As kids and parents get ready to go back to school in the coming week or two, I feel this picture of the kids having fun in the waters of the old Lackawanna Iron and Steel Dam would be fine farewell to summer.
The Lackawanna Iron and Steel Dam was constructed in 1886 to supply water to company’s mill boilers which were located where the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad machine shop (now General Dynamics) on Cedar Ave.
A short article on the happenings of South Scranton in June 1906 said that the dam and the large lake created behind it was called the “Boom” and it was very popular with the youth of South Scranton.
By 1911, Scranton Police started cracking down on kids swimming in the “Boom.” Years later Mayor John Durkan finally ordered that the “good old swimming hole” be closed. He ordered Scranton Police on August 7, 1924 to head down to the Boom with the police wagon and round up all the children who were swimming. The police picked up 32 kids.
While in brief police custody, Scranton Police Superintendent M.J. McHugh told the children that the boom is closed to swimming and the water that they have been swimming in is polluted. He asked the children to promise not to swim in the boom and to only swim in Lake Lincoln at Nay Aug Park. The children agreed and were released.
By the mid 1960s, Governor William W. Scranton started an effort the restore the Iron Furnaces and redeveloped the area into a recreation area. Work on that project got underway in May 1970. Over a year later, the work was complete and on September 20, 1971 the area was dedicated as the Iron Furnaces at Roaring Brook State Park.
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast