Duncannon, Pennsylvania, a small borough located in Perry County, may not be widely recognized for its historical significance. However, this tranquil community has been the backdrop for several noteworthy historical events that have shaped the area and surrounding region. From military conflicts to natural disasters, Duncannon has played a substantial role in the rich tapestry of American history. In this article, we will explore seven such events that have taken place near Duncannon.
1. Native American Presence:
Long before European settlers arrived, the area surrounding Duncannon was inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Susquehannock people. The Susquehannocks thrived along the Susquehanna River for centuries, leaving behind traces of their culture and enriching the region's heritage.
2. Pennsboro Manor:
Duncannon once fell under the Penn family's Manor system in colonial Pennsylvania. Pennsboro Manor, established in 1721, encompassed several thousand acres, including Duncannon. The Penns were one of the most influential families in the state, and their presence shaped the early development of the region.
3. The Susquehanna Boom:
In the 1800s, Duncannon witnessed the height of the Susquehanna Boom era. During this period, the Susquehanna River served as an essential transportation route, carrying logs cut from the surrounding forests to markets downriver. Duncannon's strategic location made it a critical hub for the booming lumber industry, attracting settlers and fostering economic growth.
4. American Civil War:
Like many towns in Pennsylvania, Duncannon was profoundly affected by the American Civil War (1861-1865). The nearby Susquehanna River served as a border between the Union and Confederate states. Duncannon's strategic location made it vulnerable to raids and skirmishes. Confederate forces under General J.E.B. Stuart, during his Gettysburg Campaign in 1863, crossed the river near Duncannon and clashed with Union troops.
5. John Harris Bridge:
The John Harris Bridge, located near Duncannon, holds historical significance as one of the oldest river crossings in central Pennsylvania. Constructed in 1814, the bridge provided a vital link between the east and west sides of the Susquehanna River. Over the years, the bridge has witnessed countless travelers, bridging the communities on either side.
6. Tropical Storm Agnes:
In June 1972, Duncannon and the surrounding area endured severe flooding caused by Tropical Storm Agnes. The storm dumped heavy rainfall, leading to the overflow of the Susquehanna River and subsequent devastation. Many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, leaving a lasting impact on the community.
7. Railroad Expansion:
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, railroad expansion reached Duncannon, transforming the area's transportation network. The Pennsylvania Railroad established a branch line through Duncannon, enhancing connectivity and promoting industrial growth. The rail line was instrumental in the development of the region's coal, iron, and timber industries.
These seven historical events provide a glimpse into the rich heritage of Duncannon. From Native American settlement to the railroad's arrival, each event has contributed to shaping the community we see today. Exploring the historical significance of a town like Duncannon helps us appreciate the diverse and captivating tapestry of American history that extends far beyond the pages of textbooks.
- Tags: PA