The Pennsylvania State University, commonly known as Penn State, was established in 1855 and is one of the largest universities in the United States.
Schuylkill County, located in eastern Pennsylvania, has a fascinating history that dates back to the early 18th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, specifically the Lenni Lenape, who made use of the abundant natural resources like the Schuylkill River for sustenance and trade. European settlers began arriving in the region in the early 18th century, drawn by the prospect of fertile land and opportunities for industry.

The county was officially established in 1811, named after the Schuylkill River that runs through it. In its early years, Schuylkill County was primarily rural, with agriculture and logging as the main economic activities. However, this changed dramatically in the 19th century with the discovery of rich deposits of anthracite coal. The coal industry quickly boomed, attracting countless miners and entrepreneurs to the area. As coal mining grew, so did the population, with immigrants arriving from various European countries to work in the mines.

The coal industry became the backbone of Schuylkill County's economy, and the region developed a reputation for its abundance of coal. The county's prosperity increased significantly during the 19th and early 20th centuries, although working conditions in the coal mines were often harsh and dangerous. Many labor disputes and strikes occurred as workers fought for better conditions and wages. Schuylkill County also played a significant role in fueling the Industrial Revolution, as its coal was transported across the country to power various industries.

However, the decline of the coal industry in the latter half of the 20th century had a major impact on Schuylkill County. As demand for anthracite coal diminished, many mines closed, leading to a loss of jobs and economic decline. In recent years, the county has made efforts to diversify its economy, focusing on sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and small-scale manufacturing. Today, Schuylkill County stands as a testament to its rich coal mining heritage while working towards a more sustainable future.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

  • 1681 - William Penn receives charter for Pennsylvania, including the area that is now Schuylkill County.
  • 1737 - First settlement in the area is established by John Fincher.
  • 1781 - Schuylkill County is officially formed, named after the Schuylkill River.
  • 1791 - First coal mining operation begins in the county.
  • 1801 - Schuylkill Navigation Company is created to improve transportation on the Schuylkill River.
  • 1823 - Construction of the Schuylkill Canal begins, connecting the county to Philadelphia.
  • 1832 - Molly Maguires, an Irish secret society, begins to gain influence in the county.
  • 1861 - American Civil War begins, and many residents of Schuylkill County serve in the Union Army.
  • 1868 - Schuylkill County Prison Riot takes place, resulting in several deaths.
  • 1897 - Great Strike of 1897 occurs, with coal miners demanding better working conditions and higher wages.
  • 1959 - Construction of the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad begins, revitalizing the county's transportation infrastructure.