HAWLEY AREA - Blue stone, shale and other rocks are have long been quarried in the Wayne and Pike County area of Pennsylvania and nearby. Citizens of Hawley are well familiar with stone quarries on the ridge overlooking the fair town. But what about precious metal ores?
Over 100 years ago, in the 1890’s, newspapers reported of an active silver mine near Hawley, Pa. Copper was also being extracted here and more than one person had hopes to strike oil.
The article from December 1892 was repeated in many newspapers. The Tri-Weekly Journal, Susquehanna, Pa., December 3, 1892, carried a headline, “A Mysterious Blacksmith.”
The story: “A valuable discovery of veins of copper and silver has been made near Hawley, Wayne County. For several weeks, William Tutliffe has been conducting a blacksmith shop at a place where there is no business to warrant a shop of that kind.
[Note: How to spell the man’s last name is in question and makes research a challenge. His name was also given as “Tetzloff.”]
“The man, however, was always busy, and the people living nearby finally became curious investigated and found that the blacksmithing establishment was but a side line and his greater aim was to develop veins of ore which he had discovered on the four acre plot of stony land he owned.
“He has now purchased $5,000 worth of machinery and is erecting a large establishment for smelting. He is a practical assayer and at his plant will prepare the ore to be stamped into bricks ready for exchange to coin.
“The Delaware and Hudson company yesterday started boring on the property at Fairview. The company expects to realize something froth large tracts of waste land they possess.
“Tutliffe is laying the foundation for a large fortune. Already a large amount of rock is being hauled to his refinery, and is said to yield $100 worth of silver per ton and 37 per cent of copper.”
The statement about the Delaware & Hudson (D&H) boring holes on their property raises a question of what that had to do with Tutliffe’s operation, since the lands are far apart.
The D&H Canal Company’s gravity railroad passed between Honesdale and Carbondale passed near Farview Mountain near Waymart, where the D&H had picnic grounds for their gravity rail passengers. Farview State Hospital was built there which is today used by the state prison.
The Hawley Times reported on Tutliffe’s operation, calling him “Tetzloff.”
It stated that a number of metropolitan papers had “more or less distorted” the facts about Tetzloff’s silver mines at Hawley. This account was found in Honesdale’s Herald newspaper, December 15, 1892 edition.
“County Treasurer Ferber was out to the mine last Friday morning, as was also a representative from the Times,” The Hawley Times reported. “Affairs are progressing, slowly it is true, but nonetheless surely. Mr. Tetzloff belongs to that class that believes in making haste slowly. The crusher, pulverizer, boiler, engine and other machinery are in place, and they expect to begin work in about ten days from last Friday.
“It may be longer delayed for lack of machinery. With the silver ore from their own mine and the copper ore from Ferber’s mine in South Canaan, they expect to be kept quite busy. We are just listening for the boom.”
Drilling for oil
The Wayne County Herald reported, Sept. 24, 1885, reported that there had been periodic excitement in the country over petroleum, iron, lead and gold mines, all of which have run their course and resulted in nothing.
Petroleum? Here? Indeed, The Evening Gazette of Port Jervis, Feb. 13, 1882, had a headline, “The Oil Fever at Hawley.”
The brief article quotes the Times - probably The Hawley Times.
“The oil excitement has reached Hawley, finally. A. Gardner has leased his right to certain parties to sink an oil well on his property. How soon active operations are to begin is not known, but it is understood that the parties interested are men of wealth and will push the work forward with vigor whenever it is commenced.”
The 1872 map of Palmyra Township-Wayne County locates the property of A. Gardner just beyond the village of Hawley, near the sharp turn of Ridge Avenue, the road that leads up to Long Ridge Road.
Based on census records, this may have been a German immigrant by the name of Henry August Gardner, born in 1828 and immigrated here in 1856. He was a farmer in Palmyra Township- Wayne. He and his wife Caroline had a son they named August, born in 1872; also a son Ernest and a daughter Emma. The elder Mr. August Gardner died March 18, 1902 at home, of paralysis. The 1900 census listed him as not being a naturalized citizen, and not being an English speaker.
The Hawley Times in February 1889 said an oil well was to be sunk near the village of Hawley by the East Penn Coal & Iron Co. Two expert drillers from the oil region had arrived the other day.
George P. Wall was general superintendent for the contractor, Mr. Doherty. Work was begun on the derrick on Wednesday and drilling was expected to start in two weeks at the latest. Two car loads of machinery, including the boiler, had arrived at the East Hawley railroad depot (at the corner of Welwood Avenue and Paupack Street), Wednesday, and were to be take to the Wall Bros.’ grain switch in the West Hawley yard (near the present day post office), and then taken to Hemlock Hollow. The engine was expected in a few days.
The outcome of the oil enterprise has not been uncovered.
Other news items were found concerning gold discovered between Waymart and Elk Lake (1896), and at Equinunk (1909) in northern Wayne County.
Copper was first found in South Canaan on the Delaney farm in the summer of 1884, in the foot hills of the Moosic Mountains, the Herald reported. An assayer from Scranton first told the farmer that there was only a small quantity of the ore and noteworthy developing, but offered $5,000 for the property. The offer was refused. Since then, the Scranton parties raised the offer to $20,000 who again was declined.
A mining expert had recently visited the exploratory hole on the Delaney farm and reported that there was every indication this deposit could yield a great bonanza.
The Citizen, published in Honesdale, had a page one story, April 22, 1913 about a “rich strike of copper” in southern Wayne County, on lands owned by the Paupack Power Company.
A four foot vein yielding 80% copper was reported. “Prospectors have been work in that vicinity for months and when they made the announcement last week the residents in that part of Wayne County clapped their hands with joy,” the Citizen reported. A smelter had been sent for, to test the ore that is claimed to be nearly pure.
“At one time silver, in small quantities were discovered near where the copper ore is said to have been found,” the Citizen said. “The copper was in a quarry.”
Hawley’s columnist in The Citizen gives us more insights, in the April 25, 1913 issue.
The unnamed but oft-times witty columnist said the copper found near Hawley was about the ninth place found in Wayne County.
“It is to believed that this time the vein is fully a mile wide, all copper and thicker than a buckwheat pancake that has been mixed with too much buttermilk,” the columnist penned.
He (she?) wrote that John Shannon, well known in Honesdale, discovered the copper “in an old stone quarry between Hawley and Wilsonville, not far from Bone Ridge.” He had been prospecting for several weeks, and claims he found what appears to be a valuable mine. He took P. J. Keary of Bone Ridge to see the mine.
One of the employees at the Eddy Hotel in Hawley (today known as Cora’s 1850 Bistro), where Shannon was staying, said that Shannon brought down two large hunks of the find for inspection, and was confident it was copper.
Shannon sent for an apparatus from New York City for smelting ore.
About Tutliffe’s silver mine
The silver mine found by William Tutliffe - or Tetzloff - may have been mentioned in the 1913 article, but we have yet a third variation of the name. The columnist said that the copper discovery was “about two miles from the silver mine on the Tetchlof farm that attracted so much attention about 15 years ago. Facilities for harvesting the silver were perfected at considerable expense, but when the ‘pocket’ was emptied, that ended the silver dream of great wealth. It is to be hoped that the copper-colored dream will have so undesirable an ending.”
The columnist gave a word of caution: “…Don’t get too excited, and don’t begin to dream of boosting the price of Hawley real estate any higher than it is in these days of high living and living high.”
Vintage newspapers, at Fultonhistory.com
Gardner research by Dr. George C. Harrison, on Ancestry.com