Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the seat of Luzerne County. The city is on the Susquehanna River, 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Scranton. Situated in the Wyoming Valley, a region rich in anthracite, Wilkes-Barre was a coal-mining center for many years. Today it is an industrial city that manufactures a variety of products.
The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society has exhibits on anthracite coal and the history of coal mining. River Common, a 35-acre (14-hectare) park, has more than 100 Japanese cherry trees. Wilkes University and King's College are in the city.
Wilkes-Barre was laid out in 1769. The settlement was originally called Wyoming; it was renamed Wilkes-Barre in honor of John Wilkes and Isaac Barré, two Englishmen who defended the colonial cause in the British Parliament during the Revolutionary War. Indians, encouraged by the Loyalists during the Revolutionary War, twice burned Wilkes-Barre—once on July 4, 1778, a day after the Wyoming Valley Massacre, and again in 1784. Wilkes-Barre was incorporated as a city in 1871.