|City of Scranton|
Skyline of Downtown Scranton.
|Motto: Embracing Our People, Our Traditions and Our Future|
Location in Lackawanna County
|Country||United States of America|
|Incorporated (borough)||February 14, 1856|
|Incorporated (city)||April 23, 1866|
|• Mayor||William Courtright (D)|
|• City||25.44 sq mi (65.89 km2)|
|• Land||25.23 sq mi (65.33 km2)|
|• Water||0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)|
|• Metro||1,777 sq mi (4,602 km2)|
|Elevation||745 ft (227 m)|
|• City||76,089 (US:437th)|
|• Density||3,006/sq mi (1,161/km2)|
|• Urban||381,502 (US:99th)|
|• Metro||562,037 (US:95th)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP Codes||18447, 18501-18505, 18507-18510, 18512, 18514-18515, 18517-18519, 18522, 18540, 18577|
Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the State of Pennsylvania behind Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie and Reading. It is the county seat of Lackawanna County in the state's northeastern region and is also the central point for the federal court of the area. With a population of 76,089, it is the largest city in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a greater population of about 570,000, also known as the Wyoming Valley.
Scranton is the geographic and cultural center of the Lackawanna River valley, and the largest of the former anthracite coal mining communities in a contiguous quilt-work that also includes Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Carbondale. Scranton was incorporated as a borough on February 14, 1856, as a borough in Luzerne County and as a city on April 23, 1866. The city "took its first step toward earning its reputation as the Electric City" when electric lights were introduced at Dickson Locomotive Works in 1880. Six years later, the nation's first streetcars powered exclusively by electricity began operating in the city. Rev. David Spencer, a local Baptist minister, later proclaimed Scranton the "Electric City."
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Public safety
- 5 Culture
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Education
- 8 Notable people
- 9 Sister cities
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Present-day Scranton and its surrounding area had been inhabited by the native Lenape tribe, from whose language "Lackawanna" (or "lac-a-wa-na", meaning "stream that forks") is derived. In 1778, Isaac Tripp, known as the area's first white settler, built his home here; it still stands in North Scranton, formerly known as Providence. More settlers from New England came to the area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, gradually establishing mills and other small businesses in a village that became known as Slocum Hollow. People in the village during this time carried the traits and the accent of their New England settlers, which were somewhat different from the most of Pennsylvania. Some area settlers from Connecticut even participated in what was known as the Pennamite Wars, sparked by a reasonably founded belief that Connecticut had a claim on the Susquehanna River region of Pennsylvania.
Arrival of industry (1846–1899)
Though anthracite coal was being mined in Carbondale to the north and Wilkes-Barre to the south, the industries that precipitated the city's initial growth were iron and steel. In the 1840s, brothers Selden T. and George W. Scranton from New Jersey founded what would become the Lackawanna Steel Company. It initially started producing nails, but that venture failed due to its low quality iron. As the Erie Railroad was being built in New York State, it experienced long delays in acquiring the iron rails it needed, which were largely imported from England. The Scrantons' firm decided to switch their focus to producing T-rails for the Erie, and soon became a major producer.
In 1851, the Scrantons built the Lackawanna and Western Railroad (L&W) northward, largely using recent Irish immigrants, to meet the Erie Railroad in Great Bend, PA and transport manufactured rails from the Lackawanna valley. They also invested in coal mining operations in the city to fuel their steel operations, and to market it to businesses. In 1856, they expanded the railroad eastward as the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W), in order to tap into the New York City metropolitan market. This railroad, with its hub in Scranton, would be the city's largest employer for almost one hundred years. The Pennsylvania Coal Company built a gravity railroad in the 1850s through the city for the purpose of transporting coal. The gravity railroad was replaced by a steam railroad built in 1886 by the Erie and Wyoming Valley Railroad (later absorbed by the Erie Railroad). The Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Canal Company, which had its own gravity railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale, built a steam railroad that entered Scranton in 1863.
During this short period of time, the city began transforming from a small, agrarian-based village of people with New England roots to a multicultural, industrial based city. In 1856, the Borough of Scranton was officially incorporated. It was incorporated as a city of 35,000 in 1866 in Luzerne County when the surrounding boroughs of Hyde Park (now part of the city's West Side) and Providence (now part of North Scranton) were merged with Scranton. Twelve years later, the city became the county seat of the newly formed Lackawanna County.
The nation's first successful, continuously operating electrified streetcar (trolley) system was established in the city in 1886, giving it the nickname "The Electric City". In 1896, the city's various streetcar companies were consolidated into the Scranton Railway Company, which ran trolleys until 1954. By 1890, three other railroads had built lines to tap into the rich supply of coal in and around the city, including the Erie Railroad, the Central Railroad of New Jersey and finally the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (NYO&W).
As the vast rail network spread above ground, an even larger network of railways served the rapidly expanding system of coal veins underground. Miners, who at first were typically Welsh and Irish, were given jobs by wealthy coal barons who had little regard for their welfare. They endured low pay, long hours and unsafe working conditions. Children as young as eight or nine worked 14-hour days separating slate from coal in the breakers. Often, they were forced to use company provided housing and purchase food and other goods from stores owned by the coal companies.
Business was booming at the end of the 19th century. The tonnage of coal mined increased virtually every year, as did the steel manufactured by the Lackawanna Steel Company, which at one point was the largest steel plant in the United States, and was still the second largest producer at the turn of the 20th century.
In the late 1890s, Scranton was home to a series of early International League baseball teams.
Growth and prosperity (1900–1945)
By the United States Census of 1900, the population of Scranton was about 102,026, making it the 38th-largest U.S. city, and the third largest city in Pennsylvania. The turn of the 20th century saw many beautiful homes of Victorian architecture built in the Hill and Green Ridge sections of the city.
In 1902, the dwindling local iron ore supply, labor issues and an aging plant cost the city the industry on which it was founded. The Lackawanna Steel Company and many of its workers were moved to Lackawanna, New York, where iron ore was more readily available, thanks to a Great Lakes port that gave it easy access to ore from Minnesota.
Scranton forged ahead as the capital of anthracite coal industry. To provide all the labor required to mine coal, it became home to many new neighborhoods of Italian and Eastern European immigrants during the first half of the 20th century. This patchwork still survives and is represented by the Catholic and Orthodox churches that are at the core of the various neighborhoods of the city; a substantial Jewish community was established as well. Working conditions for miners were improved by the efforts of labor leaders like John Mitchell, who is honored with a statue on the downtown Courthouse Square and buried in Cathedral Cemetery in the city's west side.
The public transportation system began to expand beyond the trolley lines pioneered by predecessors of the Scranton Railways system. The Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad, commonly referred to as the Laurel Line, was built as an interurban passenger and freight carrier to Wilkes-Barre. Its Scranton station, offices, powerhouse and maintenance facility were built on the former grounds of the Lackawanna Steel Company, and operations started in 1903. Beginning in 1907, Scrantonians could also ride trolley cars to the northern suburbs of Clarks Summit and Dalton, and even to Lake Winola and Montrose using the Northern Electric Railroad. After the 1920s, no new trolley lines were built, but bus operations were started and expanded to meet service needs. In 1934, Scranton Railways was re-incorporated as the Scranton Transit Company, reflecting that shift in transportation modes.
Starting in the early 1920s, the Scranton Button Company (founded in 1885 and a major maker of shellac buttons) became one of the primary makers of phonograph records. They pressed records for Emerson (whom they bought in 1924), as well as Regal, Cameo, Romeo, Banner, Domino, Conqueror. In July 1929, the company merged with Regal, Cameo, Banner, and the U.S. branch of Pathe (makers of Pathe and Perfect) to become the American Record Corporation. By 1938, the Scranton company was also pressing records for Brunswick, Melotone, and Vocalion. In 1946, the company was acquired by Capitol Records, which continued to produce phonograph records through the end of the vinyl era.
By the mid-1930s, the city population had swelled beyond 140,000 thanks largely to the growing mining and silk textile industries. World War II created a great demand for energy, which led to most amount of mining activity in the area since World War I.
Burning culm dump c. 1908
After World War II, coal lost favor to oil and natural gas as a heating fuel, largely because they were more convenient to use. While some U.S. cities prospered in the post-war boom, the fortunes and population of Scranton (and the rest of Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties) began to diminish. Coal production and rail traffic declined rapidly throughout the 1950s.
The Knox Mine Disaster of January 1959 virtually erased the mining industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The event eliminated thousands of jobs as the waters of the Susquehanna River flooded the mines. The DL&W Railroad, nearly bankrupt by the drop in coal traffic and the effects of Hurricane Diane, merged with the Erie Railroad in 1960. Scranton had been the hub of its operations until the Erie Lackawanna merger, after which it no longer served in this capacity; it was another severe blow to the labor market. The NYO&W Railroad, which depended heavily on its Scranton branch for freight traffic, was abandoned in 1957. Mine subsidence was a spreading problem in the city as pillar supports in abandoned mines began to fail; cave-ins sometimes consumed entire blocks of homes. The area was left scarred by abandoned coal mining structures, strip mines, and massive culm dumps, some of which caught fire and burned for many years until they were extinguished through government efforts. In 1970, the Secretary of Mines for Pennsylvania suggested that so many underground voids had been left by mining underneath Scranton that it would be "more economical" to abandon the city than make them safe. In 1973, the very last mine operations in Lackawanna County (which were in what is now McDade Park, and another on the Scranton/Dickson City line) were closed. During the 1960s and 1970s, the silk and other textile industries shrunk as jobs moved south or overseas.
Demand for public transportation also declined as new highways were built and people opted to purchase automobiles. In 1952, the Laurel Line ceased passenger service. The Scranton Transit Company, whose trolleys had given the city its nickname, transferred all operations to buses as the 1954 holiday season approached; by 1968, it ceased all operations. The city was left without any public transportation system until the Lackawanna County government formed COLTS, which began operations in 1972 with 1940s-era GM busses from New Jersey.
In 1955, some eastern and southern parts of the city were destroyed by the floods of Hurricane Diane, which took several lives in the city.
There were some small bright spots during the era. In 1962, businessman Alex Grass opened his first "Thrif D Discount Center" drugstore on Lackawanna Avenue in downtown Scranton. The 17-by-75-foot (5 by 23 m) store, an immediate success, was the progenitor of the Rite Aid drugstore chain.
During the 1970s and 1980s, many downtown storefronts and theaters became vacant as suburban shopping malls became the dominant venues for shopping and entertainment.
Stabilization and restoration (1985–)
There has been an emphasis on revitalization since the mid-1980s. Local government and much of the community at large have adopted a renewed interest in the city's buildings and history. Aged and empty properties are being redesigned and marketed as tourist attractions. The Steamtown National Historic Site captures the area's once-prominent position in the railroad industry. The former DL&W train station was restored as the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel. The Electric City Trolley Museum was created next to the DL&W yards that the Steamtown NHS occupies. The Scranton Cultural Center has operated the architecturally significant Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral, designed by Raymond Hood, as the region's performing arts center since the mid-1980s. The Houdini Museum opened in Scranton by nationally known magician Dorothy Dietrich in 1990 and is the only museum in the world dedicated to Harry Houdini. The museum has been featured on more national television than other NE PA attractions combined. In 2003, Hilton Hotels & Resorts opened the Hilton Scranton Hotel & Conference Center at the corner of Adams Street & Lackawanna Street in the heart of downtown Scranton. Due to the current rage of paranormal themed televisions shows a popular downtown historic Scranton Ghost Walk  is now available 365 days a year. Other attractions responsible for recent popularity and favorable attention to the Scranton area include the Montage Mountain ski resort (formerly Snö Mountain), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (formerly the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees and before that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons), AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees, and their PNC Field, and the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain concert venue.
According to The Guardian, the city was close to bankruptcy in July 2012, with the wages of all municipal officials, including the mayor and fire chief, being cut to $7.25/hour. Financial consultant Gary Lewis, who lives in Scranton, was quoted as estimating that "on 5 July the city had just $5,000 cash in hand."
Scranton is located at  Its total area of 25.4 square miles (66 km2) includes 25.2 square miles (65 km2) of land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of water, according to the United States Census Bureau. Scranton is drained by the Lackawanna River.(41.410629, −75.667411).
Center City is about 750 feet (229 m) above sea level, although the hilly city's inhabited portions range about from 650 to 1,400 feet (200 to 430 m). The city is flanked by mountains to the east and west whose elevations range from 1,900 to 2,100 feet (580 to 640 m).
Scranton has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa/Dfb), with four distinct seasons. Summers are humid and very warm, with occasional heat waves, while winters are cold and snowy. The monthly daily average temperature in January, the coldest month, is 25.8 °F (−3.4 °C), while the same figure in July, the warmest month, is 71.4 °F (21.9 °C). Extremes in temperatures have ranged from 103.2 °F (40 °C) on July 9, 1936 down to −21 °F (−29 °C) on January 21, 1994; there is an average of only 9.2 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 37 days where the high fails to rise above freezing, and 3 days of sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows. Precipitation is generally slightly greater during late spring and summer, while winter is generally the driest. On average, each month sees 10 to 13 days of precipitation, and the mean annual total is 38.23 inches (971 mm). Snowfall is variable, with some winters bringing light snow and others bringing numerous snowstorms. For the 1981–2010 period, snowfall has averaged 42 inches (107 cm) per year, with January and February accounting for the majority of the seasonal total; on average, the first and last dates of measurable (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) snowfall are November 15 and April 4, respectively, with snow in October a rare occurrence.
|Climate data for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Int'l Airport, Pennsylvania (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1901–present)[a]|
|Record high °F (°C)||69
|Average high °F (°C)||33.2
|Average low °F (°C)||18.5
|Record low °F (°C)||−21
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.37
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||14.2
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||12.0||11.0||11.8||12.3||13.2||12.8||11.2||11.3||10.2||10.7||11.2||11.5||139.2|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||9.3||7.7||5.0||1.7||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||2.1||7.1||33.0|
|Average relative humidity (%)||70.1||67.5||63.3||60.4||64.6||70.5||71.1||73.8||75.2||71.6||71.8||72.5||69.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||130.3||143.7||185.7||210.5||246.9||269.7||285.7||257.2||200.2||173.3||104.3||95.9||2,303.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||44||48||50||53||55||60||62||60||54||50||35||33||52|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1964–1990, sun 1961–1990)|
Scranton is broken into six major sections: Minooka, West Side, South Side, the Hill Section (a.k.a. East Scranton), North Scranton, and Downtown. As with most cities and neighborhoods, boundaries can be ambiguous and are not always uniformly defined.
West Scranton (West Side) (shown in orange) is made up of a group of smaller neighborhoods including Hyde Park, West Mountain (everything north of Keyser Ave.), the Keyser Valley, Bellevue, and Tripp Park. North Scranton (shown in blue) contains the neighborhood of Providence.
South Side has the Nativity Section, St. Johns, the Flats, East Mountain (everything east of Interstate 81), and Minooka, which is a neighborhood in the southwestern part of the city. It is bordered by two commercial streets, Cedar Avenue and Moosic Street. The East Mountain borders on Lake Scranton, a popular location for joggers or for taking a nature walk.
The Hill Section is a mainly residential section bordering the east side of downtown Scranton, consisting of the area roughly between Jefferson Avenue and Nay Aug Park. It is home to three of Scranton's universities, including the University of Scranton, Lackawanna College, and the Commonwealth Medical College, as well as the Albright Memorial Library. Additionally, Nay Aug Park is in the Hill Section, which contains the Everhart Museum, several nature trails, and a summer water park.
The Upper Green Ridge area is the wealthiest of the neighborhoods, which extends into the neighboring borough of Dunmore. It was here and in parts of the Hill Section that the mansions built by former coal barons still stand.
Downtown Scranton is the commercial center of Scranton. Notable sights in downtown include Steamtown National Historic Site, the Electric Trolley Museum, Lackawanna County Courthouse Square, the historic Iron Furnaces, the Radisson Station Hotel (which is a converted train station), the Masonic Temple and Cultural Center, and the convention center. Additionally, the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail runs along the Lackawanna River between downtown and West Scranton.
||South Abington Township||Dickson City||Throop|
|Moosic||Spring Brook Township||Roaring Brook Township|
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 census, there were 76,089 people, 30,069 households, and 18,124 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,006/mi² (1,161/km²). There were 33,853 housing units at an average density of 1,342/mi² (518/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.11% White, 5.45% African American, 0.23% Native American, 2.98% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.69% from other races, and 2.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race make up 9.90% of the population.
There were 30,069 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.1% were non-families. The city had 36.7% of its households with single occupancy and 18.1% whose individuals was aged at least 65. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 3.01.
The population's age is distributed with 20.8% under 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% at least 65. The median age was 39. For every 100 females, there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females aged at least 18, there were 83.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,805, and the median income for a family was $41,642. Males had a median income of $30,829 versus $21,858 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,174. Found below the poverty line are 15.0% of the population, 10.7% of families, 18.9% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those at least age 65.
As of the 2006 American Community Survey, the average family size is 2.95. Of the population that's 25 years old and over, 83.3% of them have graduated from High School. 18.7% of them have a Bachelor's degree or higher. In labor force (population 16 years and over), 57.6% of them work. The per capita income (in 2006 inflation-adjusted dollars) is $17,187.
The Bureau of Fire was incorporated as a paid service in 1901. It is a full-time service consisting of about 130 firefighters. Its headquarters is on Mulberry Street in Central City. The fire department has eight fire stations, which are located in the city's South Side, Central City, the Pinebrook section, West Side, North Scranton, Bull's Head, and on East Mountain. It has 9 firefighting vehicles, including six engines, two trucks, and one rescue engine. Due to recent changes in staffing in early 2011, Engine Company #9 was closed, and at times some remaining companies are left unmanned due to lack of manpower
The Scranton Police Patrol Division is broken down into three shifts. Police headquarters is located on South Washington Avenue in downtown Scranton. Special Units include Arson Investigations, Auto Theft Task Force, Child Abuse Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Investigation, Juvenile Unit, Special Investigations Unit, Canine Unit, Community Development and Highway Unit. The Police department has recently opened two new satellite stations. The Highway Unit was relocated to one new station at N. Keyser Ave & Morgan Highway. The second was opened at the Valley View Housing complex. There are plans for at least one more, with possibly two.
- WNEP-TV ABC affiliate
- WBRE-TV NBC affiliate
- WYOU-TV CBS affiliate
- WVIA-TV PBS affiliate
- WOLF-TV Fox affiliate
- WQMY MyNetworkTV affiliate
- WSWB CW affiliate
- WQPX ION Television affiliate
Scranton hosts the headquarters of Times-Shamrock Communications, which publishes the city's major newspaper, The Times-Tribune, a Pulitzer Prize-winning broadsheet daily founded in 1870. Times-Shamrock also publishes the Electric City, a weekly entertainment tabloid and The Citizens' Voice, a daily tabloid based in Wilkes-Barre. The Scranton Post is a weekly general interest broadsheet. The Times Leader is a daily paper that primarily covers Wilkes-Barre. The Times Leader also publishes Go Lackawanna, a Sunday newspaper serving Scranton and surrounding municipalities, and the Weekender is a Wilkes-Barre-based entertainment tabloid with distribution in Scranton. There are several other print publications with a more narrow focus, including the Union News, La Voz Latina, and Melanian News.
Scranton's professional sports date to 1887, when the minor-league Scranton Indians became the city's first professional baseball team. Many more followed, including teams in the Pennsylvania State League, Eastern League, Atlantic League, New York State League, New York-Penn League and the New York-Pennsylvania League. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the International League play their home games at PNC Field in Moosic, south of Scranton.
In football, the Scranton Eagles, a semi-pro/minor league team, dominate their Empire Football League, having won 11 championships. The former arena football Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, who played eight seasons at the Mohegan Sun Arena (formerly Wachovia Arena) in Wilkes-Barre Township had made the playoffs in their last six years of existence and contended for the ArenaCup VIII in 2007 and the ArenaCup X in 2009, their final year, but lost both times. Another semi-pro/minor league team the North East Pennsylvania Miners of the Big North East Football Federation (BNEFF) recently started play in the area in 2007.
Scranton previously had pro basketball teams, including the Scranton Apollos, Scranton Miners and Scranton Zappers. Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim played for the Miners before turning to coaching. In 2012, the city played host to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Steamers of the Premier Basketball League.
Professional ice hockey arrived in 1999 when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League began play at the Mohegan Sun Arena (formerly Wachovia Arena) in Wilkes-Barre Township. The team won conference championships in 2001, 2004, and 2008.
The Electric City Shock semi-professional soccer team was founded in 2013 as part of the National Premier Soccer League. The team is on the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid and plays at Marywood University.
Watres Armory in Scranton hosted World Heavyweight Championship fight between titlist Larry Holmes and challenger, European champion Lucien Rodrigues of France on 27 March 1983. Holmes retained his title via a unanimous 12-round decision without losing a single round in any official scorecard.
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders||IL||Baseball||PNC Field||1989||New York Yankees||5||1|
|Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins||AHL||Ice Hockey||Mohegan Sun Arena||1999||Pittsburgh Penguins||3||0|
|Electric City Shock||NPSL||Soccer||Marywood University||2013||N/A||0||0|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Steamers||PBL||Basketball||Union Center at Lackawanna College||2012||N/A||0||0|
Landmarks and attractions
Many of Scranton's attractions celebrate its heritage as an industrial center in iron and coal production and its ethnic diversity. The Scranton Iron Furnaces are remnants of the city's founding industry and of the Scranton family's Lackawanna Steel Company. The Steamtown National Historic Site seeks to preserve the history of railroads in the Northeast. The Electric City Trolley Museum preserves and operates pieces of Pennsylvania streetcar history. The Lackawanna Coal Mine tour at McDade Park, conducted inside a former mine, describes the history of mining and railroads in the Scranton area. The former DL&W Passenger Station is now the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.
Museums in Scranton include the Everhart Museum in Nay Aug Park, which houses a collection of natural history, science and art exhibits; and the Houdini Museum, which features films, exhibits, and a stage show in a unique, century-old building. Terence Powderly's house, still a private dwelling, is one of the city's many historic buildings and, with Steamtown, the city's other National Historic Landmark. In addition, The Lackawanna Historical Society, founded in 1886 and located at the George H. Catlin House in Scranton's Hill Section, focuses on the history of Lackawanna County. Tripp House, built by the Tripp family in 1771, is the oldest building in the city.
The city's religious history is evident in the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Ann, which draws thousands of pilgrims to its annual novena, and St. Stanislaus Cathedral, the seat of the Polish National Catholic Church in North America. The history of the founding of this denomination is tied to Polish immigration to Scranton in the late 19th century.
Since the 1970s, Scranton has hosted La Festa Italiana, a three-day Italian festival that takes place on Labor Day weekend on the courthouse square. The festival originally took place around Columbus Day, but was moved because Scranton generally receives cold weather in October.
Scranton's large Irish population is represented in the annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade, first held in 1862. Organized by the St. Patrick's Day Parade Association of Lackawanna County, it is the nation's fourth-largest in attendance and second-largest in per capita attendance. Held on the Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day, the parade includes more than 8,000 people, including floats, bagpipe players, high school bands and Irish groups. In 2008, attendance estimates were as high as 150,000 people.
For recreation, there is Montage Mountain Ski Resort, known as Sno Mountain for a short period, which rivals the numerous resorts of the Poconos in popularity and offers a relatively comprehensive range of difficulty levels. The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) Steamtown Marathon has been held each October since 1996 and finishes in downtown Scranton. Nay Aug park is the largest of several parks in Scranton and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also laid out Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. The city is the home of Electric Theatre Company, a professional Equity theatre with a nine-month season.
Scranton's primary concert venue is the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain, a partially covered amphitheater that seats 17,500. Its summer concerts have included James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, and many other musical acts.
Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple is an impressive piece of architecture which houses several auditoriums and a large ballroom. It hosts the Northeast Philharmonic, Broadway Theater and other touring performances.
In popular culture
- Scranton is the home to a regional branch of the fictional Dunder-Mifflin paper company, the setting of the NBC sitcom The Office. The exterior of the Penn Paper & Supply at 215 Vine Street appears in the opening titles of the show.
- Scranton native Jason Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play That Championship Season is set in Scranton. Exterior scenes for the 1982 film adaptation were filmed here. Director Miller insisted on shooting in his hometown, with many local sites featured prominently.
- The city is the subject of George Inness's 1855 painting, The Lackawanna Valley, which hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
- The Harry Chapin song 30,000 Pounds of Bananas is about an actual fatal 1965 accident in Scranton, where a driver hauling bananas lost control of his truck as it barreled down Moosic Street.
- The 2002 novel Mine Seed by Scranton native Lucia Dailey is set in Scranton.
- The James Blish novel A Life for the Stars describes the departure of Scranton from Earth on a space-faring trip as part of a futuristic Okie movement in the Cities in Flight series.
The main highways that serve Scranton are Interstate 81, which runs north to Binghamton, New York and Ontario and south to Harrisburg and Tennessee; Interstate 84, which runs east to Milford and New England; Interstate 380, which runs southeast to Mount Pocono and Interstate 80 east to New York City and west to San Francisco; Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension, which runs south to Allentown and Philadelphia; U.S. Route 6, which runs east to Carbondale and parallel to I-84 to New England and west to Erie; and U.S. Route 11, which runs parallel to I-81.
Scranton's provider of public transportation is the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS). COLTS buses provide extensive service within the city and more limited service that reaches in all directions to Carbondale, Daleville, Pittston, and Fleetville. The other bussing company is the LCTA which is the "Luzerne county transit authority", which mainly runs through The Minooka section (closest to Luzerne County) and Downtown Scranton by the steamtown mall.
Martz Trailways and Greyhound Lines provide coach bus transportation from its downtown station to New York City, Philadelphia and other points in the northeast.
Private operators such as Posten Taxi and McCarthy Flowered Cabs service the Scranton area. They are hired by telephone through central dispatch and cannot be hailed on the street as in larger cities.
Rail transportation, vital to the city's historic growth, remains important today.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (Delaware and Hudson division) runs freight trains on the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) line between Scranton and Binghamton, with frequent through trains often jointly operated with Norfolk Southern Railway. The Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad serves the former DL&W Keyser Valley branch in the city.
The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, as designated operator of county-owned rail lines, oversees the former Delaware and Hudson line from Scranton north to Carbondale, the former DL&W line east to the Delaware Water Gap and the former Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad third-rail interurban streetcar line south to Montage Mountain, Moosic. These lines host the seasonal passenger trains of both the Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum and are under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Rail Authority.
The PNRRA was created by Lackawanna County and Monroe County to oversee the use of common rail freight lines in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including one formerly owned by Conrail running from Scranton, through the Pocono Mountains towards New Jersey and the New York City market.
One of its primary objectives is to re-establish rail passenger service to Hoboken, New Jersey and thence by connection to New York. As of 2011, regular passenger train service to Scranton is slated to be restored under a plan to extend New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) service from Hoboken via the Lackawanna Cut-Off. The trains would pass the Lackawanna Station building and pull in at a new Scranton station on Lackawanna Avenue along the northernmost track east of Bridge 60 (the railroad bridge over the Lackawanna River) and the Cliff Street underpass.
Primary and secondary education
The city's public schools are operated by the Scranton School District (SSD), which serves almost 10,000 students. The city has two public high schools for grades 9–12: Scranton High School just northwest of the downtown and West Scranton High School located on the West Side of the city. The district also has three public middle schools for grades 6–8: Northeast Intermediate, South Scranton Intermediate, and West Scranton Intermediate. In addition, SSD maintains 12 public elementary schools for grades K–5.
Scranton has two private high schools: Scranton Preparatory School, a private Jesuit school, and Yeshiva Bais Moshe, an Ultra Orthodox school. Holy Cross High School in Dunmore is a Catholic high school operated by the Diocese of Scranton that serves students in Scranton and the surrounding area. The diocese also operates several private elementary schools in the city. Protestant schools that serve the Scranton area include Abington Christian Academy, Canaan Christian Academy, The Geneva School, Summit Academy, and Triboro Christian Academy. The Pennsylvania Department of Education provides oversight for the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. Penn Foster High School, a distance education high school, is headquartered in Scranton.
Scranton, West Scranton, Scranton Prep and Holy Cross all compete athletically in Pennsylvania's Lackawanna League which is a part of District 2 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Colleges and universities
The city hosts five colleges and universities: The University of Scranton, The Commonwealth Medical College, Johnson College, Lackawanna College, Marywood University; and one technical school, Fortis Institute. The Pennsylvania State University operates a Commonwealth Campus north of the city, in the borough of Dunmore, where ITT Tech is also located. Penn Foster Career School, a distance education vocational school, is headquartered in Scranton. Other colleges within 30 miles (48 km) of Scranton include Summit University and Keystone College.
The Lackawanna County Library System administers the libraries in Scranton, including the Albright Memorial Library and the Lackawanna County Children's Library and the Nancy Kay Holmes Library. As of 2008, Scranton libraries serve more than 96,000 people and have a circulation of over 547,000.
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- Joseph Biden — current Vice President of the United States, former U.S. Senator from Delaware
- Frank Carlucci — United States Secretary of Defense from 1987 until 1989
- Robert P. Casey — 42nd Governor of Pennsylvania. (Democrat)
- Robert P. Casey, Jr. — current senior U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
- Hillary Clinton — former First Lady of the United States, U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from New York. Her father Hugh E. Rodham was born and lived in Scranton, and Hillary Clinton spent much of her childhood near Lake Winola.
- Hermann Eilts — former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bangladesh
- John R. Farr — Republican member of U.S. House of Representatives
- Terence V. Powderly — head of the Knights of Labor from 1879 until 1893
- Robert Reich — professor, author, and political commentator, United States Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 1997
- William Scranton — 38th Governor of Pennsylvania and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
- William Scranton III — Republican Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987
- David William Thomas — lawyer, publisher, professor, mayor of Minden, Louisiana (1936-1940), reared in Scranton
- Joel Wachs (born 1939) — Los Angeles, California, City Council member for thirty years (1970–2001), president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York City
- Walter Bobbie – theatre director and choreographer
- Alan Brown – filmmaker
- Sonny Burke – big band leader
- Mark Cohen – photographer
- Bob Degen – jazz pianist
- Dorothy Dietrich – stage magician, escapologist, owner with Dick Brookz of the Houdini Museum; show on WFTE FM radio
- Cy Endfield – screenwriter, film and theater director, author, magician and inventor
- Jane Jacobs – writer and activist with primary interest in communities and urban planning and decay
- Gloria Jean – singer and actress
- Jean Kerr – author and playwright
- Michael Patrick King – writer, director and producer for television shows and movies, co-creator of 2 Broke Girls and The Comeback
- Michael Kuchwara – theater critic, columnist and journalist
- Gershon Legman – cultural critic and folklorist
- Bradford Louryk – theater artist and actor
- Judy McGrath – television executive, CEO of MTV Networks
- The Menzingers – punk band
- W.S. Merwin – poet, 17th United States Poet Laureate
- Jason Miller – actor, director and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of That Championship Season, a play and film set in Scranton
- Motionless in White - gothic metalcore band
- Bruce Mozert, photographer
- Jay Parini – writer and academic
- Cynthia Rothrock – martial artist and star of martial arts films
- Lizabeth Scott – actress and singer, widely known for her film noir roles
- Melanie Smith – actress noted for playing "Emily" on As The World Turns
- Thomas L. Thomas – Welsh-American baritone concert singer
- Tigers Jaw - indie rock, emo band
- Ned Washington – lyricist
- Lauren Weisberger – author of the 2003 bestseller The Devil Wears Prada
- P.J. Carlesimo – college, Olympic and professional basketball coach and television broadcaster
- Nick Chickillo – NFL player
- Nestor Chylak – Baseball Hall of Famer and American League umpire from 1954 to 1978
- Joe Collins – Major League Baseball player, six-time World Series champion with New York Yankees
- Jim Crowley – football player and coach, one-fourth of the University of Notre Dame's legendary "Four Horsemen" backfield
- Paul Foytack – Major League Baseball pitcher
- Charlie Gelbert – Major League Baseball player
- Cosmo Iacavazzi – college and AFL player
- Edgar Jones – college and professional football player
- Bill Lazor - offensive coordinator of the NFL's Miami Dolphins
- Ralph Lomma – popularized miniature golf in the mid-1950s
- Matt McGloin – quarterback for NFL's Oakland Raiders
- Gerry McNamara – basketball player
- Mike Munchak – former head coach of NFL's Tennessee Titans, college and NFL player; member of Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Joe O'Malley - football player
- Jim O'Neill – Major League Baseball player, born in Minooka, Pennsylvania, now part of Scranton
- Steve O'Neill - Major League Baseball player and manager, won 1920 and 1945 World Series, brother of Jack, Jim and Mike O'Neill
- Jackie Paterson – Scottish boxer
- Tim Ruddy – college and National Football League player
- Greg Sherman - general manager of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche
- Marc Spindler – college and NFL player
- Brian Stann – Mixed martial artist currently fighting in the UFC, former WEC light heavyweight MMA champion
- Joseph Bambera – 10th and current Bishop of Scranton
- Mamie Cadden – Irish midwife
- Lisa Caputo – current Executive VP, Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs for Citigroup
- Howard Gardner – developmental psychologist and professor
- Alex Grass – businessman and lawyer who founded Rite Aid
- Jeffrey Bruce Klein – investigative journalist who co-founded Mother Jones (magazine) in 1976
- Gino J. Merli – American soldier, and recipient of the Medal of Honor during World War II
- Robert C. Morlino – 4th and current Bishop of Madison
- John Joseph O'Connor – 11th bishop (8th archbishop) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, 7th Bishop of Scranton
- Karen Ann Quinlan – important person in the history of the right to die controversy
- Hugh Ellsworth Rodham – father of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
- William Henry Richmond - coal mine operator
- B.F. Skinner – behaviorist, author, inventor, social philosopher, and poet
- Charles Sumner "Sum" Woolworth – retailer, philanthropist, co-founder of the Woolworth chain, founder of C. S. Woolworth and Co., Board Chairman of F. W. Woolworth Company from 1919 to 1945
- Mel Ziegler – cofounded two companies, The Republic of Tea and Banana Republic
Scranton has the following official sister cities,
- Ballina, Co. Mayo, Republic of Ireland
- Guardia Lombardi, Italy
- Balakovo, Russia
- Trnava, Slovakia
- Perugia, Italy
- City of San Marino, San Marino
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