Northumberland County in Pennsylvania is rich in history, spanning from colonial times to the present day. Here are seven interesting facts about the county's past:
1. Northumberland county was established in 1772
Northumberland was one of the original 12 counties when Pennsylvania became a state, and was named for the county of Northumberland in England. The county was carved out of portions of Lancaster, Berks and Northampton counties.
2. The county played a role in the American Revolution
During the revolution, Northumberland County was a hotbed of Patriot activity. The county was the site of several battles and skirmishes, and many of its residents fought in the Continental Army. The Battle of Wyoming, a notorious conflict between Americans and Native Americans, took place in Northumberland in 1778.
3. The county was once a prominent center of commerce
Northumberland county was a hub of early industry, with coal mines, iron works, and mills dotting the landscape. The Susquehanna River provided easy transportation and access to markets, and the county became a center of trade and commerce. By the mid-19th century, the county was one of the wealthiest in the state.
4. The county was the birthplace of the first female governor in the United States
Nellie Ross, who was born in St. Joseph, Northumberland County, became the first female governor in the United States when she was elected as Wyoming's governor in 1924. She served two terms and went on to become the director of the U.S. Mint under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
5. The county played a key role in the Underground Railroad
Northumberland was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, the network of secret routes and safe houses used by escaped slaves to reach freedom in the North. Many abolitionists in the county risked their lives to shelter and aid escaped slaves.
6. The county has a rich agricultural history
Agriculture has played an essential role in Northumberland's economy since it was first settled. The county is known for its fertile farmland, and its farmers have produced crops of all kinds, from wheat and corn to apples and dairy products. The county's agricultural heritage is celebrated each year at the Northumberland County Fair.
7. The county is home to a variety of historic sites and landmarks
Northumberland is home to numerous historic sites and landmarks, including the Beck House, a colonial-era home that was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad; the Priestley House, the former home of chemist and theologian Joseph Priestley; the Point Bridge, a historic bridge that spans the Susquehanna River; and the Cameron House, a 19th-century mansion that served as a station on the Underground Railroad.
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