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7 Interesting Facts About Dauphin County in Pennsylvania History

Dauphin County, located in central Pennsylvania, has a rich history dating back centuries. Here are 7 interesting facts about Dauphin County's past:

1. Name origins: Dauphin County was named after Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France, the oldest son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The county was named in honor of his birth in 1781.

2. Capital city: Harrisburg, the county seat of Dauphin County, is also the capital of Pennsylvania. The city was founded in 1785 and was named after John Harris Sr., an English trader who established a trading post on the site in 1719.

3. Civil War history: During the Civil War, Dauphin County was an important center of the Union's military operations. Soldiers from the county fought in many major battles, and Camp Curtin, located in Harrisburg, was one of the largest Union training facilities in the country.

4. Underground Railroad: Dauphin County played a significant role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safehouses used to help slaves escape to freedom. The county was home to many abolitionists and key figures in the abolitionist movement, including the famous Quaker abolitionist, Lucretia Mott.

5. Historical buildings: Dauphin County is home to several historical buildings, including the Pennsylvania State Capitol, completed in 1906, and the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, completed in 1766. Both buildings are open for public tours.

6. Three Mile Island: In 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, located in Dauphin County, suffered a partial meltdown, the most serious accident in the history of the American commercial nuclear power generating industry. Although there were no deaths or injuries as a direct result of the incident, the accident had a major impact on public perception of nuclear power.

7. Hersheypark: Located in Hershey, Dauphin County, Hersheypark is a popular amusement park that has been entertaining visitors since 1907. The park was started by Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, as a pleasant place for his employees to relax. Today, the park has over 70 attractions and is visited by millions of people each year.

In conclusion, Dauphin County has a diverse and fascinating history that includes military operations, the Underground Railroad, and the birthplace of Hersheypark. From its founding to the present day, Dauphin County has made important contributions to Pennsylvania's history and culture, making it a significant place for both tourism and historical study.

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