The Industrial Revolution
Experience the home of the Industrial Revolution with interactive museums that showcase the region’s transition from agriculture to iron production and coal mining. This transition sparked demand for steam engines and led to the development of the first functional electric trolley system.
• DAY ONE •
THE IRON FURNACES
These stone structures were once teeming with metal working activity and were the catalyst of Scranton’s iron industry. Visitors can walk amongst these impressive structures overlooking the Roaring Brook extension of the Lackawanna River and learn the history of the region’s iron production from the informational markers.
The Iron Furnaces is a self-guided tour; however, the Anthracite Heritage Museum owns the structures. If you would like your group to have a guided tour, please contact the Anthracite Heritage Museum to ask for an expert tour guide. A self-guided tour should take a group approximately a half-hour. A guided tour can be customized to your group’s needs.
THE LACKAWANNA COAL MINE TOUR
Explore 300 feet beneath the earth through an anthracite coal mine originally opened in 1860. Stick close to your guide as you walk through the winding underground gangways and rock tunnels past three different veins of hard coal. Listen as they explain the fascinating methods used and the heroic efforts involved, as men and boys worked to heat a nation and fuel the conversion of our economy from agriculture to industry.
Plan for a 1 ½ hour tour per group. The Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour and the Anthracite Heritage Museum are in the same park and work well together. If you have more than 25 people in a group, half of the group can visit the mine while the other half visits the Anthracite Heritage Museum. The groups can switch when completed. The mine is an average 53 degrees year-round; please ask your group to bring sweaters or jackets and wear closed-toe shoes. The museums are in McDade Park. Plan with a boxed lunch for your group and let them dine al fresca! If the weather is calling for rain or cold temperatures, ask the Anthracite Heritage Museum if their conference room is available.
ANTHRACITE HERITAGE MUSEUM
This museum focuses on the history of hard coal mining, its related industries, and the immigrant culture of northeastern Pennsylvania. The Museum tells the story of people who came from Europe to work in the anthracite mining and textile industries. As you tour the facility you will experience the lives of proud people who endured harsh working conditions yet carved out communities filled with tradition. The diverse collection highlights life in the mines, mills, and factories. Visitors are welcomed into the families’ homes and neighborhoods with a moment of reflection in the kitchen, a visit to the pub, or a seat in a local church.
A tour of the Anthracite Heritage Museum is usually self-guided, but a group can plan for a guided tour when booking the reservation. A self-guided tour is typically 1- 1 ½ hours. A guided tour is customized to the group’s time restraints.
• DAY TWO •
STEAMTOWN NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
At this national museum, you can learn the history of the steam engine, see the giant locomotives that helped expand our nation, hear the sensational true stories of those that rode, worked for, and built these beautiful machines. You will feel the weight of history as you tour this national park and will be amazed at the ingenuity of the engines and the turntable. Steamtown offers rides and excursions of various lengths to several different destinations. They also offer seasonal rides like their Fall Foliage Excursion and their Holiday Express.
Wear your walking shoes! Steamtown National Historic Site is separated into 3 sections, the History Museum, the Roundhouse, and the Technology Museum. Groups should plan for a minimum 3-hour visit to the park, 4 hours if they take a yard excursion. If you have major train enthusiasts, plan for a 4-5-hour visit. Ask for a guided tour of the Locomotive Repair Shop to witness engineers at work restoring these legendary machines and the massive equipment required. The park is free to enter! Excursion pricing is based on their length of time and seasonality. The Fall Foliage Excursion and Holiday Express book very quickly! Sign up with the park’s email list to receive updates for the start of booking these popular events.
ELECTRIC CITY TROLLEY MUSEUM
Located on the Steamtown National Historic Site grounds in a restored late 19th-century mill building, the Electric City Trolley Museum commemorates the first successfully operational electric-powered streetcar system in the United States. You will enjoy the interactive exhibits and displays including vintage trolleys. Then climb aboard an authentic 1926 or 1932 trolley for a 5 ½ mile trip over Roaring Brook through the mile-long tunnel and along the original Laurel Line.
The Electric City Trolley Museum is self-guided, but groups can ask for a tour guide upon arrival. Plan to tour the museum for 1- ½ hours. The trolley excursion is approximately 45 minutes and takes you to their Restoration Shop on Montage Mountain.
LACKAWANNA HISTORICAL SOCIETY WALKING TOURS
The Historical Society offers four unique walking tours of Scranton’s districts. The tours focus on the development and history of the architecture, cultures, and famous historical figures that have impacted the course of the Industrial Revolution.
The Lackawanna Historical Society will accommodate groups who prefer to stay on the bus due to walking difficulties.