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WILLIAMSPORT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 685 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAMSPORT, a city and the county-seat of Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the north bank of the west branch of the Susquehanna river, about 70 M. N. by W. of Harrisburg. Pop. (189o) 27,132; (1900) 28,757, of whom 1144 were negroes and 2228 were foreign-born, including 1089 Germans; (1910 census), 31,86o. Area, about 7 sq. m. Williamsport is served by the New York Central & Hudson River, the Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna & New York, and the Philadelphia & Reading railways, and by electric lines connecting with the neighbouring towns of Montoursville (pop. in 1900, 1665), South Williamsport (pop. in 'goo, 3328), on the S. bank of the river, and Du Boistown (pop. in 1900, 65o). The city has an attractive site, on a high plain, nearly surrounded by hills. It has five parks, Brandon (44 acres) within the city limits, and Vallamont, Starr Island, Sylvan Dell and Nippono in its suburbs. Williamsport is the seat of Williamsport Dickinson Seminary (Methodist Episcopal, co-educational, 1848), a secondary school. Among the principal buildings are the county court house, the city hall, the United States Government building, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, the Masonic Temple, a Y.M.C.A. building, and the James V. Brown Memorial Library (1907). In the city are a Boys' Industrial Home (1898), a Girls' Training School (1895), a Florence Crittenton Home (1895), a Home for Aged Coloured Women (1898), a Home for the Friendless (1872), and Williamsport Hospital (1873). There are practically no tenement houses. The value of factory products in 1905 was $11,738,473, 20.7% more than in 1900. Williamsport has the largest lumber market in Pennsylvania; lumber was for forty years the most important of its manufactures, and Williamsport was styled the " sawdust city." The decreasing importance of the industry is due to the virtual exhaustion of standing timber in the neighbourhood. Lumber and timber products were valued at $1,310,368 in 1905, and lumber and planing mill products at $579,667. Among other manufactures are silk and silk goods, valued at $1,191,273 in 1905; foundry and machine shop products, $1,164,737; rubber and leather boots and shoes, furniture, &c. The city has a large trade with the surrounding country. The water supply is derived from mountain streams S. of the city. Lycoming county was erected in 1795, in which year Williamsport was founded and became the county-seat, after a bitter contest with Jaysburg, which was then a village of only some half a dozen houses and which subsequently ceased to exist. Williamsport was incorporated as a borough in 18o6, and was chartered as a city in 1866.
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