Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Coal Mining in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania


The history of coal mining in Northeastern Pennsylvania goes back hundreds of years.  The physical collection at the Luzerne County Historical Society includes photographs, stereographs, negatives, and postcards, some of which date back to the early 1800s.  Over 100 of the images held in the physical collection have been scanned and uploaded to the digital collection exhibited here.  While this does not include the full extent of the physical collection of images related to coal mining in Luzerne County, the digital collection provides an overview of the information that has been collected over the years.

Considering that some of the photographs and images date back to the early 1800s, there is information about each individual photograph that remains unidentified.  Only a portion of the photographers have been identified over the years, and specific locations are also missing from several of the images.  The images in this collection range from day-to-day jobs to abandoned mines to mining disasters and accidents.  

Let's Go Shopping! Stores of Yesteryear


The city of Wilkes-Barre has been located in the heart of the Wyoming Valley since 1769. Over the years, it has seen many stores come and go. Public Square and its adjacent streets were home to well-known department stores such as Fowler, Dick and Walker, Pomeroy's, Isaac Long's, Lazarus, as well as five-and-dime stores including Woolworth's, Neisner's and S.S. Kresge.

Although many of these stores are gone now, save for the Fowler, Dick and Walker Boston Store, which is known as the Boscov's Department Store today, many in the Valley still remember them. While this exhibit focuses primarily on stores from the Wyoming Valley, non-residents can remember local stores from their own hometowns with as much clarity as the residents of Wilkes-Barre remember theirs.

To hear more personal stories, please go here for a community conversation hosted by the Luzerne County Historical Society on the stores of the Wyoming Valley.

The Hurricane Agnes Flood of 1972


In late June 1972, a tropical storm named Agnes crept its way up the eastern United States. When Agnes came to Northeastern Pennsylvania, it stopped moving and poured trillions of gallons of water onto the area. This caused major flooding along the Susquehanna River. The river rose to more than 40 feet, overtaking the dike and sandbags placed by local volunteers. Flooding in Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area was catastrophic, even creating a new landscape in some areas. Houses were destroyed, a cemetery was torn apart and a hospital was evacuated. The devastation of ths flooding caused $2 trillion in damages.