The post office in Lewistown
Location of Lewistown in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.
|• Type||Borough Council|
|• Mayor||Deborah Bargo|
|• Total||2.05 sq mi (5.31 km2)|
|• Land||2.03 sq mi (5.26 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)|
|Elevation||520 ft (160 m)|
|• Density||4,041.87/sq mi (1,560.32/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||717 and 223|
|School district||Mifflin County School District|
Lewistown is a borough in and the county seat of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, United States. 61 miles (98 km) northwest of Harrisburg. The number of people living in the borough in 1900 was 4,451; in 1910, 8,166; in 1940, 13,017; and in 2000, 8,998. The population was 8,338 at the 2010 census. Of the four communities in the United States named "Lewistown", this borough is the largest.It is the principal city of the Lewistown, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area , which encompasses all of Mifflin County. It lies along the Juniata River,
The borough was incorporated in 1795 and was named for William "Bill" Lewis, a Quaker and a member of the legislature, who was responsible for the designation of the borough, which was then known as the Village of Ohesson, as the county seat of Mifflin County.
During the late 19th century Mifflin County became the crossroads of the Commonwealth. Located near the geographic center of the state, the area became a hub for traffic moving in every direction.
Early roads crisscrossed the region, but it was the eventual construction of the Pennsylvania Canal and the railroads that followed that truly positioned Mifflin County as an economic force in the state.
Lewistown, as the major city in Mifflin County, saw its economy expand dramatically as entrepreneurs launched companies to construct canal boats or build inns offering lodging for travelers and workers.
At its zenith, Mifflin County was one of the busiest centers for cargo and passenger traffic in the United States. But with the demise of the canal system, Mifflin County eventually lost its place as a major transportation hub.
On April 16, 1861, Lewistown sent its Logan Guards, a militia group originally formed in 1858, to Washington, D.C. for its defense. They were one of only five companies, all recruited in Pennsylvania, to share the honor of being the first U.S. troops sent to the capital. Monument Square, situated at the intersection of Main and Market Streets in Lewistown, serves as a memorial to these men.
Lewistown lost its role as a major transportation hub, but still boasted a strong industrial economy until the early 1970s when the county's industries began a slow decline. Hurricane Agnes June 1972 crippled the local economy.
On June 19, Hurricane Agnes made initial landfall along the Florida Panhandle as a weak Category 1 Hurricane. Agnes then proceeded through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina before she moved back over the Atlantic off the North Carolina coast on June 21.
After regaining strength over the Atlantic, she made landfall again over southeastern New York on June 22 and moved westward in an arc over southern New York into north-central Pennsylvania. She became nearly stationary over Pennsylvania by morning of June 23, but was soon absorbed by a low-pressure system that slowly drifted northeastward from Pennsylvania into New York.
Rainfall from storm over the Mid-Atlantic region ranged from 2 to 3 inches (51 to 76 mm) in the extreme upper basins of the Potomac and North Branch Susquehanna Rivers to 18 inches (460 mm) near Shamokin, Pennsylvania, in the Main Stem Susquehanna River basin. An average of 6 to 10 inches (150 to 250 mm) of rain fell over the Mid-Atlantic region. The soil, already well watered by spring rains, could not absorb so much water so quickly.
While flooding from the Juniata River was somewhat controlled due to a dam at Raystown Lake, 44 miles (71 km) west of Lewistown, the county experienced extensive flooding from the river and major streams which resulted in the permanent closure of many businesses along the river. Most notably, the flood submerged much of the American Viscose Corporation plant, then a division of FMC Corporation. The facility, located on the banks of the Juniata River across from Lewistown proper, manufactured rayon fiber (primarily for rayon-belted automobile tires), polyester and Avistrap.
FMC was one of two major employers in the area at the time, the other being the Standard Steel Works. The "Viscose" plant was only marginally profitable before the storm and the cost to reopen was prohibitive. (Ironically, the demand for rayon fabric for trendy clothing shot upward only a few years later.) Rayon production, and with it, thousands of good-paying jobs, moved to another FMC plant in Front Royal, Virginia. The Lewistown polyester plant reopened, but it rehired only a fraction of the previous workforce. The site eventually became the Mifflin County Industrial Plaza and a variety of businesses have come and gone since then.
In the wake of the failure of Lewistown's industry, a long period of decline began that continues to this day. The 1990s saw the loss of several plants, including Masland and Lear, as well as Standard Steel filing for reorganization bankruptcy. In its place, like so many other towns throughout the USA, was a dark period of rampant drug usage by significant portions of the population. In 2001, MSNBC ran a documentary called 'Along Comes the Horse,' which used Lewistown as the rural focus of the ongoing heroin epidemic in the USA.
The 2000s saw the loss of Scottys Fashions, Mann Edge Tool, Overhead Door shuttering its Sectional division, Ford New Holland shuttered its Belleville plant which also led to the closing of the Belleville Foundry, and the shrinking Lewistown Hospital was purchased by Geisinger Health, which expanded services, such as helicopter transfers to other Geisinger facilities who were more capable of taking in specialized care.
While Lewistown did receive the prestigious All-American City award in 1973 for its rebuilding process following the disaster, many of the blue collar workforce left the area to head south, along with the companies which chose not to rebuild in Lewistown.
Two positives in the years since Agnes was the 2011 purchase of Standard Steel by the Japanese company Sumitomo Industries, who merged with and is now known as Nippon Steel, which effectively saved the jobs of 500 union laborers as well as many others, and the opening of First Quality, an adult incontinence products manufacturing facility that employees approximately 400 people.Lewistown is home to the Pennsylvania State Fire School, which is the only such facility in the state. Firefighting in Lewistown is very important, as volunteer firefighters have strong allegiance to the multiple independent fire companies in the borough to which they devote their time.
Today, Lewistown is still looking to rebuild, but is now overshadowed by nearby State College. Due to the growth of Penn State and the construction of a new highway system, Lewistown is now struggling to avoid becoming the last rest stop for travelers coming from the east on their way to State College.
The Embassy Theatre, McCoy House, Mifflin County Courthouse, Montgomery Ward Building, and Wollner Building are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all of it land.
The source of the borough's city water comes from the Laurel Creek Reservoir, which is located in Seven Mountains going towards State College.
As of the censusof 2010, there were 8,338 people, 3,742 households, and 2,030 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,138.7 people per square mile (1,598.0/km2). There were 4,345 housing units at an average density of 2,156.7 per square mile (832.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.2% White, 1.5% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
There were 3,742 households, out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.8% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21, and the average family size was 2.93.
In the borough, the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $26,584, and the median income for a family was $38,356. The per capita income for the borough was $16,447. About 22.8% of families and 27.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.0% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.
Lewistown has a passion for sports. Though geographically closer to the Maryland city of Baltimore, the residents are almost equally divided in supporting the Pennsylvania professional sports teams from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. At the college level, with State College being located about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Lewistown, a good percentage of the town support the Penn State Nittany Lions. People of Lewistown also support youth sports. The area hosts a youth soccer tournament called Clash of the Cleats. The tournament attracts youth soccer clubs throughout Pennsylvania, and now is starting to attract teams from neighboring states. The Little League, Babe Ruth, and American Legion baseball teams grace the front pages of the local newspaper throughout the summer. And in the fall, the youth football programs spark rivalries between the smaller communities that surround Lewistown.
As of June 2011, the Mifflin County School District voted to merge its two high schools, Lewistown Area High School and neighboring Indian Valley High School (itself a merger of Chief Logan and Kishacoquillas high schools) to form Mifflin County High School due to increasing costs, declining enrollment, and lack of revenues from the state level. This is the second time the school district chose to create a single high school for the county. The first attempt at a combined high school only lasted for three years in the 1970s before district officials broke up the school due to public pressure. Mifflin County will compete at the PIAA District 6, Class AAAA level but compete in the Mid-Penn Conference due to a lack of AAAA schools in District 6. The newly created school will bear the nickname of "Huskies" and sport purple, silver and black as its colors.
From September 1976 to June 2011, Lewistown Area High School, nicknamed the Panthers, competed in PIAA District 6, at the Class AAA level. The Panthers won PIAA Championships in Baseball in 2002 and Girls’ Basketball in 1997 and 1998. In fact, in 1997 Lewistown Area High joined a very small list of Pennsylvania schools to have both their Girls’ and Boys’ basketball teams reach the state championship game in the same season. The Lady Panther basketball was consistently ranked among the Top 10 teams in the state. Lewistown had an excellent wrestling program, with the 2006 squad finishing 8th in the state.
In the 2007 baseball season, the Panthers finished the regular season with a 9–9 record. The Panthers went on to win three straight district playoff games to earn the 2007 district championship while defeating cross town rival Indian Valley in the process. The team went on to lose in the state quarterfinals to eventual AAA State Champion Punxsutawny.
The "Old Iron Kettle" is a black Kettle trophy that was awarded to the winner of the annual football game between Lewistown and its rival school Chief Logan until its closing in 1989 at which time the rivalry shifted to Indian Valley. Played for the final time on October 22, 2010, the game was won by Indian Valley for the fifth consecutive year. The schools subsequently merged to become the Mifflin County High School Huskies.
Auto racing, sprint car racing along with wrestling are popular as well as outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.
|WRYV||88.7||Christian Contemporary||Milroy||Invisible Allies|
|WTLR||89.9||Religious||State College||Central Pennsylvania Christian Institute|
|WJRC||90.9||Christian Contemporary||Lewistown||Salt and Light Media Ministries, Inc.|
|WIBF||92.5||Country||Mexico||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
|WBUS||93.7||Classic Rock||Boalsburg||Forever Broadcasting|
|WQKX||94.1||CHR||Sunbury||Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation|
|WMRF||95.7||Hot AC||Lewistown||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
|WMAJ||99.5||Hot AC||Centre Hall||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
|WCHX||105.5||Classic Rock||Burnham||Mifflin County Communications, Inc.|
|WQCK||105.9||Rock||State College||Magnum Broadcasting|
|WDBF||106.3||Country||Mount Union||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
|WQJU||107.1||Religious||Mifflintown||Central Pennsylvania Christian Institute|
|WLUI||670||News/Talk||Lewistown||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
|WHUN||1150||News/Talk||Huntingdon||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
|WJUN||1220||Sports||Mexico||Seven Mountains Media (Kristin Cantrell)|
Lewistown was one of the first three communities that formed the cable company later known as Cox Communications
The Borough of Lewistown is served by the Mifflin County School District. It is also home to the only local Catholic Elementary school, Sacred Heart of Jesus , which educates children of any religion in grades K–5.
The Lewistown branch of the South Hills School of Business and Technology offers associate degrees and other certifications in various areas of business and technology.
The Penn State Learning Center in Lewistown offered credit and non-credit courses through Continuing Education and personal enrichment classes through Cooperative Extension. Continuing Education pulled out of the Learning Center following the Spring 2017 semester, with the goal converting CE students to Penn State World Campus students. Harrisburg Area Community College(HACC)has taken over the former Penn State CE health and science lab and other classroom space to offer face-to-face for-credit courses, capturing many former Penn State CE students.
Mifflin County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 46,682. Its county seat is Lewistown. The county was created on September 19, 1789, from parts of Cumberland County and Northumberland County. It was named for Thomas Mifflin, the first Governor of Pennsylvania.
Juniata County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. At the 2010 census, the population was 24,636. Its county seat is Mifflintown. The county was created on March 2, 1831, from part of Mifflin County and named for the Juniata River.
Huntingdon County is a county located in the center of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 45,913. Its county seat is Huntingdon. The county was created on September 20, 1787, mainly from the north part of Bedford County, plus an addition of territory on the east from Cumberland County.
Dauphin County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 268,100. The county seat and the largest city is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's state capital and tenth largest city. The county was created ("erected") on March 4, 1785, from part of Lancaster County and was named after Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France, the first son of king Louis XVI.
Steelton is a borough in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States, 4 miles (6 km) southeast of Harrisburg. The population was 5,990 at the 2010 census. The borough is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Huntingdon is a borough in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located along the Juniata River, approximately 32 miles (51 km) east of Altoona and 92 miles (148 km) west of Harrisburg. With a population of 7,093 at the 2010 census, it is the largest population center near Raystown Lake, a winding, 28-mile-long (45 km) flood-control reservoir managed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Mifflintown is a borough in and the county seat of Juniata County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 936 at the 2010 census.
Milford Township is a township in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,088 at the 2010 census, up from 1,758 at the 2000 census.
Port Royal is a borough in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 925 at the 2010 census.
Juniata Terrace, a former company town, is a borough in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 502 at the 2000 census.
McVeytown is a borough in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, on the west bank of the Juniata River. Formerly Waynesburg, it was settled in 1762, laid out in 1795, and incorporated in 1833. The population was 405 at the 2000 census. The "Father of Pennsylvania Forestry", Dr. Joseph Rothrock was born in McVeytown on April 9, 1839. He was largely responsible for the acquisition of the lands that became Pennsylvania state parks and forests, including Rothrock State Forest.
Liverpool is a borough located in the northeast corner of Perry County, Pennsylvania. It is part of the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. The borough's population was 955 at the 2010 census.
Millerstown is a borough in northern Perry County, Pennsylvania, United States located 29 miles (47 km) northwest of Harrisburg and 29 miles (47 km) southwest of Selinsgrove. The population was 673 at the 2010 Census. The borough is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Cumberland County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 235,406. Its county seat is Carlisle.
Lewistown Area High School, was founded in September 1976 and is one of two high schools in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. It serves residents of the Borough of Lewistown and communities to the borough's south and west. It is part of the Mifflin County School District.
Pennsylvania Route 103 is a 30.8-mile (49.57 km) long north–south designated state route in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its primary course is along the south/east side of the Juniata River, while U.S. Route 522 runs along the opposite side. PA 103's southern terminus is an at-grade intersection with US 522 at Allenport in Shirley Township, a bit south of US 522's bridge across the Juniata River in Mount Union. Its northern terminus is an intersection with US 22 Business in Lewistown. It intersects the northern terminus of PA 333 just south of Juniata Terrace.
Allenport is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, United States. It lies southeast of Mount Union on the Juniata River in Shirley Township. The population was 648 as of the 2010 census.
Lewistown is an Amtrak railway station located about 60 miles northwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at PA 103 and Helen Street in Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. The station is actually located across the Juniata River from Lewistown proper, a little less than one mile south of the center of the borough. It is currently only served by Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, which operates once per day in each direction, though until 2005, Lewistown was served by a second daily train, the Three Rivers, an extended version of the Pennsylvanian that terminated in Chicago. Upon its cancellation, the sole Pennsylvanian marked the first time in Lewistown's railway history that the town was served by just a single, daily passenger train.
U.S. Route 322 is a spur of U.S. Route 22, running from Cleveland, Ohio east to Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, the route runs from the Ohio border in West Shenango Township southeast to the Commodore Barry Bridge over the Delaware River in Chester, at which point the route crosses into New Jersey. The route passes near several cities, including DuBois, State College, and Harrisburg.
The Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad was a Class I Railroad connecting Lewistown, Pennsylvania with Sunbury, Pennsylvania.. Completed in 1874, the line was placed under an immediate lease by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), upon its completion. Although retaining its own board of directors and track maintenance, all locomotive traffic was owned by the PRR. For nearly a century, the line operated between Sunbury and Lewistown, serving as a relief line for both the Pennsylvania Main Line and Bald Eagle Valley Railroad through Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The line was noteworthy as a proving ground for new railroad technology in the United States, such as the "X"-shaped railroad crossing signs in 1917 and Pulse Code Cab Signaling technology in 1925. It is now a fallen flag railway, the name "Sunbury and Lewistown" having been phased out in 1901 when the line became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Sunbury Division.
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