Introduction to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Wilkes-Barre is situated in Wyoming Valley in Luzerne County. It's located in Northeastern Pennsylvania near the Pocono Mountains and the Endless Mountains. The Susquehanna River runs through the valley. Planters Peanuts was founded in the city.
The original inhabitants were the Shawwanese and Delaware Indians. In 1769 John Durkee and his party were the first settlers to arrive. The town was named in tribute to John Wilkes and Isaac Barre, who were members of the British Parliament and offered support to colonial America. The original settlers were loyal to the state of Connecticut during a land dispute with the officials of Pennsylvania. The Pennamite Wars involved citizens of Pennsylvania attempting to force out the citizens of Wilkes-Barre. After the American Revolution ended it was decided that the settlers could retain ownership of their acreage by giving their allegiance to the state of Pennsylvania.
Hundreds of thousands of people arrived looking for work in mines after anthracite coal was discovered in the 1800's. Wilkes-Barre became known as the Diamond City. However the vast majority of the coal companies left after World War II was over.
- The Frederick Stegmaier Mansion
- Luzerne County Museum
- Wyoming Monument
- The Lion Brewery features rustic architecture and provides tours
- Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre is one of the oldest community theaters in the country
- Nathan Denison House includes furniture and architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries
- Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza
- Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University offers exhibits of regional, national as well as international artists
- F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
- Luzerne County Courthouse is an impressive structure and offers an illustrated history of the county with mosaics and murals
Wilkes University, King's College, Misericordia University, Penn State Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County Community College are nearby.
The city is served by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. Bus services are provided by the Luzerne County Transportation Authority.
Entertainment and Activities
The Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs offers casino gambling and features a harness racing track. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees baseball team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team and the Wilkes-Barre /Scranton Pioneers arena football team are popular with the residents. The Pocono International Raceway is nearby. The Kirby Center for the Performing Arts is a popular venue. Residents and visitors enjoy music performed by the Wyoming Valley Band, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Choral Society.
For nightlife, the Cafe Metropolis offers noteworthy music concerts. The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Arts at Hayfield, Fine Arts Fiesta and the Hayfield Poetry Festival are popular events. Skiing and snow boarding opportunities are available at Montage Mountain. Golfing enthusiasts enjoy the beautiful Wilkes-Barre Golf Club. The Susquehanna River Watch Rails with Trails is a notable location for bicycle riding, horseback riding, walking and other activities.