Shamokin History

Shamokin And Coal Township Notables

Class of 1957

Train Exhibit


Shamokin (pronounced /Sha'mo'kin/; Saponi Algonquian “Shumounk” "place of the horn") is a city in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, at the western edge of the Anthracite Coal Region. (The original Saponi village of Shamokin was located near the current site of Sunbury, the seat of Northumberland County.) At the 2000 census the population was 8,009 residents. The city of Shamokin is bordered by its sister community, Coal Township, Pennsylvania.

Shamokin was incorporated as a borough on November 9, 1864, and as a city on February 21, 1949. In addition to anthracite coal-mining, it also had silk and knitting mills (the Eagle Silk Mill became the largest textile building under one roof in America), stocking and shirt factories, wagon shops, ironworks, and brickyards.

In the 1877 Shamokin Uprising, starvation wages and miserable working conditions prompted railroad workers and miners to join the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. Vigilantes gathered by Mayor William Douty shot into a group of strikers, wounding twelve and killing two. Five strikers were jailed for up to eight months for their part in the uprising.

The National Ticket Company, located in Shamokin from 1907 until 1992, was at one time the largest ticket company in the United States. Their first production facility was built in 1911 at the corner of Pearl and Webster Streets; a 1942 fire gutted the plant, although the brick shell still stands. The replacement building at Pearl Street and Ticket Avenue was completed in 1950 and served as company headquarters for forty-two years.

"Murder at Hickory Ridge" was a fictionalized account of an unsolved murder in the Shamokin area, written by William A. Conway and printed by his two brothers, Alphonsus E. and John J., in the garage that served as the Conway Print Shop. With the profits from the sale of the novel, the Conway brothers started the Black Diamond Publishing Company in 1905 to disseminate news of the anthracite coal region through the printing of Black Diamond Magazine.

Edgewood Park also known as Indian Park existed in Shamokin from 1905 through the late 1950s. A trolley line ran to the park from sites in Shamokin. It consisted of 97 acres including a lake. The featured attractions were:

  • School of Mines - "educational" side friction roller coaster about mining
  • Scenic Railway- roller coaster
  • Touring the Alps
  • Temple of Mirth Funhouse- (with spinning wheel)
  • 2 million gallon Swimming Pool- (opened July 1926)
  • Carousel
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • Various Food and Games Stands

Shamokin has two small creeks that divide the town. Carbon Run merges with Shamokin Creek in the north of the town and ultimately empties into the Susquehanna River just south of Shamokin Dam near Sunbury, PA.