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Road Trippin' | Steamtown National Historic Site

Road Trippin' | Steamtown National Historic Site

Just outside of the heart of downtown Scranton is a site that once served as the heart of the Northeast.

This is the Steamtown National Historic Site.

"It connects the coal mining history to the people who came here, immigrants who were looking for work," Bill Fischer said, Chief of Visitor Services.

It was those immigrants, who around the turn of the century, put NEPA on the map.

"The railroads transported the coal, provided the heat in the urban centers like New York City and Philadelphia. It's just an integral part of the story of Northeast Pennsylvania," said Fischer.

Fischer says the site doesn't function as a hub for locomotives anymore but still embraces the history that came with the hustle and bustle of the railroad industry.

"We're a unit of the National parks service, steam town national historic site. We tell the story of steam railroading from about 1850 to about 1950," he added.

If you're feeling up to it, you can also get a feel for what a normal workday was like at the site.

What sets the National historic site apart from many other national parks is how hands on you can get with some of the exhibits, like this maintenance dolly. Where workers would spend 8 hours a day repairing all of the locomotives that came into the site of which there could be more than 30 at a time parked inside.

Even though technology is changing every day, Fischer says having an understanding of the technology that got us to where we are today, gives you a new appreciation for the hard work it took to build up NEPA.

"It's that wonderful inter-generational opportunity to share the past with the next generation, and that's what we try to do with the national parks service regardless of our site, is to share that experience from one generation to the next," Fischer said.

Road Trippin' is sponsored by the Lackawanna County Visitor's Bureau.

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