|Nickname(s): The Mountain City, The Power City|
|Incorporated (borough)||January 5, 1857|
|Incorporated (city)||December 4, 1891|
|• Mayor||Joseph Yannuzzi(R)|
|Elevation||1,689 ft (515 m)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||570 Exchanges: 450,453,454,455,459|
The City of Hazleton and its surrounding communities are collectively known as Greater Hazleton. Greater Hazleton encompasses an area located within three counties: southern Luzerne County, northern Schuylkill County, and northern Carbon County. The population of Greater Hazleton was 80,351 at the 2000 census. Greater Hazleton includes the City of Hazleton; the boroughs of Beaver Meadows, Conyngham, , Freeland, Jeddo, McAdoo, Tamaqua, Weatherly, West Hazleton, White Haven; the townships of Black Creek, Butler, East Union, Foster, Hazle, Rush Sugarloaf; and the towns, villages, or CDPs of Audenried, Coxes Villages, Drums, Ebervale, Eckley, Fern Glen, Haddock, Harleigh, Harwood Mines, Hazle Brook, Highland, Hollywood, Hometown, Hudsondale, Japan, Jeansville, Junedale, Keylares, Kis-Lyn, Lattimer Mines, Milnesville, Nuremberg, Oneida, Pardeesville, Quakake, St. Johns, Sandy Run, Stockton, Sybertsville, Ringtown, Sheppton, Tomhicken,Tresckow, Upper Lehigh, Weston, and Zion Grove.
During the height of the American Revolution in the summer of 1780, British sympathizers, known as Tories, concentrated from New York's Mohawk Valley, began attacking patriot outposts located along the Susquehanna River Valley in Northeast Pennsylvania. Because of the reports of Tory activity in the region, Captain Daniel Klader and a platoon of 40 to 50 men from Northampton County were sent to investigate. They traveled north from the Lehigh Valley along a path known as "Warrior's Trail," which is present-day State Route 93, since this route connects the Lehigh River in Jim Thorpe (formerly known as Mauch Chunk) to the Susquehanna River in Berwick.
Heading north, Captain Klader's men made it as far north as present-day Conyngham when they were ambushed by members of the Seneca tribe and Tory militiamen. In all, 18 men were killed on September 11, 1780 in what was to become the Sugarloaf Massacre.
The Moravians, a Christian denomination, had been using "Warrior's Trail" since the early 18th century after the Moravian missionary Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf first used it to reach the Wyoming Valley. This particular stretch of "Warrior's Trail" had an abundance of hazel trees. Though the Moravians called the region "", it eventually became known as "Hazel Swamp," a name which had been used previously by the Indians.
The Moravian missionaries were sent from their settlements near Bethlehem to the site of the Sugarloaf Massacre to bury the dead soldiers. Because of the aesthetic natural beauty of the Conyngham Valley, some Moravians decided to stay and in 1782, built a settlement, St. Johns, along the Nescopeck Creek, which is near the present-day intersection of Interstates 80 and 81.
Jacob Drumheller's Stage Stand
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the "Warrior Trail" was widened and became the Berwick Turnpike. Later, a road was built to connect Wilkes-Barre to McKeansburg. This road intersected with the Berwick Turnpike at what is present-day Broad and Vine Streets, in downtown Hazleton. An entrepreneur named Jacob Drumheller decided that this intersection was the perfect location for a rest-stop, so in 1809, he built the first building in what would be later known as Hazleton. Though a few buildings and houses began to be built nearby, the area remained a dense wilderness for about 20 more years. Aside from small-scale logging, the area offered little else.
Discovery of coal
Many small company towns, often referred to by locals as "patch towns," surrounded Hazleton and were built by coal companies to provide housing for the miners and their families. The patch towns included:
Sudden prosperity and growth
Changing times and fuels
After World War II, the demand for coal began to decline as cleaner, more efficient fuels were being used. Readily available, cheap energy helped open the door for manufacturing. The Duplan Silk Corporation opened and became the world's largest silk mill. The garment industry thrived, some operations serving as a front for mafia boss Albert Anastasia.
In 1947, Autolite Corporation was looking to expand operations in the East, and had been looking into Hazleton. Officials from Autolite came to the area to survey it and in their report, they noted Hazleton is a "mountain wilderness" with no major water route, rail route, trucking route, or airport. In response, several area leaders gathered to address these problems.
CANDO (Community Area New Development Organization) was formally organized in 1956 by founder . Their main goal was to raise money, through their "Dime A Week" campaign, in which area residents were encouraged to put a dime on their sidewalk each week to be collected by CANDO. The company raised over $250,000 and were able to purchase over 500 acres (2.0 km) of land, which was converted into an industrial park. Because of CANDO's efforts, Hazleton was given the All-America City Award. Hazleton's economy is now based largely on manufacturing and shipping, facilitated by the relative closeness to Interstates 80 and 81.
An article published in December 2002 by U.S. News & World Report was entitled "Letter from Pennsylvania: A town in need of a tomorrow" which reported Hazleton's shortcomings to the world. It was criticized by local politicians and business leaders alike, and again prompted local leaders to address the problems facing the community.
Recent recovery attempts
Sanctions against illegal immigrants
In 2006, Hazleton gained national attention as Republican mayor Lou Barletta and council members passed the . This ordinance was instituted to discourage hiring or renting to illegal immigrants. Initially, an administrative fine on landlords for $1000 per illegal immigrant rented to and a loss of permits for non-compliance has been passed. Leaders from other communities across the United States have requested information on this proposal for use in their own municipalities. Another act passed concurrently made English the official language of Hazleton.
The ordinance has been criticized as illegal and unconstitutional. A number of Hispanic residents (both legal and illegal) filed suit to strike down the law, claiming it violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. A copy of the court complaint is available from the Pennsylvania ACLU. In an agreement, announced on September 1, with the ACLU, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and the , Hazleton will not enforce the ordinance for now. In response to the lawsuits the city of Hazleton has retained the counsel of the former head of immigration in the Department of Justice.
Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton estimates that as "many as half" of the estimated 10,000 Hispanics who were living in Hazleton left Hazleton when the ordinance was passed. Reportedly, several shops in the city's Hispanic business district have closed, with others struggling to remain open. The issue was covered by the television program 60 Minutes in 2006 and the Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor in March 2007.
The local Chamber of Commerce claims that the influx of both legal and illegal immigrants revitalized a dying coal town, turning a dismal commercial strip on Hazleton's Wyoming Street into a row of shops. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus brief in support of the ACLU's case. The mayor said that murders and other violent crimes had increased dramatically over the prior 10 years. However, evidence presented in court showed Hazleton's crime rate actually declined at the same time its Hispanic population was increasing.
On July 26, 2007 a federal judge, James Munley, struck down Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act as an unconstitutional ordinance pre-empted by federal law. The injunction stirred up a national controversy. Mayor Barletta expressed his confidence that the injunction will be overturned by the appellate court. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld most aspects of Munley's injunction in a 144-page opinion handed down on Sept. 9, 2010.
Hazleton is located at(40.958834, -75.974546).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (16 km), all of it land.
Hazleton is located 12 miles (19 km) north of Tamaqua and 25 miles (40 km) south of Wilkes-Barre. Located in Pennsylvania's ridge and valley section on a plateau named Spring Mountain, Hazleton's highest elevation is 1886 feet above sea level, one of the highest incorporated cities east of the Mississippi River and one of the highest in Pennsylvania. It straddles the divide between the Delaware and Susquehanna River watersheds.
As of the 2010 census, the city was 69.4% White, 4.0% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, and 3.4% were two or more races. 37.3% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry, which is up from just 4.9% in 2000 .
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,329 people, 10,281 households, and 6,004 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,904.6 people per square mile (1,508.8/km²). There were 11,556 housing units at an average density of 1,934.1 per square mile (747.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.70% White, 0.82% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.76% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.85% of the population ).
According to the 2000 census, the top ten ancestries in the city are: Italian (32.1%), Polish (14.1%), German (13.9%), Irish (13.2%), Slovak (11.4%), Dutch (5.5%), English (3.4%), American (2.8%), Greek (2.2%), and Ukrainian (1.5%).
There were 10,281 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 22.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,082, and the median income for a family was $37,093. Males had a median income of $31,144 versus $20,926 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,270. About 10.4% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.
All of Hazleton's major mining and garment industries have disappeared over the past 50 years. Through the efforts of CANDO and a practical highway infrastructure, Hazleton has become home to many industrial parks, Office Max, Simmons Bedding Company, Michaels, Network Solutions, AutoZone, General Mills, , EB Brands and Amazon.com are just some of the large companies with distribution, manufacturing, or logistic operations in Hazleton.
16.7% of Residents had an income below the poverty level as compared to a statewide average of 12.5% in 2009 Hazleton, Pennsylvania (PA) Poverty Rate Data
Hazleton in popular culture
History of local education
Hazleton Area School District
Between 1966 and 1992, the Hazleton Area School District closed all area high schools except Hazleton, Freeland, and West Hazleton. The Hazleton Area High School opened in 1992, which resulted in the complete consolidation of all remaining area high schools.
The Hazleton Area School District encompasses 300 square miles (780 km), which is one of the largest school districts in the state. It includes 1 city, 6 boroughs, 9 townships, (16 municipalities) and 3 counties. Enrollment is currently over 10,000 students. In 2004, the Hazleton Area High School was the 11th largest high school in the state.
The schools of the Hazleton Area School District are:
Colleges and universities
Hazleton's commercial passenger airport is the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport located in Avoca, Pennsylvania. The Lehigh Valley International Airport also serves Greater Hazleton. The Hazleton Municipal Airport is the general aviation airport for the city.
Public transportation is provided by the Hazleton Public Transit, a service of the City of Hazleton's Department of Public Services. HPT operates nine routes throughout the city and neighboring communities.
While Hazleton currently has no passenger rail service, it is a major regional center for commercial rail traffic, operated by Norfolk Southern Railway.
Three interstate highways run through the Hazleton area, with associated exits to the city.
Museums and cultural organizations
Parks and recreation
Hazleton's annual street festival, Funfest, is celebrated usually during the second weekend of September. The festival includes a craft show, a car show, entertainment from local bands, and many games of chance. The Funfest parade is held on Sunday during the Funfest weekend. First Night Hazleton's annual New Years Party. Valley Day is celebrated in Conyngham during the summer. Many church festivals, including the Festival of the Madonna del Monte at Most Precious Blood in Hazleton, is celebrated to preserve the Italian heritage of Hazleton. This is honored by carrying candle houses (cintis) by men up and down the streets of the eastern side of town, from Most Precious Blood to the Key Club, which is located on Monges Street.
Hazleton was a long-time home to minor baseball. On April 14, 1934, the Philadelphia Phillies entered into an affiliation agreement with the New York-Penn League Hazleton Mountaineers. This was the first ever minor league affiliation for the Phillies. The last minor-league club to play in Hazleton was the Hazleton Dodgers in 1950, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm-club which played in the Class D North Atlantic League.
Landmarks and historic locations
Hazleton has several sister cities. They are:
- Bethel Park
- Franklin Park
- Penn Hills
- State College
- West Chester
- West Mifflin
- Allegheny Mountains
- Allegheny National Forest
- Allegheny Plateau
- Atlantic Coastal Plain
- Blue Ridge
- Coal Region
- Cumberland Valley
- Delaware Valley
- Dutch Country
- Endless Mountains
- Happy Valley
- Laurel Highlands
- Lehigh Valley
- Main Line
- Northern Tier
- Oil Region
- Pennsylvania Highlands
- The Poconos
- Ridge and Valley
- South Central
- Susquehanna Valley
- Wyoming Valley
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