Schuylkill County is known for it's Anthracite coal, it's people, traditions and heartaches. In our Historical Collection you will be able to find information on all sorts of topics. Below are some of our collections.
The papers of two lawyers, Christopher Loeser and Benjamin Parry, are a rich source of business transactions in land, coal mining, railroads, and canals in early county history from 1820-1865. Francis W. Hughes, Guy Farquhar, Otto Farquhur, and C.L. Whitehouse practiced law in Pottsville from the 1850's to the 1920's. The Farquhar brothers were the lawyers for the railroads, trolley companies, and utility companies, and their collection of legal papers tells the story of the early development of these important industries in the county.
The Molly Maguire episode was famous during the 1870's in the unending struggle between labor and the coal mine owners and operators. The Mollies were cast as athe lowly miners who dared to challenge their bosses. The Society has an excellent collection of materials on the Mollies, including court records, pictures, letters, court indictments, and pieces of the gallows ropes that were used to hang the convicted Mollies.
Interested in how we were given our unique names such as Tamaqua, Shenandoah or Schuylkill?
Schuylkill County is rich in Indian Names. Many of our towns and creeks were named after chiefs or Indian words.
When Schuylkill County was carved out of Berks and Northampton Counties in 1811, it had nine townships - Brunswick, Schuylkill, Manheim, Norwegian, Upper and Lower Mahantongo, and Pine Grove from Berks, and West Penn and Rush Townships from Northampton County. Of these townships, there survive in name if not in original form Schuylkill, Upper Mahantongo, Norwegian, Pine Grove, West Penn, and Rush Townships. Brunswick and Manheim Townships split into two; and Lower Mahantongo dissolved entirely into Hubley, Hegins, Porter and Frailey Townships.
Many Schuylkill County towns bear the names of their founders or family names closely associated with their growth