Location and Regional Context of the Borough - Nesquehoning is
the largest Borough in Pennsylvania, 31 1/2 square miles. Nesquehoning is
located in the central eastern part of the State. The Borough of Nesquehoning is
in the west central part of Carbon County. To the west is Rush Township,
Schuylkill County. To the east is Jim Thorpe, which is in the County seat of
Carbon County. The southern part of the Borough, is a prime anthracite coal
mining area of the coal region. The area to the north of Nesquehoning includes
Packer and Lehigh Townships. Both are rural, forested and agricultural in
character. Much of the land in Nesquehoning Borough next to these two Townships
is in forest, and State Game Land. A small part of the Lehigh River and its
gorge traverse the extreme north eastern section of the Borough.
There are three major highways (U.S.Route 209, PA Route 54 and
PA Route 93), which connect the Borough with other parts of the region.
U.S.Route 209 enters at the easterly side of the Borough from Jim Thorpe
Borough. Route 209 passes through Nesquehoning and the south central sections of
the Borough. PA Route 54 is an east-west highway, which together with a portion
of U.S. Route 209 bisects the Borough into the north and south sections. PA
Route 93 begins at Route 209 in the easterly part of the Borough and extends
through the State Game Land to the north. These three highways provide a
necessary and viable transportation network for the Borough.
Nesquehoning Borough lies in the Appalachian Mountain Section of the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province. The overall landscape of the Borough and its surrounding is characterized by its long mountain ridges with steep hillsides and narrow valleys, as well as numerous picturesque mountain streams or creeks. In fact, the name of Borough, Nesquehoning, originated from an Indian word which, means "narrow valley." The Nesquehoning Creek, a tributary of Lehigh River, flows eastwardly through the Borough and enters the scenic Lehigh River at the eastern border of the Borough. The Broad Mountain is on the north side of the creek, and the Nesquehoning Mountain (formerly Locust Mountain) is on the south side of the creek. These two densely forested parallel mountain ridges form a narrow valley and create a strong sense of enclosure. The mountains form a dominant natural feature and a backdrop in almost every scene viewed from the Borough, visible from almost anywhere in the Borough. Nesquehoning Borough is built on the lower hillsides of both sides of this valley.
The growth of Nesquehoning was primarily due to the coal mining industry in the area. Before the Borough was incorporated, the land area of the Borough was part of Mauch Chunk Township which was organized in 1827. The Township contained the richest deposits of anthracite coal known to exist in the world. The mining and shipping of coal was the predominant industry in this area. The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company or other coal companies owned most of the real estate. The coal produced was originally carried to Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) on the Rhume Run gravity railroad, which was built in 1830. For years, mules were employed to haul the empty cars back into the mines, being later displaced by a wood-burning locomotive. The gravity road was abandoned upon the building of the Nesquehoning Valley Railroad owned by the Central Railroad of New Jersey. In 1963, the Borough of Nesquehoning was incorporated.
The Borough consists of four distinctive neighborhoods divided by natural creeks, highway and the railroad. The neighborhood names are: Nesquehoning Village, New Columbus, Old Hauto, and Lake Hauto neighborhoods. Developed in different time periods in local history, each of these neighborhoods has slightly different characteristics in terms of their land use patterns as well as people who live in each neighborhood. The basic information about each of these four neighborhoods is summarized as follows:
1 . Nesquehoning Village Neighborhood. This neighborhood is located in the southeastern section of the Borough with the Nesquehoning Creek serving as its northern border. More than half of Borough's residents live in this neighborhood. According to the 1990 census, the population of this neighborhood accounted for 54.7% (or 1,840 persons) of the total population of the Borough. The neighborhood grew out from the former Village of Nesquehoning, and is the oldest built-up area within the Borough.
2. New Columbus Neighborhood - This neighborhood includes the area north of the Nesquehoning Creek. There were 860 people living in this neighborhood in 1990 - the second largest neighborhood in terms of the number of people next to the Nesquehoning neighborhood. Development of the New Columbus neighborhood was a result of relocating Little Italy - a small village of dozens of Italian families settled along the southwest edge of Nesquehoning along the mountain road, which led to Lansford. Today, the "wash shanty" of the coal mine marks the general location of previous Little Italy. Many residents of New Columbus are heirs of the early Italian immigrants. This forms a distinct cultural identity of this neighborhood.
3. Old Hauto Neighborhood - This neighborhood is in the southwestern section of the Borough. Its borders are formed by Route 209, the Nesquehoning Creek and the Delaware and Lehigh Railroad on the north. The neighborhood is adjacent to the Boroughs of Lansford and Summit Hill in the south. There are two hamlets or housing clusters in this neighborhood. One is the historical Old Hauto village area, which is located in the west along PA Route 54. The Village is named in honor of George F. A. Hauto, who was one of the founders of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. The other housing cluster is a subdivision development located in the easterly part of the neighborhood between PA Route 54 and Park Avenue. It was developed in the 1970s and is known locally as Hauto Valley Estates or as the "Estates". There was a total population of 428 persons in this neighborhood (in 1990), accounting for 12.7% of the Borough's population.
4. Lake Hauto Neighborhood - This neighborhood is a lakeside resort type community on the northern side of Lake Hauto. In 1990, two hundred and thirty-six (236) residents lived in the section of the development within the Borough.
Click on the History button to read about Nesquehoning's past.