In the 1830's, the Lackawanna Valley was largely wilderness. Here at Slocum Hollow there were five dwellings, a saw and grist mill, a school, a cooper's shop, and a hotel.
To house the ironworkers and their families, the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company built houses on "Shanty Hill," today's "South Side," across from the furnaces. The first group to work at LI&C - German, Welsh, and Irish - lived in these houses, and built their own churches and schools.
Between 1880 and 1900, eastern European immigrants came to the ironworks, settling in "Shanty Hill" and in other areas of Scranton. When LI&S closed in 1901, many workers followed the company to Lackawanna, New York. Others went to work in the coal mines, buying their rented homes in "Shanty Hill" from the company. The ethnic groups remain, continuing their ancestors' traditions.
As "Shanty Hill" residents prospered, new buildings replaced some of the earlier, simpler structures. In 1888, German Presbyterians built the Hickory Street Presbyterian church and in 1905, Irish Catholics built the Church of the Nativity. Larger houses and a variety of businesses were built throughout the neighborhood.