How do we engage our youth?
How do we ply them from the techno gizmos and introduce them to the outside, to engage that exploring spirit?
Perhaps the answer lies within the man who seemed to have a great combination of imagination, energy, and focus.
His name was Josiah White and he was born in Mt. Holly New Jersey in 1781.
He grew up on a farm and explored the surrounding waterways. One can only imagine what dreams he dreamed. But he explored, he imagined, he innovated. The result, some have said, that it became his hand that rocked the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.
Josiah dreamed of riches, enough to retire by age 30, to live the will of his maker and retire to the quiet life of his farm. He had those riches by the time he was 28, he owned a wire-mill in Philadelphia and fortunately for us, he continued on.
The War of 1812 taught this Quaker, that one shouldn't rely on a foreign fuel supply. The British blockade and embargo hampered our industrial output. And soon, Josiah was planning and surveying Pennsylvania's first railroad, the second oldest in the country. By 1818, he set out to do what two other groups had failed to do: bring the rich hard, blue burning anthracite down from the veins of Summit Hill and Lansford.
And today, the youth of our county have seen with their own eyes what started with one man's imagination. Students from Lehighton Area Middle School, recently walked to the top of Front Hill, Jim Thorpe and entered the Switchback trail. They saw where the train station rested atop the long embanked walkway. They imagined the clickity-clack of the cars ambling down the 9-miles from Mt Jefferson and later heard the actual engine house bell ring. They explored and hopefully ignited a life long quest for thinking, for innovating in their own firstname.lastname@example.org or C. 610-428-6651.