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Jackson Slate Company records

Identifier: IAL-2017-002

Scope and Contents

The Jackson Slate Company Records consists of 29 ledgers from several assorted slate companies and their general stores, including the Stephens Jackson Slate Company, Richard Jackson Slate Company, and the Jackson Slate Company. These ledgers document various activities of the company, including the operations of the company store. The quarries and the store were all located in and around Pen Argyl, PA.


  • Existence: 1878 - 1980


Biographical / Historical

The Slate Belt in northeastern Pennsylvania is the largest in the world. The region known as the Slate Belt covered approximately 22 square miles north of the Lehigh Valley and south of the Poconos and the Delaware Water Gap, predominantly in the towns of Bangor, Pen Argyl, and Wind Gap.

Slate was known for its durability and was used for products such as roofing tiles, blackboards and electric purposes. The dark gray and black slate of the region made it usable for these products, compared to other regions. Along with the cement industry in the nearby Cement Belt, the anthracite coal of the region, the canals, and Bethlehem iron and steel plants, the slate industry was part of the heavy industry that defined northeastern Pennsylvania throughout much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The first quarries appeared in the mid-nineteenth century; instead of being owned by large corporations, much of the industry was predominated by smaller companies, each of which operated their own quarries. Many immigrants from areas of the United Kingdom, such as Cornwall and Devon, England, and Wales, formed companies upon immigrating, since the rock is predominant in those areas as well.

The Jackson family was one of the predominant slate quarry-owning families in the Pen Argyl area. In 1864, various members of the family emigrated from Devonshire, England, moving to the area. After working at Chapman Quarry, Richard Jackson, Sr.; his brother, John Jackson; and his son, Richard Jackson, Jr. leased a slate quarry. The original company was called John Jackson & Co., but the name was subsequently changed to Jackson Slate Company.

In 1874, John Stier Jackson, the other son of Richard Jackson, Sr., along with his brother-in-law, John Stephens, formed Stephens-Jackson Company at Albion quarry (then called Courtney quarry). This company would remain in operation until 1972, when Anthony Dally and Sons would purchase the company. Slate mining at Albion Quarry would continue until December 1980.

Also in 1874, John Stier Jackson and Richard Jackson, Jr. purchased Eureka Quarry from the Indian Spring Slate Company. Eventually Richard Jr., would have sole ownership and the name of the company was subsequently changed to Richard Jackson Slate Company.

The Jackson-Banger Slate Company was additionally formed, and in 1907 they purchased 7 quarries.


“A Brief Overview.” The Slate Belt,

Piersa, Mike, 2008. "Mining and Haulage at the Stephens-Jackson Slate Company: A Case Study of Slate Quarrying in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania." Master’s thesis. Lehigh University.

"Portrait of biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania." 1894, Chapman Publishing Company.


29 Volumes (29 custom blueboard boxes containing ledgers)

Language of Materials


Processing Information

Processing of the collection was completed in September and October 2019 by Melissa Nerino. Finding aid was completed in October 2019 and received updates in August 2021.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Industrial Archives & Library Repository

18 West 4th Street
Bethlehem Pennsylvania 18015 USA