Exeter is a borough in the Greater Pittston-Wilkes-Barre area of the center-west Wyoming Valley region in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States, about west of Scranton and a few miles northwest of Wilkes-Barre on the opposite shore of the main Susquehanna River fork.
The borough was founded in the middle of a fertile agricultural area—once the heartlands of the Susquehannock Amerindian peoples—and much lumbering and coal-mining was carried out in the area from early in the 19th-century. In the 1830s the region entered a boom period and began shipping coal by the Pennsylvania Canal, and by the 1840s even down the Lehigh Canal to Allentown, Philadelphia, Trenton, Wilmington, New York City, and other east coast cities and ports via the connecting engineering works of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company such as the upper Lehigh Canal, the Ashley Planes and the early Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad, along with other railroads that flocked to or were born in the area. After severe flooding ripped up the upper Lehigh Canal in the 1860s, the L&S was extended to the Delaware along the lower canal, keeping the big cities' markets connected to the still growing Wyoming Valley collieries and breakers. A second rail line was pushed up the Lehigh Gorge, the Lehigh Valley Railroad enabling a resurgent coal exportation to the east coast cities and connecting the region to the Erie Railroad and Buffalo, New York. By 1900, the population consisted of 1,948 persons; in 1910, 3,537 persons; and in 1940, 5,802 persons. The town lost usable lands in 1959 in the Knox Mine Disaster, when the river broke into the roof of sub-river anthracite mines and, in one moment, all but killed the local anthracite mining industry. Subsequently, despite the local loss of industry, the fact that the population was 5,652 at the 2010 census indicates that the former Indian and farmlands have been attractive to building developers.
Poet Anthony Petrosky was born in Exeter.
Wyoming Massacre took place in present day Exeter. See Wikipedia article on Wyoming, PA.