Coal was developed in several locations along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, as noted in The coal trade: a compendium of valuable information relative to coal production, prices, transportation . . . in January 1879.

The Philadelphia and Erie Railroad crosses the northern end of five coal basins. There is no important development of the first two. In the third, at 67 miles west of Williamsport, is the Wistar Mountain Company's mines; at 97 miles, are the works of the Cameron Coal Company. In the fourth, at 117 miles, is St. Mary's: at 125 miles, Benzinger's; at 128 miles, the Shawmut branch road comes in. In the fifth, at 138 miles, are the Johnsonburg mines. The completion of the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia railroad gives the coal from these basins an outlet to an additional market. During 1875, 63,348 tons; in 1876, 50,079 tons and in 1877, 130,336 tons of coal were carried by this road. The Philadelphia and Erie road carried in 1873 81,742 tons; in 1874 162,000 tons; in 1875 166,978 tons; in 1876 123,253 tons; in 1877 156,741 tons. This includes coal used on locomotives, and is from St. Mary's, Cameron, and Daguscahonda. We are without the returns for 1878, but the output has largely increased.