osterman Run, Hetchel Tooth, and Drake's Run.  The Lehigh Valley Railroad(1) is assessed on two hundred and forty-three acres of land on the Porter House tract, one hundred and ninety-seven acres at Balliet's, four hundred and twenty-five acres at James Moore's, and one hundred and eighty-seven acres at Penn Haven Junction, and a house at each of the following-named places; "Turn Hole," Bannon's, and Booth's.  The farmers, who were assessed as such in 1883, are Christian Ramsey, Samuel Simon, John Shaffer, George Stetler, John Torny, William H. Taylor, Isaac West, John Wallace, Charles Carroll, James Connor, Anthony Felder, Anthony Cull, Patrick Connor, John Graaf, Conrad Hineer, Hiram Hineer, Barney Heeney, Jacob Hellinger, Michael Hailey, Frank Kingle, Adolph Luman, Gabriel Miller, David Miller, William McDonnell, Michael Meyers, Edward McGill, and Jacob Petry.



-The settlement at this place was commenced in 1838 by the Hazleton Coal Company as a shipping-point for coal.  The Beaver Meadow Railroad was used from 1838 to 1852.  After the freshet of 1850 the company constructed a branch road from Hazel Creek bridge to the mountain-top at Penn Haven, from whence the coal was conveyed to the railroads by the river by two inclined planes twelve hundred feet in length and four hundred and thirty feet descent.  These were later abandoned, and coal is now shipped by routes more advantageous.

  Penn Haven Junction is the point where the Mahanoy, Beaver Meadow, and Hazleton Branches diverge from the main line.  The depot and a hotel are the only buildings of any importance.



(1)      In 1843 the Lehigh Navigation Company was assessed on seventy acres of land, four log houses, and eight lock-houses.









The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,


Alfred Mathews & Austin N. Hungerford

Published in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1884


Transcribed from the original in August, 2002 by

Vincent E Summers
[3X-great-grandson of David Weatherly Sr., namesake of the town of Weatherly]


Web page by

Jack Sterling

July 2002