Williamsport: The Grit Photograph Collection

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 [...]

2021-03-11T11:29:01-05:00By |History, Robin Van Auken|

Birthplace of ‘Grit’

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 [...]

Lycoming Presbyterian: Lycoming County’s oldest church

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

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 [...]

Trolleys: A Williamsport mass transit staple for 70 years

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. [...]

History of Avery $ Drycleaners

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, [...]

2016-11-29T12:24:56-05:00By |News of Yesteryear|

Ten Hours or No Sawdust: Sawdust War of 1872

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 [...]

Allen P. Perley

West Branch National Bank In past ages the history of a country was the record of wars and conquests; today it is the record of commercial activity, and those whose names are foremost in its annals are the leaders in business circles. The conquests now made are those of mind over matter, [...]

2017-10-27T13:29:29-05:00By |News of Yesteryear|

The Lycoming County Prison: Then and Now

Throughout history, the question of how to punish criminals has been answered quite differently. Throwing the misdeed-doer in jail has not always been the solution. Corporal punishment, forced labor, and social ostracism were methods more often used in medieval Europe, in England and colonial America. But by the 18th century, the first prisons in [...]

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