Visit These Three Important Wilkes-Barre Historical Sites
The city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is primarily known for two things: the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, which combines harness racing with a full service casino, and the Pocono Mountains. Combined with the city of Scranton, the area quickly morphs into the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre metropolitan region; however, the city itself and its immediate area have an interesting history and some important historical sites. In order to learn more about Wilkes-Barre, which was founded in 1769, visitors and locals alike should spend some time at these locations, all of which are run by the Luzerne County Historical Society.
The Luzerne County Historical Society runs a museum dedicated to the history of the area. In fact, the historical society has been around so long that it has made a little history of its own – it is known as the one of the oldest continually operating societies of its kind in the country. It was founded in 1858 as the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. The museum that it runs, located at 69 South Franklin Street, features exhibits with items from the area’s anthracite coal mining heritage and from its first inhabitants – the Native American tribes who once called his area home. There are other rotating exhibits as well. The museum is open every day of the week except for Sundays and Mondays.
Colonel Nathan Denison fought for what would later become the United States in the Revolutionary War. He fought at the Battle of Wyoming, in the town of Forty Fort in 1778. (In fact, the town was named for the fort located within it.) His house, now known as the Colonel Nathan Denison House, is located in Forty Fort, PA, not far outside of Wilkes-Barre. It dates back to 1790, and is built in the classic colonial style, complete with two floors, large porch and interior fireplaces. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been completely restored. It has been fully furnished with period pieces, and is open to the public at certain times of the year. The Colonel Nathan Denison House is under the care of Luzerne County Historical Society.
Another historic home run by the Luzerne County Historical Society is the Swetland Homestead. The original house was built in 1797, although it was expanded twice in the early 1800s. A four columned porch was also added on. The home is now a museum, much like the Colonel Nathan Denison House. It has been fully restored and decorated with furniture and other items that span from the late 18th century up through the mid-19th century. This was done on purpose so that visitors are able to see how things change as they go from one room to another. This home is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are many historical places in the Wilke-Barre, Pennsylvania area, thanks to the rich history of this corner of the state, as well as the preservation efforts of the Luzerne County Historical Society and similar groups. These are three of them that are worth checking out on your next day off of work or school.