Waverly, Pennsylvania

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Waverly is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) within Waverly Township in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded in the late 18th century by settlers from Connecticut, along the Warriors' Path. The population of the CDP at the 2010 census was 604. [1]

Unincorporated area Region of land not governed by own local government

In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.

A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places, such as self-governing cities, towns, and villages, for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated small community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, colonias located along the U.S. border with Mexico, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.

Waverly Township, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania Township in Pennsylvania, United States

Waverly Township is a township in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States. It borders Dalton and Glenburn Township to the west, North Abington Township to the north, Clarks Summit and Clarks Green to the south, South Abington Township to the south and southeast, and Scott Township to the east. Waverly Township is part of the growing suburban area known as the "Abingtons." The population was 1,743 at the 2010 census.



Waverly was originally called Abington Center. In 1853, it was established as a borough within Pennsylvania; since there already was a place named "Abington" located near Philadelphia, the town was renamed Waverly after Sir Walter Scott's Waverley Novels, popular at that time. [2] The town, located within Lackawanna County, gave up its charter in 1920, because of the high cost to upgrade its main street to a state highway, and became part of Abington Township. On November 2, 2010, township residents voted to change the township's name from "Abington" to "Waverly", [3] thus eliminating confusion with Abington Borough.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Waverley Novels

The Waverley Novels are a long series of novels by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832). For nearly a century, they were among the most popular and widely read novels in all of Europe.

The earliest settlers built cabins in Waverly around 1800. The Philadelphia and Great Bend Turnpike (now Main Street) was chartered in 1819 by the Pennsylvania Legislature along The Warriors' Path. Started in 1820, this turnpike was completed in 1824. During this time, the first three houses which were not cabins were built. In 1828, the Wayside Inn was built, and the first doctor, Andrew Bedford, set up practice and built a house which stands today on Main Street. The first general store was built in 1830, followed by a second inn and tavern in 1832. A building boom ensued during the years 1847 through 1890, during which time Waverly was a profitable small-scale industrial center. 1850 through 1880 was the heyday of Waverly's industrial era. Farmers and dairymen shipped their goods to New York City; iron foundries flourished, and numerous retail establishments, including greengrocers, bakers, a drugstore, dime store, hardware store, lumberyard, and harness shops, thrived. In 1880, the railroad was laid five miles from Waverly, and the prosperity of the town faded.

During the mid-19th century, Waverly was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Escaped slaves and freedmen found a sympathetic population in Waverly, and some settled in small houses built by a local farmer and sold to them. The freedmen also built the AME Church, which is in use today as a private residence. It is one of five churches in existence in 1872, three of which still stand and are still active congregations.

Underground Railroad network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, and used by African-American slaves to escape to freedom

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states, Canada and Nova Scotia with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until Florida became a United States territory in 1821. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the late 1700s, and it ran north to the free states and Canada, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the "Railroad".


Education was always important in Waverly. The first school was started in his log cabin in 1804 by Elder Miller, the first settler in the town. The first dedicated school was built in 1830 on the Philadelphia and Great Bend Turnpike. After it ceased being used as a school, it became a private residence for many years; the Waverly Historic Society is currently planning for its renovation and use as their headquarters. In 1844, a group of investors started the Madison Academy. This was a private school which enjoyed high regard and taught a rigorous curriculum to boys and girls. Students came from all over Pennsylvania to attend the Madison Academy; some of its graduates became judges and attorneys. The tuition ranged from $2.00 to $10.00 per quarter, depending upon the grade, and the boarding house next door charged $1.25 to $1.50 per week. Following the closing of the private school in 1878, the building was used as a public school through 1925, at which time it was razed. The Belin family donated a new school building to the town that originally served all grades. The site of that school is now occupied by a newer building, Waverly Elementary, which serves kindergarten through fourth grade and is part of the Abington Heights School District.

Judge official who presides over court proceedings

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, counselor at law, solicitor, chartered legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Abington Heights School District

The Abington Heights School District is a midsized public school district. It serves the boroughs of Clarks Green and Clarks Summit and the townships of Waverly Township, Glenburn Township, Newton Township, North Abington Township, Ransom Township and South Abington Township in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. Abington Heights School District encompasses approximately 69 square miles (180 km2). According to 2000 federal census data, it served a resident population of 29,222 residents. By 2010, the District's population declined to 23,615 people. The educational attainment levels for the School District population were 94.7% high school graduates and 47.5% college graduates. The District is one of the 500 public school districts of Pennsylvania and one of twelve public school districts in Lackawanna County.

The bell from the Madison Academy hangs behind Waverly Elementary, a testament to the long tradition of academic excellence in Waverly. Although the academy was razed, the house across the street from it has a bell in its attic and is sometimes mistaken for the original Madison Academy.

Fire in 1916

In the spring of 1916, a fire devastated the four downtown blocks of Waverly; only 11 businesses remained thereafter. 2 of those buildings have operating businesses in them today: the Waverly Deli and the Waverly General Store. The front two blocks were an eyesore, although summer visitors continued to come from Scranton to Waverly. The Belin family bought the front two blocks and began design and construction of the Waverly Community House. The building was completed in 1920 and expanded to the back two blocks of the original downtown; all streets through those blocks had been removed, and the transformation of downtown to picturesque center was complete.

Scranton, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States of America

Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat and largest city of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley and hosts a federal court building for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. With a population of 77,291, it is the largest city in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 570,000.

The Community House (commonly referred to as "The Comm") sits at the center of Waverly. The brick Dutch colonial structure currently houses the Waverly Post Office, a gymnasium with basketball court, a public playground, a preschool program and numerous recreational and educational offerings for families with young children. The Comm also plays host to an annual home and garden show, antique fair, and concerts on the lawn. Margaretta E. Belin funded construction of The Comm as a memorial to her husband, Henry Belin, Jr., after his death in 1917. On June 4, 1920, the building and a portion of the land were deeded to Abington Township for the benefit of the township's residents. Wealthy summer visitors from Scranton migrated to Waverly on a permanent basis, and the town's reputation as a white-collar bedroom community was cemented.

Notable residents

Mary Lowe Scranton was an American consultant, community advocate and academic trustee. She served as the First Lady of Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1967 during the administration of her husband, William Scranton, the 38th Governor of Pennsylvania and 1964 U.S. presidential candidate. She focused on housing and community affairs issues in Northeast Pennsylvania after her tenure as Pennsylvania's First Lady.

William Scranton Governor of Pennsylvania

William Warren Scranton was an American Republican Party politician and diplomat. Scranton served as the 38th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1967.

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Pennsylvania Route 407 highway in Pennsylvania

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Leggetts Creek river in the United States of America

Leggetts Creek is a tributary of the Lackawanna River in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 9.0 miles (14.5 km) long and flows through Scott Township, South Abington Township, and Scranton. The watershed of the creek has an area of 18.5 square miles (48 km2). The creek has three named tributaries: Leach Creek, Clover Hill Creek, and Summit Lake Creek. Leggetts Creek is considered to be impaired due to urban development problems, but is not affected by acid mine drainage. The creek is fairly alkaline and is a perennial stream. Its headwaters are in wetlands outside of the Lackawanna Valley and it flows through a water gap known as Leggetts Gap or The Notch. Major lakes in the watershed include the Griffin Reservoir, Summit Lake, and Maple Lake. The creek is a source of flooding in South Abington Township.

Leach Creek is a tributary of Leggetts Creek in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 1.9 miles (3.1 km) long and flows through Scranton. The watershed of the creek has an area of 2.55 square miles (6.6 km2). The creek loses substantial amounts of water to underground mine pools. The creek is in the Coal Region and has been channelized and/or culvertized in some reaches. It flows alongside Pennsylvania Route 307 for a substantial part of its length. The creek has a riparian buffer in its upper and middle reaches, but various invasive plants grow along its banks in its lower reaches.

Ackerly Creek stream in Lackawanna County, United States of America

Ackerly Creek is a tributary of South Branch Tunkhannock Creek in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 8.7 miles (14.0 km) long and flows through South Abington Township, Waverly Township, Glenburn Township, Dalton, and La Plume Township. The creek has several unnamed tributaries and drains an area of nearly 18 square miles (47 km2). Ackerly Creek is not designated as an impaired waterbody, but it is impacted by some water quality problems. In one reach, the creek flows through Rabbit Hollow, which is set aside as a preserve. The creek experiences some erosion due to its banks being managed and straightened where it flows alongside US Route 6 and US Route 11.


Coordinates: 41°31′35″N75°42′20″W / 41.52639°N 75.70556°W / 41.52639; -75.70556