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Steamtown National Historic Site


Steamtown National Historic Site in Pennsylvania is a working railroad that recalls the era of the steam locomotive, which helped spur America's westward settlement.

Steamtown National Historic Site
©National Park Service
The Steamtown National Historic Site preserves the era
of the steam locomotive for modern-day visitors.

Not long after Lewis and Clark crossed the continent by foot, railroads duplicated the effort with tracks. In the mid-1800s, settlers pushed westward as railroads opened up new areas. Railroad companies often distributed maps printed in foreign languages to new immigrants to encourage them to settle along their rail lines.

Between the Civil War and World War I, steam locomotives helped transform the United States from an agricultural to an industrial nation. They brought raw materials to factories and carried away the finished products to supply the growing nation. Trains were the primary mode of transportation for products and people during this time.

After World War I, however, trains faced increased competition from cars and trucks. By the 1950s, railroads, which by then had replaced coal-burning steam engines with cleaner diesel engines, were closing rail lines due to lack of freight and passengers.

Steamtown, which was officially added to the Park System in 1986, occupies about 40 acres of the former Scranton Yards, housing the largest collection of steam-era locomotives and freight and passenger cars in the country. The oldest locomotive in the collection is a 1903 freight engine. Visitors to the site can take a ride through history in a steam-engine train.

Steamtown National Historic Site Information
Address: 150 South Washington Ave., Scranton, PA
Telephone: 570/340-5200
Hours of Operation:

  • Daily, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for museum
  • Call for excursion schedule.

Admission: Fees vary for excursions and museum

Learn more about these other n­ational historic sites:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site Clara Barton National Historic Site
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Grant Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Adams National Historic Site
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Hampton National Historic Site Lincoln Home National Historic Site Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site Edison National Historic Site Fort Scott National Historic Site Harry S. Truman National Historic Site Longfellow National Historic Site Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Thomas Stone National Historic Site
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Eisenhower National Historic Site Fort Smith National Historic Site Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Thomas Stone National Historic Site
Boston African -American National Historic Site Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site Manzanar National Historic Site

Saint-
Gaudens National Historic Site

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site Martin Van Buren National Historic Site Salem Maritime National Historic Site Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Ford's Theatre National Historic Site Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Mary McLeod Bethune House National Historic Site Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Weir Farm National Historic Site
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site Fort Bowie National Historic Site Friendship Hill National Historic Site James A. Garfield National Historic Site Mc Loughlin House National Historic Site Sewall -Belmont House National Historic Site Whitman Mission National Historic Site
Chicago Portage National Historic Site
Fort Davis National Historic Site Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Ninety Six National Historic Site Springfield Armory National Historic Site William Howard Taft National Historic Site
Christian
-sted National Historic Site
Fort Laramie National Historic Site Golden Spike National Historic Site John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Steamtown National Historic Site

To learn more about national national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.


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