Lackawanna, the name of a river and coal basin in Luzerne co., Pa. The stream rises in the N. E. corner of the state, enters the N. E. extremity of the northern anthracite coal field, along.which it continues for 30 m. past Car-bondale, Archbald, Providence, and Scranton, to the N. branch of the Susquehanna, which it enters at Pittston. The continuation of the Lackawanna valley S. W. of Pittston is the Wyoming valley, and they are shut in by the Shawnee mountain on the N. W. and the Wyoming or Moosic mountain on the S. W., the only gaps being where the Susquehanna enters at Pittston and passes out at Nanticoke. These mountains are steep rocky ridges, with a general elevation of from 1,500 to 2,000 ft. above the valley, which at Wilkesbarre is 525 ft. above the sea. The valley has an irregular trough-like form and an undulating surface, corresponding to that of the rock strata and coal beds beneath; and it is studded with thriving cities and towns, collieries, rolling mills, and blast furnaces. The entire area is 198 sq.
m., of which the Lackawanna valley has 100 sq. m. The coal field, the largest and finest of the anthracite basins, fills both valleys, and is of a narrow ellipsoidal form, slightly crescent-shaped, stretching in a N. E. and S. W. direction about 50 m., and not attaining in its widest central portion a greater width than 5 m. (See map in article Anthracite.) The coal is mined from beds 5 to 14 ft. thick, at depths of 100 to 400 ft. from the surface; and in the Wyoming region the maximum depth of the basin is estimated at 1,800 ft., though none of the mines as yet exceed 550 ft. At Scranton there are four beds, 6, 7, 12, and 6 1/2 ft. thick, at the depth of 125, 160, 300, and 400 ft. This coal field, being the nearest to New York, supplies a large portion of the anthracite consumed in that state and further east. Nine tenths of the coal is carried over the mountains. Around Carbondale coal is mined by the Delaware and Hudson canal company, and carried by their railroads over the Moosic mountain to Hones-dale, 28 m., and thence by canal to Rondout on the Hudson river, 108 m.
Since 1828 they have transported 27,227,471 tons of Lackawanna coal, of which 2,472,449 tons were mined in 1873. The Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad company, whose chief operations are at Scranton, have 618 m. of railroad. Since 1851, when they forwarded their first coal to market, they have sold 26,404,867 tons, including 3,136,306 tons mined in 1873. The operations of the Pennsylvania coal company near Pittston, which has a railroad worked entirely by gravity and stationary engines, cover 16,424,322 tons mined since 1850, of which 1,239,214 tons were produced in 1873. There are other smaller proprietors, and a large iron manufacturing company at Scranton owning five blast furnaces and two rolling mills, which consume 300,000 tons of coal per annum. The avenues to market for coal from the Lackawanna valley are: the Jefferson branch of the Erie railway, from Carbondale N.; the Delaware and Hudson canal company's railroad, E.; the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad, 145 m., to New York; the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad, N. into New York state; the Pennsylvania coal company's railroad, E. to Hawley, 47 m., and thence by the Erie railway to New York, 126 m.
From Wyoming valley: the Lehigh Valley railroad, 187 m., from Pittston to New York; the Pennsylvania and New York canal and railroad, N. into New York state; the Central New Jersey railroad, 194 m., from Scranton to New York; the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western railroad and the Pennsylvania canal, S. to Baltimore. Several of these roads have branches into different parts of both valleys. The total amount of coal sent to market from both valleys since 1829 is 97,780,855 tons, including 10,047,241 tons in 1873.