Lansford borough's historic district is now official.

The Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission has designated the borough for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C., April E. Frantz of the National Register Program Bureau for Historic Preservation | PHMC, announced.

"The Lansford Historical Society and Delaware and Lehigh National Corridor are pleased to announce the Lansford Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in Washington D.C. on Sept. 4. This is great news for Lansford," said Dale Freudenberger, a member of both organizations. "I expect the Palmerton nomination to be approved by the state in October, and then it is on to the National Register for listing, hopefully by the end of the year."

Lansford Historical Society President Bill Harleman is thrilled with the news.

"As president of the Lansford Historical Society, I feel this is a momentous day for Lansford. Through the efforts of the Lansford Historical Society and tremendous help from Dale Freudenberger of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, this day has finally come. We now have another tool to promote Lansford into the future and preserve its rich history," he said. "Thanks to all involved in this project. Great job!"

The designation means the borough, built on "black diamonds," is eligible for tax breaks for restoration of old buildings, and to apply for grants and lure more businesses to the borough.

Only one other Carbon County town, Jim Thorpe, is listed in the National Historic District. However, Palmerton is also on it way to the designation, Freudenberger said.

The discovery of coal in the Panther Valley region in the mid-1800s led the former Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co, to buy up most of the land, and dig mines, build breakers and homes. The borough of Lansford was born in 1875, when several small villages united under the name of a local mover-and-shaker, Asa Lansford Foster.

The borough's black diamond origins are reflected today in the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, and in the remnants of coal-era architecture visible in the town's buildings.

Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archaeological resources.