A Brief History of Wilkes-Barre, PA


A Brief History of Wilkes-Barre, PA

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The sexual assault attorneys in Wilkes-Barre, PA, sponsor this article to offer readers a detailed excerpt about the area.

The city of Wilkes-Barre is located in Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre spans 7.20 square miles hosting an approximate population of 40,766 with a population density of 5,952.11 per square mile. The city is nicknamed The Diamond City and belongs to area codes 570 and 272.


The Lenape Indian tribe originally inhabited Wilkes-Barre until 1732, when Connecticut purchased the land. In the same year, the city of Pennsylvania claimed the land, and by 1763, Connecticut settlers primarily occupied the area.

By 1784, the city of Pennsylvania declared that Connecticut settlers were not citizens of the Commonwealth and sent them fleeing utilizing armed. However, in November of 1784, the Connecticut settlers returned and destroyed Fort Dickinson, a fort belonging to Pennsylvania.

To create peace, the establishment of a new state, named Westmoreland, was proposed. Despite efforts made, the state was never established; instead, the Connecticut settlers were granted property claims in the area, and Wilkes-Barre became the new county seat for Luzerne County.

The agreement granted Pennsylvania the rights to the land and diminished tensions with the Connecticut settlers.

Wilkes-Barre began to thrive throughout the 18th century and became an industrial area surround mills. The area became home to constructed canals and railroads. The modern development and the availability of coal mining jobs attracted immigrants to Wilkes-Barre, and the area became a popular location for working families.

By 1871, Wilkes-Barre was incorporated as a city.

The city continued to thrive and develop throughout the 1900s but experienced several natural disasters and a decline in the mining industry, leading to the city's economically vulnerable state.

By the turn of the 21st century, the city underwent construction and set a revitalization plan. From 2007-2010, Wilkes-Barre was taken over by The Riverfront Revitalization Project, which introduced new attractions to the area and opened the riverfront to the public.

Today, Wilkes-Barre is considered a favorable city to live in, offering residents fantastic access to local shops, restaurants, parks, and bars.


Wilkes-Barre is home to a nearly equal population amongst female residents (51%) and male residents (49%). The racial demographic of Wilkes-Barre is as follows:

  • 61% White
  • 21% Hispanic
  • 12% African American
  • 4% Two or More Races
  • 2% Asian

Wilkes-Barre residents live a relatively comfortable lifestyle with a median household income of $37,902 and a median individual income of $20,708. The slight majority of residents in Wilkes-Barre (53%) rent their homes at a median rent of $766. A minority of residents (47%) own their homes at a median home value of $75,100.

The unemployment rate in Wilkes-Barre is 5.7%, and the poverty rate is 26.3%.


The Wilkes-Barre Area School District serves Wilkes-Barre. The schools accessible to Wilkes-Barre residents are highly rated and offer students a fruitful learning experience. For residents looking to enroll their children in private schools, six private schools serve the city of Wilkes-Barre.

Some of the most popular schools amongst Wilkes-Barre residents include,

  • Elmer L. Meyers Junior/Senior High School, a public school hosting 890 students in grades 7-12.
  • Solomon Elementary School, a public school hosting 848 students in grades K-6.
  • Holy Redeemer High School, private Catholic school hosting 554 students in grades 9-12.

If you're looking to visit or reside in an area with rich history, diverse demographics, and access to highly rated schools, look no further than Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Enjoyed this article? See the related: An Early History of Williamsport, PA

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