On occasion, I share historic news reports and here's one of interest, in honor of Women's History Month. People don't often think of Suffrage as a community effort, but without commitment on the local level, the 19th Amendment would never have passed. Thanks to the dedication of women in smalltown America, as well as the [...]
Williamsport: The Grit Photograph Collection (Van Auken, Robin and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2004) This book is a look through 100 years of Grit newspaper history. Dietrick Lamade, a German immigrant and self-made man who settled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, published Grit a Sunday-morning staple and America’s favorite family newspaper. The first year of Grit [...]
This postcard gallery of Dickinson Seminary / Lycoming College is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.” “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport” is available as a paperback book from Otto’s Bookstore in downtown Williamsport.
This postcard gallery is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.” “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport” is available as a paperback book from Otto’s Bookstore in downtown Williamsport.
This postcard is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of "A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport." "A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport" is available as a paperback book from Otto's Bookstore in downtown Williamsport.
Americans recall the Grit Sunday newspaper with nostalgia. For more than 100 years, this popular weekly delivered news, features, fiction, coupons, and comics to families across the nation. One million children have sold it, some for a few weeks, and some for several years. A newsboy delivers Grit newspapers in rural Pennsylvania. Many [...]
Grit’s Happy Ambassadors: Its 30,000 Boy Salesmen February 1962 “Here’s your copy of Grit, Mrs. Jones.” Every week similar welcomed words are echoed hundreds of thousands of times from coast to coast by an army of eager, bright-faced boys. They are the happy ambassadors for America’s Greatest Family Newspaper. Actually, Grit’s distribution through the Little [...]
Fort Muncy The Revolutionary War era was a bloody and trying one for the early settlers of Lycoming County. One of the most important men of this period was Samuel Wallis, regarded as a hero by many, but also an anti-hero. Wallis was one of early Lycoming County’s largest landholder, owning thousands [...]
Famous in the 19th century for its lumber products, Williamsport, Pennsylvania is a small mountainous town. Situated on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, its residents enjoyed easy access to virgin forests of hemlock and white pine. It once boasted more millionaires per capita than any American city. Its legacy is Millionaires Row, Victorian-era [...]
Sunday Grit Make room on the shelf for another book about local history. Written by author Robin Van Auken and published by Ogden Newspapers, the parent company of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “Sunday Grit: A Newspaper Legacy” is the fourth volume in a limited edition, commemorative series about area newspapers. Richly illustrated, the [...]
The year was 1792, George Washington was unanimously re-elected President of the United States, Thomas Mifflin was serving as the first Governor of Pennsylvania, both the U.S. Post Office and the U.S. Mint were established, there were 15 states in the Union, the most recent being Kentucky, and "The Farmers’ Almanac" was published for the [...]
Ray Keyes The man who dominated the sports scene in Northcentral Pennsylvania for more than 50 years was neither an athlete nor a sports executive but a sportswriter. That man was Ray Keyes. Although his name was inextricably linked with Williamsport and its environs for more than 50 years, Keyes was actually born [...]
Joe Lockard One of the radar operators who vainly tried to warn about the approach of Japanese aircraft during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, died recently at the age of 85. George Elliot of Port Charlotte, Fla., died there Dec. 20. Elliot, along with Williamsport native Joseph Lockard, operated [...]
Williamsport Trolley The most enduring and perhaps best remembered form of mass transit in Williamsport were the trolleys. Their 70-year run is still commemorated today with the running of the Herdic, Weightman and Stotz trolleys. The era of intra-city transportation began with the trolleys or streetcars in the late 1850s and early 1860s. [...]
Peter Herdic If you wrapped Donald Trump, John D. Rockefeller, H.L. Hunt and Benjamin Franklin all into one man, you’d have Peter Herdic. He looms over Williamsport’s “Lumber Boom Era” like a colossus. Herdic arguably has left a greater imprint on the posterity of Williamsport and Lycoming County than any other man. Born [...]
In 1926, Leal Raymond Avery and his brother, Harland Wesley "Bake" Avery, were given approximately $5,000 from their mother, Harriet "Hattie," to help start Avery $ Drycleaners in Williamsport, PA. The main plant (present day Bull and the Barrel Tavern on High Street) was built in winter of 1926 and operations began on Feb. 8, [...]
One of the most durable community institutions in the Williamsport area is The Center, formally known as the Bethune-Douglass Community Center at 600 Campbell St. The Bethune-Douglass Community Center was founded on April 7, 1918. It first operated as a branch of the YWCA in a frame house at 429 Walnut St. It [...]
Sawdust riot. America in the 1870s was rife with labor strife and turbulence. The lumber camps and sawmills of the Williamsport area were no exception. In 1872, Williamsport’s “lumber boom” was in full flower and great fortunes were being made by a select few. Unfortunately, the great wealth did not make its [...]
Daniel Hughes The story of the Underground Railroad in Lycoming County contains many heroic and courageous persons but none towers over the story so literally and figuratively, as does Daniel Hughes. The Underground Railroad ran from the American South through the northeastern states to Canada from the 1790s until the Civil War. Lycoming [...]
Almost every area has its own ghostly and haunted tales. Lycoming County is no exception. Many of these spooky tales are steeped in local Native American legend and superstition. Even the area of the valley of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River has otherworldly aspects to it. The area once was known as [...]