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Bloomsburg and Vicinity

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Founded in 1802 in Bloom Township by Ludwig and John Adam Eyer, sons of German Lutheran emigrants from Alsace, Bloomsburg was initially called “Eyerstaedtel.” Ludwig, a dyer by trade, laid out ninety-seven lots on the north side of the Susquehanna. His brother, Adam, a calligrapher whose fraktur is highly prized by collectors, sold more than half of the lots to his neighbors in faraway Northampton County where he was a schoolteacher. In 1846 when the former county seat, Danville, was cut off from Columbia County with the forming of Montour County, Bloomsburg became the center of county government. While Pennsylvania's smaller urban centers were generally designated as boroughs, Bloomsburg was incorporated as a town in 1870, the only such designation in the state's history. Located about a half mile from the waterfront, the original town plat was a grid of three numbered streets parallel to the river intersected by five streets with a center square at Main and Market. Ludwig Eyer donated lots for churches and a town cemetery at Main and Iron streets. In 1852, the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg Railroad was built along Bloomsburg's southern edge. The Bloomsburg Fairgrounds (1859; W. Fort McClure Boulevard) are the site of the annual Bloomsburg Fair, the largest in the state. Bloomsburg expanded to the east as Bloomsburg University ( CO15) grew, but before it became a college town, Bloomsburg was a factory town of lumber, iron, and steel mills, and, later, textiles. The town's industrial and political elite built their houses along E. 5th Street. Town Park was constructed in 1927 by the riverfront at the end of Market Street on a former industrial site once served by the North Branch Canal.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas

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