Scranton is a city in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, United States. It is the county seat of Lackawanna County and the largest principal city in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area. Scranton had a population of 76,089 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census, making it Pennsylvania's sixth-most-populous city after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, and Reading.
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, and as a city on April 23, 1866. Scranton became known as the Electric City when electric lights were introduced at Dickson Locomotive Works in 1880.
Landmarks and attractions:
The Steamtown National Historic Site showcases steam-era railroading. Excursion trains give visitors tours through Scranton and portions of the Pocono Mountains. 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 steam locomotives. 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 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.
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.
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.
Colleges and universities:
The city hosts five colleges and universities: The Commonwealth Medical College, Johnson College, Lackawanna College, Marywood University, and The University of Scranton; 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 Baptist Bible College & Seminary and Keystone College.