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Wyoming County

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County text and building entries by Richard J. Webster

“Wyoming,” in the Delaware Indian language, means “a wide plain between mountains.” The name first identified the Susquehanna River valley in Luzerne County and later the western territory between the Black Hills and the Rockies. The present Wyoming County region became caught up in the dispute between colonial Pennsylvania and Connecticut. New England settlers arrived as early as 1762 but were driven out by the Iroquois and their allies. The upper Susquehanna Valley did not become safe for settlement until after General John Sullivan's 1779 expedition against the Iroquois and the British. New Englanders resettled the region, bringing their cultural patterns in town planning, house types, and construction systems, which quickly melded with those of settlers from New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. Early residents’ identity with Connecticut remained sufficiently strong so that as late as the nation's centennial a local writer continued to call the colonial area “Westmoreland,” the name Connecticut assigned to the region. The county's forests and fertile soil have made lumber and agriculture its leading industries for the past two centuries.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas

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