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Encyclopedia > Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Wilkes-Barre (pronounced wilkes-berry, wilkes-bear-ah or wilkes-bear, and most often by non-natives as wilkes-bar) is a city located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. It gained prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries as an active coal mining city, but has struggled economically since the 1960s. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 43,123. According to a 2003 estimate, the population decreased to 41,630. Wilkes-Barre is the county seat of Luzerne County. City lights from space. ... Luzerne County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. ... Wyoming coal mine Coal mining is the extraction of coal from the Earth for use during combustion. ... City lights from space. ... The 1960s, or The Sixties, in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A county seat is a town which is the capital of a county. ... Luzerne County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. ...

Contents


History

Wilkes-Barre is the central city of the Wyoming Valley. Named for two British Members of Parliament, John Wilkes and Isaac Barre, the city was founded in 1769 by John Durkee and a group of 240 Connecticut settlers. These early settlers were often attacked by area Native American tribes and Pennsylvanians who also claimed the land. Statue of John Wilkes (Fetter Lane London) John Wilkes (October 17, 1727 – December 26, 1797) was an English radical, journalist and politician. ... Isaac Barré (1726—1802), British soldier and politician, was born at Dublin in 1726, the son of a French refugee. ... 1769 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


In 1776, Wilkes-Barre was named the county seat for Westmoreland County, Connecticut and in 1786 it was named the county seat for Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Westmoreland County was a county in Connecticut in the present day area of Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, until it was ceded to Pennsylvania in 1784. ...


In 1779, General John Sullivan staged his expedition against the Iroquois of the Six Nations from Wilkes-Barre. Some 3,500 men, 1,200 pack-horses and 214 boats followed the Susquehanna River up to Tioga Point, New York destroying Indian settlements.


In the 1790s, Wilkes-Barre merchant Matthias Hollenback lead local efforts to help many French noblemen loyal to King Louis XVI settle an exile colony in Northern Pennsylvania. Louis Philippe (King of France from 1830-40) stayed at the Arndt Tavern on South River Street for several days in 1797.


In 1806 Wilkes-Barre incorporated as a borough and elected Jesse Fell as its first burgess (mayor) and Lord Butler as council president. In 1871 Wilkes-Barre reached the status of a city.


The discovery of anthracite coal in the 1800s brought hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the area, and also brought numerous entrepreneurs. By the turn of the 20th century, Wilkes-Barre was home to numerous stores, breweries, mills, and factories. Wilkes-Barre is nicknamed "The Diamond City," due to the shape of its Public Square and the abundance of coal. It was said the city was "busy as a beehive" - as the beehive is the symbol of the city. Anthracite coal Anthracite is a hard, compact variety of mineral coal that has a high luster. ... Events and Trends Beginning of the Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815). ... Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground either by underground mining, open-pit mining or strip mining. ...


Planters Peanuts started on Public Square in 1906. Mr. Peanut was introduced in 1916 as a marketing strategy and still exists today.


After the stock market crash of 1929, Wilkes-Barre began to economically suffer, as the coal industry attempted to survive the crash. The movement from coal to oil, gas, and electricity for heat had a negative effect on the area's economy, causing many mines to shut down. After World War II, Wilkes-Barre had an unemployment rate as high as 12%. A stock market is a market for the trading of publicly held company stock and associated financial instruments (including stock options, convertibles and stock index futures). ... 1929 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground either by underground mining, open-pit mining or strip mining. ... Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground either by underground mining, open-pit mining or strip mining. ... Oil is a generic term for organic liquids that are not miscible with water. ... A gas is one of the phases of matter. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons like the atom bomb. ... Dorothea Langes Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California during the Great Depression. ...


The Knox Mine Disaster was the final nail in the local coal industry's coffin. In January 1959, the Susquehanna River broke through into a mine shaft, flooding every mine in the area. The collapse was caused by a shaft that was dug too close to the river bed. Twelve miners drowned in the flood. The Knox Mine Disaster was a mining accident that took place in Port Griffith, Pennsylvania, near Pittston, on January 22, 1959 when an anthracite coal mine flooded. ... Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground either by underground mining, open-pit mining or strip mining. ... January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 1959 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Susquehanna River is a river in the northeastern United States, approximately 410 mi (715 km) long. ...


In 1933 Wilkes University and in 1946 King's College was founded to educate children of coal miners and city leaders began to diversify the local economy. For a brief time Wilkes-Barre was also the pencil capital (Eberhard Faber's famous No. 2 pencils were made here until 1986). Wilkes University is a private, non-denominational American university located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. ...


A natural disaster ravaged Wilkes-Barre in 1972, when Hurricane Agnes flooded the city with nine feet of water. Thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the flood. The city was rebuilt and the "Valley with a Heart" came back better than ever. 1972 was a leap year that started on a Saturday. ... Duration: June 14 - 25, 1972 Highest winds: 85 mph (140 km/h) Total damages (in USD): $10-12 billion (2005 dollars) Total fatalites: 122 direct Areas affected: Florida Panhandle, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York Hurricane Agnes was a hurricane that occurred during the 1972 Atlantic hurricane season. ...


Presidents Rutherford Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have visited Wilkes-Barre.


Language

Hayna Valley English, otherwise known as "Wyoming Valley English", is a dialect of American English that is frequently spoken in Wilkes-Barre and its surrounding communities. Hayna Valley English is a regional dialect of the English language spoken in Northeastern Pennsylvania. ...


Government

Executive

The city is headed by an elected mayor. The current mayor is Thomas Leighton, a businessman who served on Wilkes-Barre's City Council. He was elected in 2002. A mayor (from the Latin maīor, meaning larger,greater) is the politician who serves as chief executive official of some types of municipalities. ... A mayor (from the Latin maīor, meaning larger,greater) is the politician who serves as chief executive official of some types of municipalities. ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Currently, the mayor has initiated a new city pride program titled, "I Believe". The campaign is designed to increase pride in all Wilkes-Barrians. The mayor began this campaign at a much publicized press conference in June of 2005.


Legislative

The legislative branch of Wilkes-Barre is the City Council. It is comprised of seven members and elect a chairman.


Judicial

The Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas is the trial court of general jurisdiction for Wilkes-Barre. The court also has two separate divisions to handle matters of probation; one for adults and one for juveniles. Probation is the suspension of a prison or jail sentence - the criminal who is on probation has been convicted of a crime, but instead of serving prison time, has been found by the Court to be amenable to probation and will be returned to the community for a period in...


The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania also has its chambers in Wilkes-Barre. The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. ... State nickname: The Keystone State Other U.S. States Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Governor Ed Rendell (D) Official languages None Area 119,283 km² (33rd)  - Land 116,074 km²  - Water 3,208 km² (2. ...


Geography

Wilkes-Barre is located at 41°14'40" North, 75°52'41" West (41.244581, -75.877918)1. The following is a list of sources used in the creation of Wikipedia articles on various geographic topics and locations, such as cities, counties, states, and countries. ...


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.6 km² (7.2 mi²). 17.7 km² (6.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.9 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.60% water. The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ... Square kilometre (US spelling: Square kilometer), symbol km², is an SI unit of surface area. ... A square mile (symbol sq. ... Land is sometimes used synonymously with country. ... Water (from the Old English word wæter; c. ...


Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 43,123 people, 17,961 households, and 9,878 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,430.6/km² (6,296.3/mi²). There are 20,294 housing units at an average density of 1,143.9/km² (2,963.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 92.30% White, 5.09% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... The following is a list of sources used in the creation of Wikipedia articles on various geographic topics and locations, such as cities, counties, states, and countries. ... This article is about the year 2000. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ... The United States Census Bureau uses the federal governments definitions of race when performing a census. ...


There are 17,961 households out of which 23.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% are married couples living together, 14.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.0% are non-families. 39.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 18.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.20 and the average family size is 2.96. Marriage is a relationship and bond between individuals that plays a key role in the definition of many families. ...


In the city the population is spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.7 males.


Transportation

Roads

Interstate 81 passes vertically through Wilkes-Barre, providing service to Gananoque, Ontario Canada, New York City, and Philadelphia. The city is also located near the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I-81 looking southbound near mile 245, Harrisonburg, Virginia. ... Gananoque is a town in Leeds and Grenville County, Ontario, located at exit 645/648 on Highway 401, ten miles west of the 1000 Islands Bridge and Interstate 81. ... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the United States, and is at the center of international finance, politics, music, and culture. ... Independence Hall Philadelphia (sometimes referred to as Philly or the City of Brotherly Love) is the fifth most populous city in the United States and the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, both in area and population. ... City lights from space. ... The Pennsylvania Turnpike logo The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a major roadway in the state of Pennsylvania linking the greater Philadelphia area in the southeastern portion of the state to Pittsburgh and the Ohio border to the west. ...


Public Transportation

Wilkes-Barre is served by the Luzerne County Transportation Authority, which provides bus service to the city and other communities within Luzerne County. TheBus, established by Mayor Frank Fasi, is Honolulus only public transit system. ... Luzerne County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. ...


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is located in nearby Avoca. The airport is serviced by eight international airlines. The Wilkes-Barre/Wyoming Valley Airport in Forty Fort serves small planes. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (IATA:AVP, ICAO:KAVP) is an airport servicing Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania. ... Avoca is a borough located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. ...


Professional Sports Teams

Categories: Baseball stubs | Minor league baseball teams | Pennsylvania sports ... The International League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the eastern United States and Canada. ... Moosic is a borough located in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. ... The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. ... The American Hockey League (AHL) is regarded as the top professional hockey league outside the [[National Hockey League] (NHL). ... The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers are a professional arena football team. ... af2 (short for arenafootball2) is the name of the Arena Football Leagues minor league, which started play in 2000. ...

Colleges and universities

Wilkes University is a private, non-denominational American university located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. ... Kings College is a highly-ranked Roman Catholic, private liberal arts college, located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. ... The Pennsylvania State University The Pennsylvania State University (commonly known as Penn State) is a prestigious state-related land-grant university in Pennsylvania, with over 80,000 students at 24 campuses throughout the state. ...

Sites of Interest

  • Public Square
  • F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
  • Pocono Downs
  • Pocono Raceway
  • Kirby Park
  • Montage Mountain

Pocono Raceway is a superspeedway located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; it is the site of two annual NASCAR Nextel Cup races held just a few weeks apart in June and July. ...

Famous Wilkes-Barre Residents

Amedeo Obici (1876 - ?) was an Italian immigrant to the U.S.A. who founded Planters Peanuts in 1906. ... Ham Fisher is an American comic strip writer. ... A cartoonist at work. ... Edward B. Lewis (May 20, 1918–July 21, 2004) was an American geneticist, the winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Medicine. ... Conference AFC Division East Year Founded 1960 Home Field Giants Stadium City East Rutherford, New Jersey Team Colors Green and White Head Coach Herman Edwards All-Time Record (W-L-T) (At Start of 2005 Season) 312-374-8 The New York Jets are a National Football League team that... Photograph of David Bohm. ... Categories: Stub | 1948 births | Nobel Prize in Physics winners ... Hugo Winterhalter (August, 1909 - September 17, 1973) was a popular American musician. ... Matthew Lesko (1943-) is a host in several television commercials and infomercials. ...

External links

References

The following printed resources are in the collection of the Connecticut State Library (CSL)

  • Boyd, J. P. The Susquehannah Company, 1753-1803. [CSL call number: F157 .W9 B69 1931]
  • Henry, William (ed.). Documents Relating to the Connecticut Settlement in the Wyoming Valley. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1990 [CSL call number: F157 .W9 D63 1990 v1, 2].
  • Joyce, Mary Hinchcliffe. Pioneer Days in the Wyoming Valley. Philadelphia: 1928 [CSL call number: F157 .W9 J89].
  • Smith, William. An Examination of the Connecticut Claim to Lands in Pennsylvania: With an Appendix, Containing Extracts and Copies Taken from Original Papers. Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1774 [CSL call number: Wells Collection F157 .W9 S55].
  • Stark, S. Judson. The Wyoming Valley: Probate Records... Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, 1923 [CSL call number: F157 .W9 S72].
  • Warfle, Richard Thomas. Connecticut's Western Colony; the Susquehannah Affair. (Connecticut Bicentennial Series, #32). Hartford, CT: American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1979 [CSL call number: Conn Doc Am35 cb num 32].
  • Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre (the "Diamond City"), Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre, PA: The Committee on Souvenir and Program, 1906 [CSL call number: F159 .W6 W65 1906].



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