Scranton, the largest city in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is a place where history meets innovation. As the county seat of Lackawanna County, Scranton boasts a population of 76,328, making it the largest city in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area, which is home to 562,037 residents. It's the sixth-largest city in Pennsylvania and has a rich heritage that has shaped its present and future.
Scranton is conventionally divided into nine districts, each with its own unique character. North Scranton, Southside, Westside, Eastside/Hill Section, Central City, Minooka, West Mountain, East Mountain, and Green Ridge form the fabric of the city. Although these areas do not have legal status, they contribute to the city's vibrant tapestry.
Scranton serves as the geographic and cultural center of the Lackawanna River valley and Northeastern Pennsylvania. It's also the largest of the former anthracite coal mining communities in a region that includes Wilkes-Barre, Nanticoke, Pittston, and Carbondale.
Scranton's story began with its incorporation as a borough in Luzerne County on February 14, 1856, and later as a city on April 23, 1866. With the discovery of nearby coal reserves, it quickly transformed into a major industrial city and a hub for mining and railroads. Thousands of new immigrants were drawn to the city during this era, contributing to its growth.
The "Electric City" Moniker
One of the most iconic aspects of Scranton's history is its nickname, the "Electric City." This name emerged when electric lights illuminated the Dickson Manufacturing Company in 1880. Just six years later, Scranton was home to the United States' first streetcars powered solely by electricity. Reverend David Spencer, a local Baptist minister, officially proclaimed Scranton as the "Electric City."
In the 1930s and 1940s, Scranton experienced its peak in industrial production and population. It was a time of prosperity driven by the demand for coal and textiles, particularly during World War II. However, as the post-war national economy evolved, the region's coal demand waned, leading to challenges for the city. The decline in the coal industry also impacted the railroads.
In response to the changing economic landscape, Scranton's visionary leaders crafted the Scranton Plan in 1945, aimed at diversifying the local economy beyond coal. The city's economy continued to evolve, and it now boasts substantial healthcare, academic, and manufacturing sectors.
Scranton's rich history, resilience, and spirit of innovation make it an exciting place to live and work. Whether you're exploring the city's heritage, enjoying its vibrant culture, or benefiting from its expanding industries, Scranton has something for everyone.
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