Loretto Perfectus Walsh, First Woman to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces

At the age of 20, Loretto Perfectus Walsh (1896–1925) became the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces in March 1917, just weeks before the U.S. entered World War I. Women had served in the American military since 1901 but as nurses only. Walsh joined the U.S. Navy and was sworn in as a chief yeoman. She was expected to perform the same duties and was entitled to the same benefits and...
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Lackawanna Mills and Scranton Button Historic District

At the crossing of Cedar Avenue over Stafford Meadow Brook in southern Scranton, Lackawanna County, lies a roughly 5-acre city block of industrial buildings that contains a history just as dense and layered as the location itself. In 1887 Scranton industrialist William Connell (1827-1909) founded two separate businesses at the site: Lackawanna Mills, a major manufacturer of wool and cotton...
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Luna Park, Scranton

Luna Park appears to be a magical place in this postcard. In the brief decade it existed from 1906 to 1916 in Scranton, Lackawanna County, it offered entry into another world for the admission price of only 10 cents. Located across a footbridge east of Nay Aug Park along the Roaring Brook, Luna Park was the creation of Pittsburgh entrepreneur Frederick Ingersoll (1876–1927). Ingersoll opened his...
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Industrial Heritage Trails

America’s first significant industries date back to the 18th century with the iron plantations in Pennsylvania and the development of the factory system in New England textile mills. Preservation of our industrial heritage, however, is a fairly recent phenomenon, beginning for the most part after World War II. Prior to the war, federal programs and even private initiatives were designated...
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Lackawanna County: The Last Shall Not Be Least

The history of the Key­stone State’s sixty­-seven counties is often quite similar to family histories. Its portrait is a rich composite of Native American legend and lore, early trans­portation, marine and mari­time heritage, industry and industrialists, pioneers, capitalists and the working classes, religious communes, inventors and the Industrial Revolution …. And the county, whose...
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Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum

Explore the intriguing saga of life and labor in northeastern Pennsylvania’s hard coal region – visit the Pennsylvania’s hard coal region – visit the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, located in McDade Park, Scranton, Lackawanna County. Fascinating exhibits reveal what life has been like for generations of immigrants living in the region’s diverse ethnic...
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Bookshelf

Illustrating an Anthracite Era: The Photographic Legacy of John Horgan Jr. by Gwendoline E. Percival and Chester J. Kulesa Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates, 1995 (73 pages, paper, $9.95) Exemplifying the breadth and depth of more than twenty thousand images made by a single photographer of the anthracite region, the...
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Scranton Iron Furnaces

Rising out of a hillside in the City of Scranton, four massive stone blast furnace stacks remind residents and visitors of the importance of the nineteenth-century iron industry. Build between 1841 and 1857, the Scranton Iron Furnaces ranked as the country’s second largest iron producer by the 1880s. The titan Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company rolled the rails of a nation. Focal point of a...
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Lost and Found

Lost Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey, 1933-1990, recently published by the Pennsylvania and Historical Museum Commission (see “Bookshelf” in the fall 2000 issue) contains a number of vintage images of buildings and structures that, regrettably, no longer grace the landscape. The Horace Coleman House in northwestern Pennsylvania is just one example....
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Keeping the Torch of Justice Burning Brightly: William P. Young

He faced criticism at his appointment, confronted adversity in his duties, and battled poor health in his later years, but he kept the torch of justice burning brightly for all to see, maintaining his dignity and poise at every turn. He was William Pennington Young (1895-1968), the Keystone State’s fifteenth secretary of labor and industry, from 1963 to 1967, during the administration of...
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