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The borough was named for its location near the mouth of the Lackawanna River. The name "Old Forge" is derived from an old iron forge located on a stream that flows into the river. History [ edit ] Old Forge was founded in 1827 by John Wicks, who built a blast furnace and foundry there. By 1828, Old Forge had become one of Pennsylvania's most important industrial centers, with more than 100 workers employed at Wicks' blast furnaces. In addition to iron production, Old Forge also became home to several other industries: glassmaking, pottery manufacturing, and textile mills.. The community grew quickly as immigrants arrived from Ireland and Germany seeking work in these factories;:55–56 by 1850 it had grown large enough to be incorporated as a borough within Luzerne County (it would later join Lackawanna County upon its creation).