|City of Williamsport|
|Motto: The Will is in us.|
Map of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania highlighting Williamsport
|• Mayor||Gabe Campana (R)|
|• 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)|
|• Density||3,456.3/sq mi (3,456.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP Codes||17701,17702,17703,17705 |
|GNIS feature ID||1213655|
Williamsport is a city in and the county seat of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania in the United States. In 2009, the population was estimated at 29,304. It is the principal city of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of about 117,000.
Williamsport is the birthplace of Little League Baseball. Neighboring South Williamsport is the headquarters of Little League Baseball and annually hosts the Little League World Series in late summer.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Neighborhoods
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Economic and cultural development
- 9 Education
- 10 Hospitals
- 11 Sports
- 12 Media
- 13 Sister cities
- 14 Notable people
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
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. The Little League World Series complex is currently based in South Williamsport and the Series itself is held in August.
In the late 19th century 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 else in the world. For this reason, the area's local high school, the Williamsport Area High School, uses "Millionaires" as its team nickname.
1763 – The Battle of Muncy Hills took place during the French and Indian War. It was a clash between the American Indians and colonists seeking homestead sites in American Indian territory.
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.
1780 – Pennsylvania passed a law which provided for the gradual abolition of slavery. By 1848, all Pennsylvania slaves were legally free.
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.
1806 – Williamsport was incorporated as a borough on March 1
1831 – Jacob L. Mussina established the Repasz Band, the oldest brass band in America still in existence.
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.
1881 – A state law ended segregation in Pennsylvania schools. By 1948, all schools in this area were integrated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1800 – The first jail was constructed at the northeast corner of William and Third Streets.
1801 – The first store is opened by William Winter on Third Street.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1875 – The first tower clock in the United States to sound the Cambridge Quarters (Westminster Chime) was installed at Trinity Episcopal Church, a gift of Peter Herdic with bells given by the Honorable Judge J. W. Maynard.
1876 – Incorporated in 1873, the Williamsport Hospital opened its first facility April 1 at Elmira and Edwin Streets.
1895 –Harry Houdini appears in one of his earliest performances at the Old Fair Grounds with The Welch Brothers Circus.
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.
1941 – The U.S. entered WWII after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Williamsport native Joe Lockard, stationed on Oahu, gave warning of the impending attack based on radar readings. His readings were dismissed as American B17 bombers coming in from the mainland.
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.
Geography and climate
Williamsport is located at  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. As the crow flies, Lycoming County is about 130 miles (209 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 165 miles (266 km) east-northeast of Pittsburgh.(41.244428, −77.018738),
|Climate data for Williamsport, Pennsylvania (1981–2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||70
|Average high °F (°C)||34.2
|Average low °F (°C)||19.3
|Record low °F (°C)||−20
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.70
|Snowfall inches (cm)||11.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||11.0||9.7||11.5||11.6||13.3||11.9||11.4||10.3||10.0||10.3||11.0||10.8||132.7|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||7.3||5.7||3.5||.7||0||0||0||0||0||.1||1.3||5.3||23.9|
|Source: NOAA (extremes 1895–present)|
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), which had a combined population of 157,958 at the 2000 census.
As of the census 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 per square mile (588.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.1% White, 12.7% Black, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% 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.
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 Gabriel J. Campana.
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, 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.
Lonza Group, a Swiss biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, also has a large manufacturing site on the western fringes of the city, where a number of specialty chemicals are made that go into a wide array of oilfield, nutritional, personal care, and industrial applications.
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
- Downtown, 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). Susquehanna Trailways provides daily long distance bus service from a station in the downtown to Elmira, New York, Harrisburg, New York City, and Philadelphia. Local bus service within Williamsport and to other places in Lycoming County is offered by River Valley Transit.
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. 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.
Until the mid-20th century Williamsport was a major transfer point between various passenger railroad lines, serving destinations north (Pennsylvania Railroad), east (Reading Railroad), south (PRR) and west (New York Central Railroad). Freight rail 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.
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.
Economic and cultural development
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 Carl E. Stotz Memorial Little League 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.
More recently, Williamsport has become a key area in the Marcellus Shale drilling.
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. There is also a continuing education center of Pennsylvania State University located in Williamsport. Williamsport Area School District consists of:
- Cochran Primary School
- Hepburn Lycoming Primary School
- Jackson Primary School
- Stevens Primary School
- Curtin Intermediate School
- Lycoming Valley Intermediate School
- Williamsport Area 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 staffs nearly 50 full- and part-time employees, and offers volunteer opportunities for youth and adults. With a collection of nearly 150,000 units, the James V. Brown Library offers books, DVDs, CDs, and other resources, while the library proper boasts wireless Internet access, local history archives, the Lycoming County Law Library, and premium online reference resources. As the headquarters for the county library system, the Brown Library serves almost 87,000 patrons, some years circulating upwards of 550,000 books both in-house and through its traveling Storymobile. James V. Brown is a Family Place library, offering preschool and early learning opportunities, as well as programming for teens and adults. The library, led by local retired physician Dr. William R. Somers, constructed a Children's Wing in 2009 to target educational and social resources to young people from birth through the second grade. The library has since been able to bolster its school-age programming to include teen and tween populations, offering a variety of after-school gaming clubs, arts and crafts programs, and social events that occur on a regular basis. The library’s after-school café also provides reading and study incentives for young students. The Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Bureau of Library Development fund the statewide online resource "Ask Here PA", a free chat service that provides Williamsport and other Pennsylvania library patrons with access to 24/7 reference support.
Susquehanna Health is a four hospital integrated health system including:
- Williamsport Regional Medical Center
- Divine Providence Hospital
- Muncy Valley Hospital (located east of Williamsport in Muncy)
- Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital (Wellsboro, PA)
Williamsport has one professional baseball team, the Williamsport Crosscutters,a minor league baseball club with the New York - Penn League, and a semi-professional football team, the Williamsport Wildcats, registered with the GEFA
Each year the Susquehanna 500 Mini Indy Gokart Racing Series competes in Brandon Park. The Saturday-Sunday event is held each year, usually the third weekend of September with all proceeds going to the North Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. The 2013 event will be the 17th annual. About $400,000 has been raised since its inception.
Williamsport is also the headquarters of the Lycoming County Sandlot Sports Association. A non-profit corporation founded for the purpose of promoting community recreation.
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 has an all-sports station, WLYC (AM) (1500 kHz). Williamsport is ranked #271 by Arbitron in terms of its radio market.
Local online media includes Connect Williamsport, Billtown Live (events & index), Billtown Blog (commentary), Billtown Boards (discussion),Williamsport.com (directory), and the City of Williamsport Facebook page (social media) and the Downtown Williamsport Facebook page (social media).
TV stations in Williamsport are served by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.
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- Harry J. Lincoln, early 1900s music publisher and composer
- Jack Losch, football player
- George Luks, Ashcan School painter
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- Jamie McAndrew, MLB player for the Milwaukee Brewers
- Mike Mussina, baseball player
- Bob Pellegrini, American football player
- H. Beam Piper, science-fiction author
- Bill Reifsnyder, two-time U.S. national marathon champion
- Severin Roesen (1815? – 1872), still-life painter
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- Tina Russell, adult film actress
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- H. Paul Shuch, SETI scientist
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- Mary Szybist, poet, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, 2013
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