About This Place
Waverly is a small unincorporated community in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded in the late 18th century by settlers from Connecticut, along The Warriors' Path.
Waverly was originally called Abington Center. In 1853, it was established as a borough within Pennsylvania; since there was an Abington Borough located near Philadelphia, the town was renamed Waverly after Sir Walter Scott's Waverly Novels, popular at that time. The town, located within Lackawanna County, gave up its charter in 1920, because of the high cost to upgrade its main street to a state highway, and became part of Abington Township. On November 2, 2010, township residents voted to change the township's name from Abington to Waverly, thus eliminating confusion with Abington Borough.
The earliest settlers built cabins in Waverly around 1800. The Philadelphia and Great Bend Turnpike (now Main Street) was chartered in 1919 by the Pennsylvania Legislature along The Warriors' Path. Started in 1820, this turnpike was completed in 1824. During this time, the first three houses which were not cabins were built. In 1828, the Wayside Inn was built, and the first doctor, Dr. Andrew Bedford, set up practice, and built a house which stands today on Main Street. The first general store was built in 1830, followed by a second inn and tavern in 1832. A building boom ensued during the years 1847 through 1890, during which time Waverly was a profitable small scale industrial center. 1850 through 1880 was the heyday of Waverly's industrial era. Farmers and dairymen shipped their goods to New York City; iron foundries flourished, and numerous retail establishments, including greengrocers, bakers, a drugstore, dime store, hardware store, lumberyard, and harness shops, thrived. In 1880, the railroad was laid five miles from Waverly, and the prosperity of the town faded.