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"City built on toothpicks" the darkness below Scranton

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Willkes-Barre, Scranton and Hazelton areas have become noted for famous hauntings especially today with the widespread paranormal groups that have sprung up while crossing from county to county and state to state. Many theories have been calculated from spiritual to scientific capturing every aspect of the haunted locations endeavors.

A lot of the mystery comes back to the "city built on toothpicks" where darkness lies and misty figures lurk.

he 50th anniversary of the Old Forge borehole is drawing attention to the dark world that underlies the Scranton area and the river and bay it pollutes.

"When the Old Forge borehole was drilled in 1962, it relieved water building up in the shuttered mines. The relief value discharges between 40 million and 100 million gallon of acid mine drainage per day in the Lackawanna River near Union Street.

The hole is a monument to the end of underground mining in Northeast Pennsylvania, and is credited with ending a tense time in the area's history. It is also the largest point source of pollution in Chesapeake Bay into which it ultimately drains.

In early 1962, a rainless flood struck homes in Duryea, Old Forge and upper Pittston as a climbing water table entered the basements of homes and business. Hundreds of other homes were threatened by the unseen menace. In winter of 1961-62, water forced its way out of mine entries and mine boreholes, creating a persistent stream that formed a glacier-like formation making roads impassable and encasing some homes.

A series of mine subsidences in the Bellevue section of Scranton were blamed on the accumulating water in the mines, but experts today say that was probably just a coincidence.

The 42-inch borehole drains what some call an underground lake, one that Lackawanna River Corridor Association executive director Bernie McGurl said holds nearly as much water as Lake Wallenpaupack."

"Built on toothpicks"

Many deaths happened in the dark mines, including that of hundreds of children who were used as cheap labor.



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