Wednesday, March 18, 2020

In My Footsteps: Scranton, PA

     Synonymous with the classic television show The Office the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania gives fans glimpses into the world of Dunder Mifflin. However there is much more to this city than just Michael Scott’s hangouts.

     Incorporated in 1866 Scranton is nicknamed ‘The Electric City.’ It lies among the Moosic Mountains and is the sixth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Part of Lackawanna County one of the city’s top attractions is the Lackawanna Coal Mine.

     Located as part of the more than 200-acres of McDade Park the complex contains the actual coal mine first opened in 1860. The mine was in use until 1966 when it closed and remained abandoned until 1978. It was at that point that $2.5 million in federal money was granted to convert the property into a museum.

     Typically open from April through November the Lackawanna Coal Mine gives tours where people can take a trip 300-feet underground in a mine car down the Slope #190 tunnel. It is 53-degrees year-round in the mine so appropriate clothing and footwear is recommended and the tour is just over an hour.

Entrance to the Lackawanna Coal Mine tunnel.

     The Anthracite Heritage Museum, which provides education about Scranton’s history in coal and its related industries, is also located on the grounds of the Lackawanna Coal Mine. One such related attraction is the Iron Furnaces located about 3 ½ miles east of the museum. Started in 1840 as Scranton, Grant, & Company it had the country’s largest iron production capacity by 1865. McDade Park and the Lackawanna Coal Mine are basically a package deal and you can enjoy both at the same time.

     Near the Iron Furnaces site is the Steamtown National Historic Site. This National Park celebrates railroad transportation, specifically steam-engine locomotives. There are historic trains as well as active trains located on 40 acres of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. First opened in 1986 the park grounds are open year round. At the other end of the grounds is the Electric City Trolley Museum. They are not owned by the same group though, the trolley museum is run by Lackawanna County. The trolley museum celebrates the fact that in 1887 Scranton became Pennsylvania’s first city with a trolley line. This earned Scranton the nickname the ‘Electric City.’

Steamtown National Historic Site

     For fans of The Office though Scranton provides a chance to see and visit places made famous from the show’s 9 seasons. Only walking distance from the Steamtown National Historic Site is The Marketplace at Steamtown. Part of a plan to revitalize the downtown area it was opened in 1993 as the Mall at Steamtown. It was routinely referred to as the Steamtown Mall on The Office. It was purchased in 2015 and rechristened The Marketplace at Steamtown. Inside of it is the 'Scranton Welcomes You' sign seen at the beginning of The Office opening.  Though there is no actual Dunder Mifflin company located close to The Marketplace at Steamtown is Mifflin Avenue.

On the second floor of The Marketplace at Steamtown

     The two most popular Office locales in Scranton though have to do with food and drink.

     First is Alfredo’s Cafe. This restaurant was known for being the home of the ‘good pizza’ on The Office. Inside the restaurant are several reminders of this fact and the pizza is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food and atmosphere.

     Second is Poor Richard’s Pub. Inside Idle Hours South entertainment complex this spot was a frequently mentioned hangout on The Office. It is possible to stop in for a drink and also check out the actual Dundie award located behind the bar. There are also Office-inspired drinks typically on the menu.

The Dundie Award at Poor Richard's Pub

     One of the largest cities in Pennsylvania Scranton has mountains, coal mines, historic trains, a renewed downtown district and all of the Office sites one could hope for.

Check out my YouTube video featuring Scranton:  In My Footsteps: Scranton, PA

If You Go:
  1. Lackawanna Coal Mine Museum – Bald Mountain Road/McDade Park
  2. Steamtown National Historic Site – 350 Cliff Street
  3. Electric City Trolley Museum – 300 Cliff Street
  4. Alfredo’s Cafe – 1040 S. Washington Avenue
  5. Poor Richard’s Pub – 125 Beech Street
Helpful Links:
My 5th book, Cape Cod Nights, is on sale at and through Arcadia Publishing

Cape Cod Sunsets 2020 Calendar available at Zazzle here: Cape Cod Living Store

Be sure to check out my websiteChristopher

No comments: