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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,205 posts, read 62,406,465 times
Reputation: 14335

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As a special favor to a member who kindly asked me to head up to Bradford County in a PM as they ponder relocation there, I trekked up beautiful Route 92 North from West Pittston to Tunkhannock and then Route 6 West en route to Towanda, which has now become one of my favorite county seats in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. On the way I passed by the quaint villages of Laceyville and Wyalusing, both of which will be featured jointly in another upcoming photo tour due to their close proximity to one another and relatively-small sizes. I would have snapped photos of both of those communities today, but I took so many images of beautiful Towanda that I didn't have enough room on my digital camera's memory card.

I've only been through Towanda once when our family used this route to access Corning, NY to get to the glass museum, but we didn't "stop to smell the roses," so to speak and just blew on through town. When I parked my car today on Main Street, the first thing I noticed is that there were no parking meters---how refreshing! Towanda reminded me in many ways of either a larger Tunkhannock or a smaller Lewisburg with its restored hometown theater, beautiful courthouse, and grand historic mansions on the fringes of the downtown.

Towanda itself is very isolated in the central part of Bradford County, but it has just about every amenity you could need to get by without the hassle of driving an hour or so to Wilkes-Barre or Elmira. Just east of town across the bridge is the community of Wysox, which is home to a JCPenney, KMart, Sears, Radio Shack, Subway, and many other retailers and chain restaurants. Wysox was an extremely UGLY community with all of the corporate signs lining very busy U.S. Route 6. Not only did a large spewing factory lie behind the KMart store, but a homestead with a historical marker in front of it denoting it as the "Azilum" was partially converted into a GAS STATION! How horrid! At least community planners in Towanda seem to care much more about historic preservation, aesthetics, and making a positive impression upon tourists than its neighbors across the bridge. There was a CVS and a Rite-Aid just outside of town in North Towanda, and nearby Athens is home to a new Lowe's Home Improvement store. It should also be noted that gas was a bargain out here---I paid only $2.77/gallon!

Littering the town were helpful and interesting placards that described in detail the history and architectural of many of the town's more interesting structures, and I was sure to snap a photo of just about each and every one of them so that I could put the marker just below each photo in the historic district to act as a "caption" of sorts (Ain't I clever?) There were numerous out-of-state vehicles cruising through town---I saw NY, NJ, MD, VA, CT, OH, MN, DE, MA, MI, and even a CA! The stretch of U.S. Route 6 through Northern Pennsylvania is probably among the most scenic drives in east of the Mississippi River, and it is one I highly recommend you all take before you die. This route passes through all sorts of historic county seats and farming villages, some of which are being reinvented as artists' colonies, antiquing centers, and tourist meccas.

The only two complaints I have about Towanda are the horrid traffic congestion on Main Street (which could be rectified in similar fashion to Tunkhannock by building a brief bypass around town for thru-traffic), as well as the fact that people in this town would rudely STARE at me as if I didn't belong. I can fondly recall standing near Main Street and snapping an image of the town welcome sign and map near a busy intersection only to turn around and see a line of vehicles stopped at the red light where just about every driver had their head turned in my direction and was gawking at me like I was either an unwanted tourist or a sexy diva like Paris Hilton. The same could be said for drivers along York Avenue as I photographed homes in the historic district, as well as people who stared from their front porches along the side streets in the hilly neighborhood on the west side of town. What gives? Are people in this town THAT lackluster that they can't find anything better to do than stare at me? I'm extremely self-conscious, and I kept on tensing up and breaking into sweating fits when I felt eyes following me. Other than the traffic congestion and the rude people who stared too much at me, Towanda seemed like a wonderful town. If any Bradford County residents are reading this, please tell your neighbors to STOP STARING!!! RAWR! LOL! If I had known that I was that much of a head-turner, I would have stripped off my shirt, thrown oil all over my body and then strutted my stuff up and down the main drag!

Please enjoy my photos!






Welcome to beautiful Towanda, PA, the hub town of the Endless Mountains!

(PHOTOS TO BE CONTINUED BELOW)
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,205 posts, read 62,406,465 times
Reputation: 14335
Smile Towanda

The following are the images I snapped of Towanda, along with accompanying historical placards, if applicable.







































St. Agnes School


















































































































































I'll conclude with some peaceful images of the Susquehanna River as it gently meanders by Towanda.

I hope you enjoyed your visit as much as I did! I'm a bit pressed for time right now, but I'll elborate further upon some photos of key interest later.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:33 PM
 
2,433 posts, read 1,705,216 times
Reputation: 2607
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post
The only two complaints I have about Towanda are the horrid traffic congestion on Main Street (which could be rectified in similar fashion to Tunkhannock by building a brief bypass around town for thru-traffic)
There is a bypass but it's for US 220 going north and south, it's just west of the town. A bypass on US 6 would be nice, they could try to tie it in the US 220 bypass just south of the town, then have the US 6 drivers use the US 220 bypass North until in intersects with US 6 again. I don't know how much it would cost but you would need a long bridge to cross the river south of the city though.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
29,799 posts, read 52,653,647 times
Reputation: 48831
Nice variety of pix. I've always wanted to do the U.S. 6 drive across the state, but I fear it might take me 2 or 3 days.

Quote:
If I had known that I was that much of a head-turner, I would have stripped off my shirt, thrown oil all over my body and then strutted my stuff up and down the main drag!
Oh, my heavens ... Is it possible to die from laughing so hard?? *phoning 911*
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
16 posts, read 91,780 times
Reputation: 15
Brings back memories of the long drives out route 6 to the family's Potter County cabin. Luckily, enough my father built a cabin outside of Wyalusing, which is a much shorter commute from Dunmore, and rather close to Towanda. Good work!
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:25 AM
 
17 posts, read 56,215 times
Reputation: 12
Talking Thanks for such great photos!

Wow! Thanks for such a detailed tour and for all the crisp photos! I told my husband that we really should consider this place based on your recommendation. I'll show him the show tonite and see if he is impressed too. The town really does have a lot to offer. We'll see if the job does! And I'm thinking that the townfolk probably thought you were with Nat'l Geographic! Or maybe it was your amazing good looks! Too bad about the traffic. Maybe it was just the tourist season??? Anyhow I really appreciate your effort and am glad you enjoyed it as well. You should really call a travel mag and let them know you're available!
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:15 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,514 times
Reputation: 11
Default There is a route 6 by-pass

Take the first right after the bridge, Travel along the Merrill parkway next to the river. Ends in North Towanda.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:54 AM
 
Location: near Mansfield, PA
75 posts, read 351,793 times
Reputation: 37
Traffic can be terrible, but much better than it had been. Either take the first right after turning onto Main St, and onto Merrill Pkwy, OR, turn left at the bridge which circles around onto Merrill Pkwy which runs along the river. Very interesting photo show. I work in between a couple of the buildings you photographed and even own one of them. lol. It made me look at Towanda in a different light. Unfortunately, the traffic is far from being tourists other than maybe on Friday afternoons in the summer when it can take 30 mins to go from Wysox to N. Towanda. I would be worried too about overlooking that Towanda's downtown has far more empty store fronts than occupied ones. Even working here, I find Towanda isolated compared to other towns in this region. I tend to prefer to be within 1/2 hour driving of someplace that has more retail options, minor league team, entertainment options, etc. There are also no truly good restaurants in Towanda. I certainly don't intend to put down the town, but wanted to share the local perspective -- in fact these are the issues my coworkers & I lament on a regular basis. Everyone who lives here tends to drive to at least Sayre or occasionally Elmira or Vestal for shopping or going out for a nice dinner.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:04 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,578 times
Reputation: 10
Wow what a beautiful job you did in portraying my home town. I was born in Towanda and have lived there several times as a child. I have a large extended family who live in Towanda, Monroeton, and Powell. It is truly my home. I haven't made it back there for 16 months. Your pictures make me extremely homesick.
The homes there are all absolutely beautiful and your pictures showcase them wonderfully.
The traffic is a nightmare most of the time on Main st. But that is part of the charm of the town. I loved seeing the pictures of The Daily REview. I had 2 aunts who worked there for most of my childhood and my first real job was delivering the Review.
The pictures of the River are fantastic as well.
As for the people gawking at you. I believe what happens is they just don't realize how great the town on Towanda is, and were shocked to see someone photographing it.. Also it is a small town, great community and everyone knows everyone.. They were just shocked to see a stranger in the midst of them.
Thanks for showcasing our wonderful home town. Thanks to my Aunt Connie for telling me about this great site!
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:28 PM
 
6 posts, read 14,311 times
Reputation: 11
Great photos and I agree with most of what was written after. However, if you think the traffic was bad in the summer you haven't seen anything yet with the water trucks and gas company fleets. Gas drilling has taken off in this area and will, unfortunately, hinder the asthetics of the area for quite some time. As a lifetime resident of this area, I am cautiously optimistic that the impact will be minimal once the wells have been drilled and the lines dug and covered. It's going to take a lot more than a few more trucks on the road to get me out of here. The beauty year round is worth the inconvenience. I agree with the previous poster about the gawkers. We all live in small communities and tend to distrust anyone taking a lot of photos. Don't take it personally, it's just our way of looking out for one another.
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