Portraits of founding father James Archbald and his wife Sarah have been reunited with their “widowed” counterparts at the Lackawanna Historical Society and the Carbondale Historical Society, thanks to a generous donation by a member of the Archbald family.

The portraits were donated to the Lackawanna Historical Society by Carolyn Krach, on behalf of the grandchildren of James Archbald VI.

The portrait of James will remain at the Lackawanna Historical Society’s Catlin House to join the Society’s existing portrait of Sarah Archbald, while the portrait of Sarah Archbald will join an existing portrait of James Archbald at the Carbondale Historical Society in Carbondale’s City Hall. Both paintings are copies done by John Willard Raught of original portraits painted by C.L. Elliot in 1845. We’re sure the couples are happy to be reunited after more than 100 years apart!

James Archbald immigrated from Scotland as a teenager. He was a self-taught engineer who designed and built a portion of the Erie Canal before being offered a position with the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. Archbald became Superintendent, in charge of the construction of the company’s gravity railroad and coal mines in Carbondale.

When Carbondale was chartered in 1851, James Archbald was elected as the first mayor. He succeeded George Scranton as general agent of the fledgling Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 1855, and was named chief engineer in 1858. James married Sarah Augusta Frothingham in 1832, and the couple had five children.

The family lived along Ridge Row in Scranton after moving from Carbondale in 1855.

For more information, contact the Lackawanna Historical Society at 570-344-3841 or email lackawannahistory@gmail.com.