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Here's another of several towns that sprung up around mills, this time a gunpowder mill. In 1851 the local post office took the simple name of Ariel, and it took years for the locals to refer to the entire district as Lake Ariel.

Two explanations have emerged regarding the source of the name: First, Ariel is the lead character -- a playful spirit -- in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

It's a small miracle that a strong central government was formed—against the states' wishes—and has been maintained thus far, though there have been perceived and dangerously real close calls.

So now you're writing a story 20 Minutes into the Future, or perhaps in an Alternate Universe.

But a unique development occurred in 1874 as Pennsylvania established a new constitution: this self-serving amendment was omitted, whether intentionally or not.

Means "the stream that forks," and the fork in question is the confluence of the Lackawanna River with the northern branch of the Susquehanna.

Second: Ariel is the more poetic name for the city of Jerusalem.

The humble author of this web page suggests that two other explanations are possible: One, that 'Ariel' is also a Hebrew word meaning "Lion of God;" and two, that the schooner USS Ariel played a significant role in pushing back the British at the Battle of Lake Erie, part of the War of 1812.

(Wyoming County was viewed as offering relatively little in terms of financial value.) Two, and this is the slimy part, Luzerne County decided to stack the deck: it pushed through a state constitutional amendment -- of highly dubious legality, one would add -- mandating that if any county were to split up it would require a majority vote of both the new section as well as the old.

Prospects for the formation of a new county called Lackawanna must have seemed doomed.

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