Mount Carmel, PA


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Mount Carmel is the name of a borough in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6390 at the 2000 census. It is located 88 miles (141 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 71 miles (114 km) northeast of Harrisburg, in the Anthracite Coal Region. It is contained within Mount Carmel Township.
Sawmill operator, Albert Bradford, gave Mount Carmel its name because of it's elevation and beautiful setting in the mountains. He decided that it deserved a special name and named it after the holy mountain in Palestine. Mount Carmel began as a logging town. Coal wasn't discovered until 1790 by Isaac Tomlinson. It took twenty-four years until the first shipment of Anthracite Coal was shipped from the borough. Mount Carmel Inn was opened in 1812 by Richard Yarnall and was strategically located on the Centre Turnpike (also known as the Reading-Sunbury Road or Old Reading Road) halfway between Pottsville and Danville. During the latter part of 1854 the Philadelphia and Sunbury Railroad was completed from Shamokin to Mt. Carmel, which led to the opening and development of a number of collieries in the region. During the same year, the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company commenced making extensive openings and improvements upon their valuable coal lands in the vicinity of Mt. Carmel, building breakers for two collieries - the Coal Ridge and Locust Mountain collieries. The township was erected in 1854, formed from part of Coal Township; by 1862 the borough was incorporated within the township. Mount Carmel was one of the first towns in the country to have its streets lit by electricity. Thomas Edison placed one of his first generators plants here in 1883. The Edison Plant in Mount Carmel was the 8th in the world.
In the past, there were extensive anthracite coal mining interests here and in the vicinity. In earlier years, the borough had manufactories of miners' caps, cement blocks, cigars, shirts, stockings, etc., and large silk and planing mills, foundry and machine shops, a knitting mill, lumber yards, a packing plant, and wagon works. Currently that area supports light manufacturing in paper and plastics.