5 Must-See Historic Sites in Scranton, PA

Carbondale, Scranton and the rest of the Lackawanna Valley were at the forefront of America’s Industrial Revolution. There are a number of sites to see that preserve the region’s rich past and share its important story.

Hotel Anthracite celebrates NEPA’s illustrious history and is centrally located near all of the area’s historic attractions. Our property pays tribute to Carbondale’s heritage, not only in its name, but in its décor. Historical photographs and artwork depict the city’s industrial roots and its place in the evolution of America. Surround yourself in history when you stay at Carbondale’s Hotel Anthracite and then tour these five must-see historic sites in nearby Scranton. For more places to see and things to do during your stay, download our Free Destination Guide and have the best of the Lackawanna Valley at your fingertips.

1. Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

Go down in history as you travel 300 feet underground into an anthracite coal mine. A former miner leads the award-winning tour through the old Slope #190, which opened in 1860. Visitors unload from the mining car and travel by foot through winding tunnels past three veins of coal. No matter the weather on the surface, the temperature here is always a constant 53 degrees, so dress appropriately. While you walk, listen to stories of everyday hardships faced by miners and see vignettes that explain the different roles involved in mining- from the mule boy to the hewers and nippers.

people doing a tour
Courtesy Lackawanna Co. Visitors Bureau Facebook Page

Browse the gift shop in the Interpretive Center when you return to the surface. There’s also a theatre here showing an introductory video about coal mining in Northeast PA. Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour is open daily from April 1-November 30. The attraction is located in Scranton’s McDade Park.

2. Steamtown National Historic Site

This is the only national park in the country solely dedicated to the history of steam railroading in America. The 52-acre park in downtown Scranton opened in 1995. Steamtown National Historic Site features displays of historic railroad locomotives, freight cars, cabooses and more. Inside the state-of-the-art complex visitors may tour the Visitors Center, History and Technology Museums to see artifacts, interactive exhibits and displays. There’s also a Locomotive Repair Shop where visitors can see restoration in action.

Courtesy Lackawanna Co Visitors Bureau Facebook Page

The massive roundhouse features an operational turntable with regular demonstrations by park rangers. A 250-seat theatre has daily showings of an original documentary-style film, “Steel and Steam.” The Scranton Limited offers visitors a short, 30-minute train ride aboard a vintage passenger train. The three-mile trip crosses the rail yards and goes past the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel to the University of Scranton and returns via the same route. There are longer excursions scheduled throughout the season.

3. Electric City Trolley Station & Museum

Find out how Scranton earned its nickname- the Electric City. The museum commemorates the first successful electric streetcar system in America, which happened in downtown Scranton in 1886. Housed in a repurposed 19th century mill building, Electric City Trolley Station and Museum sits opposite Steamtown National Historic Site. Inside visitors will find an impressive collection of restored vintage trolley cars, a 50-seat theatre, artifacts, memorabilia, interactive displays and a large hands-on children’s activity area.

train coming out of tunnel
Courtesy Lackawanna Co Visitors Bureau Facebook Page

Visitors may also board a restored 1920s era vintage trolley for a five-mile excursion on the former Laurel Line. Trolley rides are offered Thursday through Sunday several times throughout the day.

4. PA Anthracite Heritage Museum

Dedicated to the people behind the industry, this museum explores the lives of the immigrant workers who called Northeast PA home. Exhibits offer a slice of life look at the mines, mills, factories and families of the coal mining era. Visitors can see re-creations of a factory setting, a typical coal miner’s home, a neighborhood pub and church. The collection of artifacts pays tribute to the cultures and traditions of the region’s diverse population, which hailed from places such as Ireland, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and Russia.

dining room table
Courtesy PA Anthracite Heritage Museum Facebook Page

PA Anthracite Heritage Museum is located in McDade Park next to the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour. The operating schedule is daily during the summer months and Wednesday-Sunday during winter.

5. The Catlin House

A tour of this 1912 Tudor Revival style home in Scranton offers a glimpse at how the city’s wealthier citizens lived. The former residence of prominent citizens George and Helen Catlin is now headquarters to the Lackawanna Historical Society. Architect Edward Langley designed the 16-room building, which still boasts original walnut woodwork, molded plaster ceilings, brass fixtures and three-paneled stained glass windows. On the first floor, visitors may tour rooms decorated with original furnishings and décor from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

exterior of home
Courtesy Lackawanna Co. Visitors Bureau Facebook Page

Make Hotel Anthracite Home Base for Your History Tour

Stay in one of our Standard Guest Rooms, which boast views of historic Main Street Carbondale and City Hall. Your ultra-comfortable, modern accommodations include an in-room coffee and drink station, refrigerator, flat screen TV and free WiFi. Our full-service restaurant onsite, Kol Steakhouse, offers exceptional dining experiences. Review our specialscheck availability online and book your stay today.

Hotel Anthracite breakfast in bed