Oral History

Parryville is located on the east side of the Lehigh River about five miles north of Lehigh Water Gap and two miles south of Weissport. The Pohopoco Creek (formerly the Poco Poco Creek) empties into the Lehigh River at the south end of town.

In 1855, Parryville contained about 30 dwellings, a tavern, a store, one schoolhouse and church, a grist mill, saw mill, and an anthracite furnace known as the Poco Poco Iron Works, the name being derived from the creek. The original iron works was enlarged in 1858 and renamed the Carbon Iron Company. The furnace produced upwards of 5,000 tons of pig iron using local iron ore. The limestone that was used as a flux in the iron-making process was shipped to the company by canal from Northampton County.

The company’s pig iron was transported on the Lehigh Canal until a railroad and wagon bridge was built in the 1860s that connected Parryville to the Lehigh Valley Railroad on the west side of the Lehigh River. The Lehigh Valley Railroad was owned by Mauch Chunk resident and Lehigh University founder, Asa Packer. Despite the introduction of the railroads, canal traffic remained very active in the Parryville area through the 1800s.