The Wilkes Barre Home Page

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Newspaper-Times Leader. The first house was built in 1769 by John Abbott at the corner of Main & Northampton Streets. The first shot fired by an American in the Spanish-American was fired by John Mahlia of Browntown, Pittston Township on April 22, 1898. The entire area spearheaded the Union movement as well. The first armored cars and tanks were designed by a Wilkes Barre native by ZHarold W. Evans for the army. The first aspirin in the United States was developed by a scientific team that included Edward Pugh of Exeter. Wilkes Barre native Ham Fisher created the popular "Joe palooka" comic strip.Benjamin Franklin Mahoney, born in Wilkes Barre in 1901 built Charles Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis." Famous Hollywood directors, producers and screenwriters Herman and Joseph Mankiewicz spent their early years in Wilkes Barre. The city's name is often mentioned in their films. Louis teicher of "ferrante and Teicher piano fame was born in Wilkes barre in 1924. Amadeo Obici started a fruit and peanut stand at 15 E. Market St. in 1906 which grew to become Planters' Peanuts, the largest peanut manufacturer in the world. The area has the largest deposits of anthracite coal in the world and for some 100 years supplied the nation with one of its most important sources of energy.

Wikes Barre and sister city Scranton are the two largest cities in the NE PA - Pocono Mountains Region. Wilkes Barre was also a big vaudeville stop along with Scranton. For more information contact The Wyoming Valley Historical Society, 49 S> Franklin Street, Wilkes Barre, PA 18701. (570) 823 0615. Other sources would be The Osterhout Free Library, 71 S. Franklin Street, Wilkes Barre, Pa, 18701, and Victoria Moss Gallagher, greater Wilkes Barre Chamber of business and Industry at 823 2101.

Because of this history some of NE PA's most historic tours are available in the area that include The Famous Houdini Tour & Show.