Previous articles in this Local History series highlighted the Irish roots of Hawley, Pa., and the establishment of an Irish neighborhood that came to be known as Marble Hill. Further description and narrative has been located on the subject, which is reproduced following this introduction.


 Previous articles in this Local History series highlighted the Irish roots of Hawley, Pa., and the establishment of an Irish neighborhood that came to be known as Marble Hill. Further description and narrative has been located on the subject, which is reproduced following this introduction.
Marble Hill, originally referred to as “Shanty Hill,” was established in the mid-19th Century on the hillside to the west side of town, in along Middle Creek. It was accessible by road from Hawley only over a bridge that spanned Middle Creek from the end of River Street just above Wangum Avenue.
That bridge washed out in the 1942 flood and was never replaced. At that time, Columbus Avenue, which is the main street in Marble Hill, was extended down through what was the Erie Railroad yard, to Route 6.
The Irish collected on this hill and made a home, attracted here by the jobs offered by the Delaware & Hudson Canal and the arrival of the Pennsylvania Coal Company (PCC) Gravity Railroad. The latter brought their tracks through either side of the Irish neighborhood, and piled their coal in the stretch between the cluster of homes and Route 6- where today sits a church and the fire hall.
The following discussion of Marble Hill was penned by Michael J. McAndrew, as part of the book, History of Hawley, Pa. for the 1927 Centennial.
“About that time the tide of Irish immigration was high and the men folks found plenty of work in railroad and canal construction.
“West of the bridge crossing the Middle Creek, now west end of Hawley yard, was a row of small houses occupied by Thomas Corcoran, Patrick Grier, the Macks, Mrs. Quinan, and the O’Boyles. About 200 feet above started another row with the Phillips, Mularkey, Michael Dunegan, Mangans, Hopkins, Michael Golden, Loughneys, and Richard Keegan.
“Houses were going up by the dozen. Shouses were tearing out hemlock and delivering it for eight dollars per thousand feet, and it was not long before the side hill was covered with little homes to shelter the hardworking masses. The Reaps, Corcorans,  Laughneys and Farrells took the top of the hill.
“The community was purely and exclusively Irish and almost to a man from the same place, so that it looked as if a piece of County Mayo had been picked up and nicely placed on this hill of Palmyra. Patrick Johnson, father of William E. Johnson, arrived with a new outfit, but as was a “far-down” he was obliged to locate on the East Side along the canal. Here you could see the wakes, christenings, marriages, funerals, and other fetes of the old country just as they were at home.
“But a careful review of my own life and recollection of those early days I doubt if there has been ever a period in life when we had a greater amount of happiness than fell to our lot in those pioneer days. Everybody had work- plenty of it. Nobody was afraid of being discharged Saturday night account of overproduction. Good health generally prevailed. Some fever and ague was brought in from the malarial districts along the newly made railroad, but the good Dr. Stearns soon eradicated the disease.
“There were no cliques in society and no aristocracy. No envy because certain men were getting rich while others were poor. No heart-aches because one neighbor had a better furnished house than another. And women had no worry because they had nothing to wear. There was genuine hospitality, genial and well-wishing neighbors, enjoying the plain faire and few opportunities surrounding them.
“We lived down to the barest necessaries of life in those days and learned that our real wants to make us happy were not many. And so those sturdy exiles hewed their way and wrung part of their existence from the rough stony soil of that side hill. Their educational advantages were limited, having a free school only the four months that navigation on the canal was closed, still it was the high resolve of parents that their children should receive as good an education as possible, a privilege denied them in their homeland, and their descendants have shone in the educational and commercial world. They have distinguished themselves in the professions of law, medicine, surgery and ministry, as is shown in the following chapters [of the 1927 History of Hawley] devoted to biographies of men who have attained high standing along their special line of work who were born and reared in Hawley.”