Scranton

Overview

Introduction

Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area were once important to the iron and coal industry. Today, Scranton, which is 125 mi/201 km north of Philadelphia, has several attractions that allow visitors to appreciate the importance of heavy industry in the development of the U.S.

The Anthracite Museum Complex actually has four separate components. The Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton's McDade Park has exhibits and multimedia displays on the way of life that developed around the coal industry. The Scranton Iron Furnaces boast four smokestacks from the original 1800s furnaces.

The other two parts of the museum complex lie outside Scranton: Eckley Miner's Village, in Hazleton, is a living-history village that depicts life in the 1800s; and the Museum of Anthracite Mining, in Ashland, is a collection of artifacts and photographs. Adjacent to the Ashland museum is the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine and Steam Train, which is open for tours. Scranton has its own coal-mine tour, the Lackawanna Coal Mine (near the Anthracite Heritage Museum), where you can descend deep underground to the coal veins (wear a sweater—it's chilly down there).

Industrial might of another sort is the focus of the Steamtown National Historic Site, dedicated to preserving the history of the steam train and railroads in the U.S. There's a huge collection of old locomotives and rail cars, and you can ride a working steam train. If you have time, you might visit the Houdini Museum.

The Scranton area also has a minor-league baseball team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

About 35 mi/56 km west of Scranton, Ricketts Glen State Park has more than 22 waterfalls within a 6.5-mi/11-km stretch in a beautiful forest of ancient pine, hemlock and oak.

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