Scenic USA - Pennsylvania

Frances Slocum State Park

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Frances Slocum Park - Wyoming, Pennsylvania

Photos by Marty Straub
Marty Straub Photography

     Covering just over 1000 acres in northeast Pennsylvania, Frances Slocum State Park is one of a cluster of parks which circle the Wilkes-Barre, Scranton area. Open to picnickers, hunters, anglers, campers and hikers, park guests enjoy a variety of activities at this Luzerne County facility. The 165 acre Frances Slocum Lake, a focal point of the park, entices anglers with catches of bass, musky, catfish, walleye and trout. Thirteen miles of trails are woven through the hardwood forest and wrap around the horseshoe shaped lake. The park's hunting grounds, almost 200 acres, lure in hunters with both rifle and bow.
     If the Frances Slocum name piques your interest, this brief account may offer some insight. The Slocum family moved into Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley near present day Wilkes-Barre in 1777. At the time, British forces, accompanied by Seneca Indians, destroyed the fort at Wilkes-Barre and killed as many as 300 Americans. Strong in their Quaker beliefs, Frances Slocum Lake the Slocum family believed they were safe. During a brief skirmish one of the ten Slocum children, Francis, was carried off by members of the Delaware Tribe. Over time Francis Slocum became Maconaquah (Little Bear), spending her entire life with the tribe. She married twice and had four children. Even though discovered by her two brothers at age 63, Francis Slocum remained with her Indian family at present day Peru, Indiana. Playing on the sympathies of Congressional members, Slocum used her white heritage to avoid relocation. Little Bear and her family were granted exclusions, exempting herself and relatives from their removal to a reservation in Kansas. After her death, tributes were raised in Peru, Indiana and Frances Slocum State Park in Pennsylvania.

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