A Walking Tour of Williamsport, Pennsylvania
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Williamsport, Pennsylvania from walkthetown.com is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions. More
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour is ready to explore when you are.
Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.
Williamsport’s strength was founded on the logging industry in the late 1840s, however before this era, the town existed only as a crossroads community of less than 2,000 people, as a stop along the Pennsylvania Canal and as a marketing point for the numerous small farms of the area. In 1847, the potential for the logging business took a great leap forward with the establishment of the first “Log Boom” in the Susquehanna River. The west branch of the river from Linden to Halls Station was referred to as the “Long Reach,” which was an area of almost no fall in the elevation of the riverbed. This provided an ideal point to locate a log boom, which was a series of river piers with heavy chains strung between them used to catch the slow moving logs as they came down the river. This fostered the development of an entire series of related lumber processing sites in Williamsport that included log cribs and ponds, sawmills, storage and rail yards.
The impact on the town was dynamic; between 1860 and 1870, Williamsport’s six major railroad lines arrived and the population tripled. By 1886, there were 28,000 inhabitants of the city. Various resources and industrial reports also reflect the growing boom in the economy -- in 1862, 196,953 (37,853,621 board feet) logs were brought to Williamsport, and by 1891 that figure had jumped to 1,816,562 (262,017,394 board feet) logs.
It was on the base the “Lumber Barons” established their fortunes and Williamsport is said to have had more millionaires than any place in America for a time. They built spectacular homes along East Third Street and West Fourth Street. The West Fourth Street area eventually became preferred over East Third Street, which remained a fashionable neighborhood well into the 1900s before numerous demolitions and commercial development has nearly erased all vestiges of this former use.
The decline of the West Fourth Street area can be indirectly traced to the decline of the lumber business in Williamsport. In 1889, the Susquehanna River flooded its banks and caused considerable damage to the lumber facilities located in the city. This, coupled with the declining timber resources, signaled an end to the traditional economic base, although the lumber business remained until the early 1900s. Today West Fourth Street has largely saved the vestiges of its day as Millionaires Row.
This walking tour will begin just east of Millionaires Row and explore the downtown area before reversing course and touring Millionaires Row...