About This Place
Minersville is located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, four miles (6 km) west of Pottsville. Anthracite coal deposits are plentiful in the region. In 1900, 4,815 people lived here; in 1910, 7,240, people lived here; and in 1940, 8,686 people lived here. The population was 4,552 at the 2000 census.
In the year 1783, a settler by the name of Thomas Reed traveled through the valley between the Thomaston Mountains and the Gap Rocks. At this junction, several mountain streams converged where this settler built a log cabin and a sawmill on the west Branch of the Schuylkill River, just below the mouth of Wolf Creek. Shortly thereafter, he built a tavern on the South Side of the Sunbury Trail on the present site of the Saint Vincent DePaul's Church.
This tavern was referred to as the "Half Way House", because it was half-way between Reading and Sunbury. The Sunbury Trail was the first road through Schuylkill County and was known as the Kings Highway which was authorized by the Crown of England, King George III in 1770.The early settlers engaged in timbering as their first livelihood, but experienced difficulty in transporting the heavy logs out of the valley. The rough timber was floated by raft to Schuylkill Haven to the Schuylkill Canal and on to Reading where it was sold or traded for other products. Necho Allen discovered coal in 1799, but it was not until 1814 that any actual mining took place. Dr. McFarland, a scientist, opened a vein at York Farm near Pottsville. Later, in 1818, Jacob Reed, son the of original founder, opened another vein in the Minersville Area.