The History of Forest City, PA
The land that would become Forest City was settled in 1864 by William Pentecost and family and chosen for its dense forest, of which only a small portion of the original forest still remains today in the Industrial Park (where mine #1 was once located) and at the beginning of Delaware Street. Originally called "Forest Mills", it was settled by lumbermen and their families.
Between 1866 and 1871, the Jefferson Branch, a railroad spur of the D & H Canal Company, was built in Forest Mills. It ran between Susquehanna Depot and Carbondale, transporting the harvested lumber. Lumbering was the only industry of this area, with the exception of a small mining operation run by William Pentecost, which supplied only sufficient coal to neighboring farmers for winter fuel.
In 1871, an outcropping of coal was discovered. The Hillside Coal and Iron Company bought large tracts of land in the area, and by 1872 the first commercially profitable coal mining enterprise was established at North Railroad Street. A small breaker erected on Railroad Street processed the 75 ton daily output from this operation until 1883.
In 1886, another shaft, Shaft No. 2, was opened. This brought an influx of miners, mostly Welsh, into the area. There were now 300 men and boys employed in the production of coal.
Coal mining continued until The Great Depression hit this town hard, as primary sector of the economy products as lumber and coal were hardest hit. The population slowly dwindled as the coal mining came to a halt. Today, "The Coal Miner's Inn" on Main Street (recently closed in 2012), and Red Cross Pharmacy's anthrocite souveniers serve as a reminder of this once flourishing coal town.
There are important agricultural interests in the region. At the onset of the twentieth century, coal-mining and silk manufacturing were the chief industries, but they have declined to the vanishing point.
In 1879, the local post office adopted the name "Pentecost" which it later changed to "Forest City" in 1886. Forest City was incorporated in 1888.