Tamaqua is a borough in eastern Schuylkill County with a population of approximately 7,100 people. It is the only community in the world with this name - named after the Tuscarora king of the Turkey Clan, Chief Tahkamochk, or Tam-a-kwah. It is located in the Anthracite Coal region of the Appalachian Mountains. Coal mining was an extremely important economic activity throughout the 20th century. During the 1860's and 1870's, Tamaqua was the geographic center hub of the Molly Maguires. It also gained recognition as a railroad center. At one time 8 tracks passed by the passenger station of the railroad system. The Railroad Station itself was built in 1874. It stood idle through the 1990's after passenger service was discontinued. It was refurbished and reopened in 2004 with a restaurant and gift shop. Today all that remains of the town is a single track operated by the Reading and Northern Railroad. Rail excursions leave from the Station during the Tamaqua Historical Society's annual Heritage Festival in October. Geographically, Tamaqua can be considered a gateway to the Poconos, with Routes 209 and 309 passing through the center.
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