Overview of Hanover Township
1770-2013: A Brief History
Hanover Township has a most interesting history. One of the original Connecticut Townships laid out by the Susquehanna Company, Hanover Township is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania along the Eastern Bank of the Susquehanna River in the heart of the scenic Wyoming Valley. Its early history is interwoven with some of the most stirring incidents of the Wyoming Valley life of pioneer days.
The pioneers in Hanover Township had already made history in southern Pennsylvania. Among the settlers were strong minded, self-reliant men of Scottish-Irish antecedents, men who, in the time of the Indian unrest that followed the French and Indian war, had relied more upon themselves than upon the government for protection. The "Paxton Boys" of Lancaster County, had dealt so sternly with the Conestoga Indians in 1763 that there was peace on the Conestoga and that part of the Susquehanna for many years after. Captain Lazarus Stewart and his company of forty -most of who were "Paxton Boys" - moved from Lancaster County into the Wyoming Valley in 1770 and fought for Connecticut against the Penn’s. For their services to Connecticut, Captain Stewart and his followers were granted the tract of land which became Hanover Township. The Township area embraced all the land from Wilkes-Barre south to Newport Township, and all the land between the Susquehanna River and the Lehigh River, including most of the land now within Hanover, Wright, Fairview, Bear Creek, Buck, Dennison, and Foster Townships plus two thirds of Nanticoke and all of Ashley, Sugar Notch and Warrior Run. Hanover Township was founded in 1770 by Captain Lazarus Stewart and named for his hometown of Hanover in Dauphin County.
The Present Hanover Township is bordered on the Northeast by the city of Wilkes-Barre, on the Southwest by the city of Nanticoke, on the Northwest by the Susquehanna River, and extends to the top of the Penobscot Mountain on the East. The Township covers an area of 21 square miles and has a population of over 11,000 people. Areas carved from the original Hanover Township are Dennison Township 1839, Wright Township 1851, Foster Township 1854, Sugar Notch Borough 1867, Ashley Borough 1870 and Nanticoke City 1874.
Early history tells us that the Township was very scarcely populated; Indian raids were frequent. One of these was the historically famous Wyoming Massacre in which 25 residents of Hanover Township were killed.
Captain Stewart built the first house, a blockhouse one and a half stories high, in 1771 in the Breslau area between Buttonwood Creek (now Solomon's Creek) and the river. His brothers Charles Stewart built the second home in 1771 in the same area.