Historical Sites

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Bishop Memorial Library

In 1971, through the bequest of Elma C. and Bessie Bishop, the Luzerne County Historical Society purchased what was to become the Bishop Memorial Library. The building, designed by architect Willis O. Hale, was constructed in 1875. It currently houses the Society’s paper collections as well as the Society’s executive offices.

Luzerne County Historical Society Museum

Since its construction at 69 South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre in 1893, this building has been in continuous use as the Society’s Museum. The permanent exhibit on the Native American inhabitants of the area includes local artifacts ranging from stone implements of the archaic period to the archeological evidence of European influence. A timbered coal mine gangway and its mine railway car on the lower level are part of the permanent exhibit on anthracite mining.

Council Cup

Located approximately 700 feet above the Susquehanna River Valley, Council Cup provides a breathtaking view of over 30 miles. Owned and operated by PPL, this 88-acre tract contains a scenic overlook that was used as a lookout and meeting place by Native Americans.

Queen Esther’s Rock (or Bloody Rock)

Located along Susquehanna Avenue near Seventh Street in Wyoming is one of the most interesting artifacts of the Battle of Wyoming – Queen Esther’s Rock. Named for Queen Esther Montour, the descendant of several "mixed" marriages between white settlers and Indians, this large rock marks the spot where, allegedly, following the Battle of Wyoming, Queen Esther, angered by the recent death of her son, lined 16 American colonists around a huge stone, ever since known as Bloody Rock, and personally smashed their skulls with her tomahawk.

Forty Fort Meeting House

The Meeting House was the first finished church in which religious services were held in this part of Pennsylvania. It was used for Presbyterian and Methodist services. The Forty Fort Meeting House is the only extant example of the New England influenced style of architecture in the immediate area that is not greatly altered from its original appearance. The house is located on River Street in Forty Fort.

Wyoming Monument

The stone memorial completed in 1843 marks the site where victims of the Battle of Wyoming were buried. The monument is located on Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming. Following the Battle of Wyoming on July 3, 1778, the American dead lay on the battlefield until late October. The recovered corpses were collected and buried in a mass grave on the site where they were recovered. Late in December of 1833, this mass grave was uncovered. The remains were sealed in a vault, upon which the next year a sixty two and a half foot, grey stone obelisk was erected to honor the men who died in the Battle of Wyoming.

Swetland Homestead

This homestead on Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming, owned and maintained by the Luzerne County Historical Society, contains the original cabin built on this site in 1803. The additions made to it as the Swetland family grew and prospered have transformed the structure into the elegant home one sees today.

Nathan Denison House

Located in Forty Fort, the Denison House is one of the oldest structures in the Wyoming Valley. It was built in 1790 by Colonel Nathan Denison who modeled the home after the family’s home in Mystic, Connecticut. Denison was the first man to be married in Wyoming Valley. His son is believed to be the first child born in the new settlement.

Eckley Miners’ Village

Eckley is one of the hundreds of company mining towns or "patches" built in the anthracite region during the nineteenth century. The village is now a museum devoted to the every day lives of the anthracite miners and their families. It is located nine miles east of Hazleton, PA off Route 940.

Stegmaier Brewery and Lion Brewery

Beer and taverns were an important part of the social fabric of America throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and an essential element of the mining communities that dotted the landscape throughout Luzerne County.

The Stegmaier Brewery, once the largest brewery in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and one of the largest independent breweries in the country, was located near downtown Wilkes-Barre in a classic brick building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been redeveloped into 70,000 square feet of office space, along with a 60,000 square foot addition. The building is used as government offices and is not open to the public.

Luzerne County Brewing Company was located north of the Stegmaier Brewery complex. This successfully surviving regional brewery was organized in Wilkes-Barre in 1905. After surviving Prohibition, the brewery was reorganized as the Lion Brewery in 1933. The Smulowitz family owned and operated Lion Brewery up until 1993. Chuck Lawson and Patrick Belardi acquired the operation in 1993. Tours of Lion Brewery are scheduled every Saturday at 1:00 PM.

Last Updated: 08/19/06 03:32:08
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