Back in the day... this whole area was coal mining. A small town nearby is called Girardville (also known as “gun-town” during the day). It was where the Molly Maguires had their issues with the coal mine owners. Hollywood made a movie about it... somewhat accurate but leaves out a lot. Anyway, many of the towns were built literally above the mines and it is not uncommon to be driving around and see a sunken type house. Growing up in the suburbs of D.C., that entire area was fascinating to me as a kid. Where else could you find coal lying around EVERYWHERE. It literally pushes through the soil. Pretty cool stuff. I hope one day you can make a trip and see it!
Are the mine fires near Scranton and Pittston still burning? It has been a while since I have heard an update.