Williamsport, Pennsylvania: Wikis


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Williamsport, Pennsylvania
—  City  —
Williamsport's City Hall
Nickname(s): Billtown
Motto: Home of the Little League World Series
Map of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania highlighting Williamsport
Williamsport, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 41°14′40″N 77°1′7″W / 41.24444°N 77.01861°W / 41.24444; -77.01861
Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
County Lycoming
Settled 1769
Incorporated 1806 (borough)
  1866 (city)
 - Mayor Gabe Campana
 - Total 9.5 sq mi (24.7 km2)
 - Land 8.9 sq mi (23.0 km2)
 - Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Elevation 518 ft (158 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 30,706
 - Density 3,456.3/sq mi (3,456.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 570
FIPS code 42-85312[1]
GNIS feature ID 1213655[2]
Website City of Williamsport

Williamsport is a city in and the county seat of Lycoming County,[3] Pennsylvania in the United States. The population was 30,706 at the 2000 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Williamsport-Lock Haven, Pennsylvania Combined Statistical Area.



Williamsport was incorporated as a borough on March 1, 1806, and as a city on January 15, 1866. The city is the original home of Little League Baseball, founded in 1939 as a three-team league.

In the late 1800s Williamsport was known as "The Lumber Capital of the World" because of its thriving lumber industry. It also was the birthplace of the national newspaper Grit in 1882. Williamsport once had more millionaires per-capita than anywhere in the world. The area's local high school, the Williamsport Area High School, uses The Millionaires as its mascot.

Time Line

1763 - The Battle of Muncy Hills took place during the French and Indian War. It was a clash between the American Indians and white men seeking homestead sites in American Indian territory.[4]

1768 - At the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, at the end of the French and Indian War, the British purchased the land that became Lycoming County from the Iroquois Nation who controlled the lands. It was known as the New Purchase.[4]

1780 - Pennsylvania passed a law which provided for the gradual abolition of slavery. By 1848, all Pennsylvania slaves were legally free.[4]

1795 - On April 13, Lycoming County was formed from Northumberland County. It encompassed all the lands of Northumberland County situated west of Muncy Hills and was a domain of 12,500 square miles (32,000 km2), comprising most of north central Pennsylvania.[4]

1806 - Williamsport was incorporated as a borough on March 1[4]

1830 - Jacob L. Mussina established the Repasz Band, the oldest brass band in America still in existence.[4]

1830-1865 - The Underground Railroad, a system of safe houses and routes for slaves escaping to freedom, was organized. Many Lycoming County abolitionists, including Daniel Hughes, served as conductors and agents.[4]

1881 - A state law ended segregation in Pennsylvania schools. By 1948, all schools in this area were integrated.[4]

1936 - The Flood of March 17-18 caused the river to crest at 33.9’. Flood waters reached High Street. It was known locally as the Hello, Al flood because Al Glaes, operating a short-wave radio station from his home on High Street, kept the city in touch with the rest of the world after the flood disrupted electricity and telephone service.[4]


City "firsts"

1778 - The first purpose built cemetery is opened on what is now the site of Calvary United Methodist Church on West Fourth Street.[5]

1786 - The first house was built in Williamsport. James Russell built his inn on what is now the corner of East Third and Mulberry Streets in downtown.[5]

1796 - The first recorded childbirth in Williamsport was James Russell the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Russell and grandson of James Russell of the Russell Inn.[5]

1796 - The first school is built as a one room log addition to the building that would eventually become the first Lycoming County Courthouse. Caleb Bailey was the first teacher.[5]

1798 - The first brick house in Williamsport was erected on Front Street, between Market and Mulberry, by Andrew Tulloh, a lawyer. The bricks were made on the banks of Grafius Run where that stream crossed Hepburn Street.[4]

1799 - The first post office is built at the corner of Third and State Streets in what is now downtown. The post office was later converted to a saloon.[5]

1800 - The first jail was constructed at the northeast corner of William and Third Streets.[4]

1801 - The first store is opened by William Winter on Third Street.[5]

1834 - The West Branch Canal opened on Oct. 15. The first boat to pass through the canal en route to Jersey Shore was that of George Aughenbaugh. The first freight carried into town was iron for the foundry of John B. Hall.[4]

1834 - Enactment of the common school law by Pennsylvania Legislature led to public education here. In May 1835, the first public schools opened in Williamsport.[4]

1835 - The West Branch National Bank, the county's first bank, was established with John H. Cowden as president, James Armstrong and Tunison Coryell as cashiers.[4]

1849 - The first Market Street Bridge is built over the West Branch Susquehanna River. It was opened as a toll bridge to cover the state's costs of $23,797.[5]

1854 - The first brewery is opened. The brewery was sold to Henry Flock in 1865. This brewery was run by the Flock family until the 1940s. The Flock's business survived Prohibition by converting to a dairy.[5]

Aerial view, about 1919

1876 - Incorporated in 1873, the Williamsport Hospital opened its first facility April 1 at Elmira and Edwin Streets.[4]

1939 - On June 6, the first Little League Baseball game was played on a sandlot outside Bowman Field in Williamsport. Carl Stotz conceived the idea of a Little League, and he and Bert and George Bebble managed the first three teams.[4]

1941 - The U.S. entered WWII after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Joe Lockard, of Williamsport, gave warning of the impending attack, but was ignored by the higher-ups.[4]

1941 - The Williamsport School Board created the Williamsport Technical Institute for high school and post-high school students. It grew into the Williamsport Area Community College, and later became Pennsylvania College of Technology.[4]

Geography and climate

Williamsport is located at 41°14′40″N 77°1′7″W / 41.24444°N 77.01861°W / 41.24444; -77.01861 (41.244428, -77.018738),[6] and is bordered by the West Branch Susquehanna River to the south (with Armstrong Township, South Williamsport, Duboistown and Susquehanna Township south of the river), Loyalsock Township to the east and north, Old Lycoming Township to the north and Woodward Township to the west.[7] As the crow flies, Lycoming County is about 130 miles (209 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 165 miles (266 km) east-northeast of Pittsburgh.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.5 square miles (24.7 km²). 8.9 square miles (23.0 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (6.92%) is water.[6]

Weather data for Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F (°C) 70
Average high °F (°C) 33
Average low °F (°C) 18
Record low °F (°C) -20
Rainfall inches (mm) 2.85
Snowfall inches (mm) 12.5
Source: National Weather Service[8] October 10, 2009


Location of the Williamsport-Lock Haven CSA and its components:      Williamsport Metropolitan Statistical Area      Lock Haven Micropolitan Statistical Area

Williamsport is the larger principal city of the Williamsport-Lock Haven CSA]], a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Williamsport metropolitan area (Lycoming County) and the Lock Haven micropolitan area (Clinton County),[9][10][11] which had a combined population of 157,958 at the 2000 census.[1]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 30,706 people, 12,219 households, and 6,732 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,456.3 people per square mile (1,335.1/km²). There were 13,524 housing units at an average density of 1,522.3/sq mi (588.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.11% White, 12.73% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population.

There were 12,219 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.9% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 18.0% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1990 31,933
2000 30,706 −3.8%

The median income for a household in the city was $25,946, and the median income for a family was $33,844. Males had a median income of $26,668 versus $20,196 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,707. About 13.7% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.


Williamsport operates on a "Strong Mayor" form of governing, meaning the mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval and little public input. The current mayor of the City of Williamsport is Dr. Gabriel J. Campana.

See also: List of Mayors of Williamsport, Pennsylvania


Williamsport is well-known for the Lycoming aircraft engines which is a division of Avco Corporation and a subsidiary of Textron. Brodart, a library supplies company, is also based in Williamsport. Shop-Vac is headquartered in the Newberry section of Williamsport and manufactures wet/dry vacuums and accessories for consumer, industrial, commercial and contractor uses. Overhead Garage Door is also located in Newberry. Bethlehem Wire Rope,[12] a 46-acre (190,000 m2) manufacturing complex in Williamsport, with over 620,000 square feet (58,000 m2) under roof, is the single largest wire rope manufacturing facility in North America.

Area's Top Ten Employers

1. Susquehanna Health
2. State Government
3. Pennsylvania College of Technology
4. Williamsport Area School District
5. Brodart Company
6. Springs Window Fashions, LLC.
7. Weis Markets
8. West Pharmaceuticals
9. Shop Vac Corporation
10. Textron Lycoming Engines


The eastern side of Williamsport, seen from the southeast on Bald Eagle Mountain. In the foreground is the west branch of the Susquehanna River. Beyond Williamsport can be seen the higher part of the dissected Allegheny Plateau
  • Center City, between Hepburn Street and Basin Street, south of Little League Blvd
  • Grampian Hills, the area around and north of Grampian Blvd.
  • Millionaire's Row, along W. 4th Street
  • Newberry, west of Lycoming Creek
  • Park Avenue, south of Williamsport Hospital
  • Vallamont, the area north of Rural Ave and west of Market St.
  • East End, the area south of Grampian Blvd. and east of Market St.
  • West Hills, the hillside and hilltop north of Dewey and west of Round Hill Road.


Williamsport Regional Airport (IPT), located several miles east of the city in the borough of Montoursville, has three flights daily via US Airways (as of January 2009).[13] Susquehanna Trailways provides daily long distance bus service from a station in the downtown to Elmira, New York, Harrisburg, New York City, and Philadelphia.[14] Local bus service within Williamsport and to other places in Lycoming County near the river is offered by River Valley Transit.[15]

Williamsport is served by several major highways, including Interstate 180, U.S. Route 15, and U.S. Route 220. I-180 and US 220 currently run together northeast/southwest through Williamsport, and US 15 joins (in the opposite direction) for two miles.[16] Once completed, Interstate 99 will enter Williamsport from the southwest on US 220 and continue north on US 15, joining only one at a time. Train freight service (west to Avis and east to Muncy) is provided by the Lycoming Valley Railroad, which has its main yard in the Newberry section of Williamsport, and offers connections to the Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific railroads.[17] The West Branch Susquehanna River is not navigable, but a dam at Hepburn Street provides a large lake for recreational boating, including outings on the mock paddlewheeler Hiawatha from Susquehanna State Park.[18]

Recent developments

The Business District[19]

Between January 2008 and November 2008, over 300 million dollars of economic development came into the city. In addition, violent crime has been significantly reduced through the use of foot patrols and community police stations.

The Williamsport Downtown Gateway Revitalization Project, begun in 2004, has been set into place in order to attract more people (both citizens of the Williamsport community and visitors) to the Downtown Williamsport area.

Construction on the Market Street Bridge, the first of many projects, began in June 2004 and was completed in 2008.

A new 8+ screen movie theater on West 4th Street, opened May 2, 2008. These are the first regular-schedule first-run movie screens in Williamsport proper in several years. Previously, the closest regular, first-run theater was at the Lycoming Mall, at least fifteen miles (24 km) away from the city center.

Williamsport "First Fridays" is a new addition to Williamsport monthly tradition. On the first Friday of each month, businesses, restaurants, and personal shops in the area come together to display a set theme (local photography, works of local artists, etc.) in each of their storefronts in order to bring pedestrians into the city.


Williamsport is the home of Lycoming College and Pennsylvania College of Technology, The Commonwealth Medical College, as well as the Newport Business Institute, Barone Beauty School and Empire Beauty School. Williamsport Area School District consists of:

  • Cochran Elementary School
  • Hepburn Lycoming Elementary School
  • Jackson Elementary School
  • Round Hills Elementary School
  • Sheridan Elementary School
  • Stevens Elementary School
  • Curtin Middle School
  • Lycoming Valley Middle School
  • Roosevelt Middle School
  • Williamsport Area High School

Williamsport Area School District has a renowned music program, ranked in the Top 100 in the country.

The Catholic school called Saint John Neumann Regional Academy has five campuses in Lycoming County and provides education for pre-Kindergarten thru 12th grade students. The Center is a non profit organization that provides underprivileged children with tutoring services, dance classes, and many other fun activities.


The James V. Brown Library is Williamsport's public library. The library offers books, DVDs, CDs, wireless Internet access, local history archives, the Lycoming County Law Library, and premium online reference resources. James V. Brown is a Family Place library, offering preschool and early learning opportunities, as well as programming for teens and adults. The library has recently begun construction of a new Children's Wing.

Lycoming College's Snowden Library and Pennsylvania College of Technology's Madigan Library are other libraries in Williamsport.


Williamsport has one professional baseball team, the Crosscutters, and a semi-pro football team, the Williamsport Wildcats. The Crosscutters are a minor league baseball club with the New York - Penn League. The Williamsport Wildcats captured the Pennsylvania Football League 6 Championship in 2008.

The Little League World Series is held annually on the other side of the West Branch Susquehanna River in South Williamsport, where Little League Baseball now has its headquarters.


Local newspapers include the Williamsport Sun Gazette, Webb Weekly and The Williamsport Guardian.
The local news/talk radio stations are WRAK/WRKK (1400/1200 kHz), and WWPA 1340 kHz. Williamsport is ranked #271 by Arbitron in terms of its radio market.
Local online media includes Billtown Live (events & index), Billtown Blog (commentary), Billtown Boards (discussion) and Williamsport.com (directory).
TV stations in Williamsport are served by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.

Notable residents


  1. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Welcome to Historic Williamsport: Books by Robin Van Auken
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Lou Hunsinger Jr.. "Lycoming County, Williamsport Firsts". Williamsport Sun-Gazette. http://www.historicwilliamsport.com/Features/Williamsport%20First.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-16.  
  6. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. "2007 General Highway Map Lycoming County Pennsylvania" [map], 1:65,000. Retrieved on 2009-12-27.
  8. ^ "Climatology for Central Pennsylvania". National Weather Service. 2009. http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ctp/climate/. Retrieved October 10, 2009.  
  9. ^ METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  10. ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  11. ^ COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  12. ^ Wirerope Works, Inc. - Manufacturer of Bethlehem Wire Rope
  13. ^ ""IPT Scheduled Flights"". Williamsport Regional Airport. http://www.flyipt.com/schdflt.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  14. ^ ""Susquehanna Trailways Bus Daily Routes"". Susquehanna Trailways. http://www.susquehannabus.com/routes.html. Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  15. ^ ""River Valley Transit: Bus Routes and Schedules"". River Valley Transit. http://www.citybus.org/routes/routes.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. 2007 General Highway Map Lycoming County Pennsylvania [map], 1:65,000. Retrieved on 2008-01-29.
  17. ^ ":Lycoming Valley Railroad"". North Shore Railroad System. http://www.nshr.com/LVRR/lvrr.shtml. Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  18. ^ ""Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat"". River Valley Transit. http://www.ridehiawatha.com/. Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  19. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20070811050120/http://www.williamsport.org/ot2010/wotg/index.htm
  20. ^ Untitled Article
  21. ^ http://www.askart.com/AskART/L/george_benjamin_luks/george_benjamin_luks.aspx
  22. ^ Sal Rosato Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards - databaseFootball.com
  23. ^ http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0887007.html

External links


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