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Wyoming Valley

Coordinates: 41°15′04″N 75°54′22″W / 41.251°N 75.906°W / 41.251; -75.906
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wyoming Valley
Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA MSA
Map of Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA Area MSA
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Largest cityScranton
Other cities - Wilkes-Barre
 - Hazleton
 - Carbondale
 - Pittston City (Greater Pittston)
 - Nanticoke
 • Total1,776 sq mi (4,600 km2)
Highest elevation
2,460[1] ft (750 m)
Lowest elevation
400 ft (100 m)
 • Total567,559
 • Rank100th in the U.S.
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)

The Wyoming Valley is a historic industrialized region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The region is historically notable for its influence in helping fuel the American Industrial Revolution with its many anthracite coal-mines. As a metropolitan area, it is known as the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area, after its principal cities, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. With a population of 567,559 as of the 2020 United States census, it is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania, after the Delaware Valley, Greater Pittsburgh, the Lehigh Valley, and the Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical areas.

Within the geology of Pennsylvania the Wyoming Valley makes up its own unique physiographic province,[citation needed] the Anthracite Valley. Greater Pittston occupies the center of the valley. Scranton is the most populated city in the metropolitan area with a population of 77,114. The city of Scranton grew in population after the 2015 mid-term census while Wilkes-Barre declined in population. Wilkes-Barre remains the second most-populated city in the metropolitan area, while Hazleton is the third most-populated city in the metropolitan area.

The valley is a crescent-shaped depression, a part of the ridge-and-valley or folded Appalachians. The Susquehanna River occupies the southern part of the valley, which is notable for its deposits of anthracite. These have been extensively mined. Deep mining of anthracite has declined throughout the greater Coal Region, however, due to the greater economics of strip mining. Parts of the local mines had already shut down because some coal beds were on fire and had to be sealed, but the exodus of mining companies came quickly following the legal and political repercussions of the 1959 Knox Mine disaster when the roof of the Knox Coal Company's mine under the Susquehanna River collapsed.

The Pocono Mountains, a ridgeline away, are often visible from higher elevations to the east and to the southeast of the Wyoming Valley.[notes 1]



Early history

A map of Pennsylvania and the competing land claims during the colonial era
A map of Pennsylvania counties in 1836; at the time, Lackawanna and Wyoming were still part of Luzerne County.

The name Wyoming derives from the Lenape Munsee name xwéːwamənk, meaning "at the big river flat."[3]

According to The Jesuit Relations in 1635, the Wyoming Valley was inhabited by the Scahentoarrhonon people, an Iroquoian-speaking group; it was then known as the Scahentowanen Valley. By 1744, it was inhabited by Lenape, Mohican, Shawnee and others who had been pushed out of eastern areas by the Iroquois Confederacy. From the 1740s to the 1760s, the valley was the site of Moravian mission work among the Native Americans living there. They envisioned a settlement for Christian Indians. But the violence of the French and Indian War, known outside the U.S. as part of the Seven Years' War, drove these settlers away with David Zeisberger, the Moravian "Apostle to the Indians."

This led to conflicting claims to the territory by the colonies of Pennsylvania and Connecticut. King Charles II of England granted the land to the Colony of Connecticut in 1662, and then to William Penn in 1681, who established the Province of Pennsylvania, leading to military skirmishes known as the Pennamite–Yankee War. After Yankee settlers from Connecticut founded Wilkes-Barre in 1769, armed bands of Pennsylvanians,, known as Pennamites, tried unsuccessfully to expel them between 1769 and 70, and then again in 1775.

Revolutionary War


During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Wyoming took place in the valley on July 3, 1778, in which more than 300 Revolutionaries died at the hands of Loyalists and their Iroquois allies. The incident was depicted by the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell in his 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming. At the time, rebel colonists widely believed that Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief, had led the Iroquois forces; in the poem, Brant is described as the "Monster Brant" because of the atrocities committed. Later colonists determined that Brant had not been present at this conflict. The popularity of the poem may have led to the state of Wyoming later being named after the valley.

Founding of Luzerne County


The Yankee-Pennamite Wars were eventually settled in the 1780s. The disputed land was granted to Pennsylvania. The Wyoming Valley became part of Northumberland County. However, settlers in what was then the Colony of Connecticut wanted to create a new state in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Massachusetts businessman Timothy Pickering was sent to the region to politically examine the situation.

This led the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass a resolution creating Luzerne County. This ended the idea of creating a new state. On September 25, 1786, Luzerne County was formed from part of Northumberland County. It was named after Chevalier de la Luzerne, a French soldier and diplomat during the 18th century. When it was founded, Luzerne County occupied a large portion of Northeastern Pennsylvania. From 1810 to 1878, it was divided into several smaller counties. The counties of Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wyoming were all formed from parts of Luzerne County.[4]

Metropolitan statistical area


The Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as the Wyoming Valley, covers Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming counties.[5] It had a combined population of 558,166 in 2015. The counties adjacent to Wyoming Valley include Monroe County (Southeast), Susquehanna County (Northeast), Wayne County (East), Columbia County (West), Bradford County (Northwest), Carbon County (South), Sullivan County (West) and Schuylkill County (Southwest).

As of the 2000 census, the area also had the highest percentage of non-Hispanic whites of any U.S. metropolitan area with a population over 500,000, with 96.2% of the population stating their race as white alone and not claiming Hispanic ethnicity, however the Hispanic demographic has been significantly rising since then.[6]

When metropolitan areas were first defined in 1950, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre were in separate metropolitan areas. Lackawanna County was defined as the Scranton Standard Metropolitan Area, while Luzerne County was defined as the Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton metropolitan area. The two metropolitan areas were merged after the 1970 census as the Northeast Pennsylvania Standard metropolitan statistical area, with Monroe County added as a component. It was renamed the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre metropolitan statistical area after the 1980 census, and Columbia and Wyoming counties were added. Hazleton was added as a primary city in the 1990 census, while Monroe County lost its metropolitan status.

After the 2000 census, Columbia County lost metropolitan status, while Hazleton was removed as a primary city. Scranton is the largest city in Lackawanna County as well as the entire metropolitan area by a large margin, nearly doubling the population of the second largest city in the metropolitan area, Wilkes Barre.

County 2022 Estimate 2020 Census Change Area Density
Luzerne County 326,369 325,594 +0.24% 890.33 sq mi (2,305.9 km2) 367/sq mi (142/km2)
Lackawanna County 215,615 215,896 −0.13% 459.08 sq mi (1,189.0 km2) 470/sq mi (181/km2)
Wyoming County 26,014 26,069 −0.21% 397.32 sq mi (1,029.1 km2) 65/sq mi (25/km2)
Total MSA Population 567,998 567,559 +0.08% 1,746.73 sq mi (4,524.0 km2) 325/sq mi (126/km2)

Physical valley

The Anthracite Valley Section of Northeastern Pennsylvania, also known as the physical Wyoming Valley
The physical valley can be seen in the northeast

The physical Wyoming Valley, also referred to as the Anthracite Valley Section, is different from the Wyoming Valley metropolitan statistical area. The physical Wyoming Valley is a canoe-shaped valley, about 25 miles (40 km) long, which extends from the counties of Susquehanna and Wayne (in the north) to Columbia County (in the south). It includes the cities of Carbondale, Scranton, Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, and Nanticoke. Even though Wyoming County is part of the Wyoming Valley Metropolitan Statistical Area, it is not part of the physical valley.



Scranton is the cultural center of the Wyoming Valley, being the largest city by population in the metropolitan area.



The Wyoming Valley also has professional sports teams; they include the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Minor League Baseball Class AAA), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (American Hockey League), and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Steamers (Premier Basketball League). The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers were a minor league arena football team in Wilkes-Barre (from 2001 to 2009).

Local attractions


Local attractions include the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PNC Field in Moosic, Mohegan Pennsylvania in Plains, the Toyota Pavilion in Scranton, the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre, the Shoppes at Montage in Moosic, the Steamtown Mall in Scranton, the Viewmont Mall in Scranton/Dickson City, Pennsylvania, and the Montage Mountain Waterpark/Ski Resort in Scranton. Other historic attractions include Eckley Miners' Village and the Steamtown National Historic Site.



This area is celebrated in Lydia Sigourney's poem Vale of Wyoming published in her Scenes in my Native Land, 1845, with accompanying descriptive text.[7]



The airports for this area are Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and the Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport.

See also



  1. ^ The Poconos being bounded by the Lehigh River Valley on their west side, whose east bank watershed begins on the divide of the Penobscot Knob ridgeline east of the Valley.


  1. ^ "Pennsylvania County High Points". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2017-12-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 576
  4. ^ "History - Kingston Borough". kingstonpa.org. Archived from the original on 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  5. ^ "METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS". Archived from the original on May 26, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2007., Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-30.
  6. ^ "Percent Non-Hispanic White, 2000: Metros Ranked by Percent of Population Selecting Race of Non-Hispanic/Latino, White Alone". CensusScope.org. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  7. ^ Sigourney, Lydia (1845). "Scenes in My Native Land". Thurston, Torry & Co.



The following printed resources are in the collection of the Connecticut State Library (CSL):

  • Boyd, J. P. The Susquehanna Company, 1753-1803. [CSL call number: F157 .W9 B69 1931]
  • Henry, William (ed.). Documents Relating to the Connecticut Settlement in the Wyoming Valley. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1990 [CSL call number: F157 .W9 D63 1990 v1, 2].
  • Joyce, Mary Hinchcliffe. Pioneer Days in the Wyoming Valley. Philadelphia: 1928 [CSL call number: F157 .W9 J89].
  • Smith, William. An Examination of the Connecticut Claim to Lands in Pennsylvania: With an Appendix, Containing Extracts and Copies Taken from Original Papers. Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1774 [CSL call number: Wells Collection F157 .W9 S55].
  • Stark, S. Judson. The Wyoming Valley: Probate Records ... Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, 1923 [CSL call number: F157 .W9 S72].
  • Warfle, Richard Thomas. Connecticut's Western Colony; the Susquehannah Affair. (Connecticut Bicentennial Series, #32). Hartford, CT: American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1979 [CSL call number: Conn Doc Am35 cb num 32].
  • Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre (the "Diamond City"), Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre, PA: The Committee on Souvenir and Program, 1906 [CSL call number: F159 .W6 W65 1906].

41°15′04″N 75°54′22″W / 41.251°N 75.906°W / 41.251; -75.906