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Showing posts from May, 2014

Mystery Graves in Dickson City

Founded by German immigrants shortly before the Civil War, the borough of Dickson City was originally known as Priceburg (later changed to Priceville). It was a tiny village which rapidly exploded in population in the 1880s, when the Johnson Coal Company began mining coal in the area. In 1897, employees of the Johnson Coal Company were digging sand from a hillside when they made a shocking discovery: two unidentified coffins. The most surprising part of the story, however, is that no one in the vicinity- including the town's oldest inhabitants- could recall anyone having lived near the hillside.

This is the account of the discovery as it appeared in the Scranton Tribune on October 27, 1897:

While digging sand from a hillside near the Johnson Coal company's breaker at Priceburg Monday, the workmen uncovered two coffins containing the bones of persons who were buried years ago. The oldest inhabitant thereabouts does not remember ever having heard of that plot being used as a buri…

Mastodons in Union County

In 1851, an enormous ivory tusk was found near Lewisburg by a man digging a ditch. Here is a newspaper article describing the incredible find, from the May 10, 1851 edition of the Sunbury American:

We learn from the Lewisburg (Union County) Chronicle that, on Sunday last, the ivory tusk of a mastadon [sic] was found in Kelly Township, while digging a ditch. The tusk was ten feet long, moderately curved, nine inches in diameter at one end, and four inches at the other. It was found two feet below the surface, in a layer of clay, which rested on a bed of sand and gravel. A similar relic was found week before last on the farm of Mrs. Whitmore, in Tunkhannock Borough, Wyoming County, while digging the North Branch Canal. It was about ten feet below the surface, in a strata of sand.


(view the original newspaper article here)