Quaker Evan Owens laid out the town on the river across from the Nescopeck Falls in 1786 and named it after Berwick-on-Tweed, in England. A covered bridge (destroyed) was built across the Susquehanna between Berwick and Nescopeck in 1814 and the town was incorporated four years later. Construction of a canal and railroad spurred the growth of Berwick as an iron manufacturing center beginning with the Jackson and Mack Foundry in 1840. The firm of Jackson and Woodin began producing vehicles in 1861 and grew into American Car and Foundry Company (AC&F), a major manufacturer of trains, subway cars, and military tanks until 1961. The former AC&F factory site is now a complex of several manufacturers, among them food products, electronic components, and prefabricated housing. A portion of the adjacent waterfront has been redesigned as Test Track Park, a community recreational area.
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