Early in June (of 1770) the town plot of Wilkes-Barre was planned by Major Durkee, and under his direction was surveyed and platted by Samuel Wallis, a skilled surveyor and his assistants. The plot was laid out on the level stretch of land, comprising some 200 acres, lying just northeast of Fort Durkee. It was in the form of a parallelogram, its longer sides being parallel with the river, and it was bounded on the northeast by what is now known as North Street; on the southeast by the present Pennsylvania Avenue; and the southwest by South Street, and on the northwest by River Street. The parallelogram was intersected by three cross streets, now known as Northampton, Market and Union, while lengthways it was intercepted by Main Street. No names were given to any of these streets until some years later.
In the center of the town plot there was laid out a space containing four acres and forty one perches of ground. The space was diamond-shaped. This diamond formed a part of the common, or public, undivided lands of the township of Wilkes-Barre, together with what now is know as River Common.
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Borough of Wilkes-Barre, about 1838. The river, the old covered bridge, the mountains - all are graphically represented. North of Union street there is scarely a house shown. The canal, then newly constructed, can be seen paralleling Union Street. Conspicuous in the foreground is an imposing structure along the canal, the old Abraham Thomas mill, in the rear of the present residence of W. B. Mitchell, on Franklin street. This was afterward torn down by Washington Lee, who used the material for building the house on Franklin street now occupied by Dr. Harvey. At the corner of Union and Frankiln are seen the Beaumont house, the old red house, site now occupied by the Stickney block; also another old house which was a few years ago remodeled by the late Dr. Conner. A glimpse of the towers of the "old Ship Zion", and the old academy, on Public Square, are seen; also the Presbyterian and Epiccopal churches on Frankiln street, and the Phoenix Hotel on River street. To the right of the foregropund is the old hill known as the "redoubt," or "red-out," as the boyes called it. At the point where River street crossed the canal can be seen the old Colt ware house, along the canal. On Union street can be seen the E. B. Harvey residence, and on Franklin street what seems to be the Rutter block, at corner of Market. Probably other buildings could be identified.