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Sullivan County

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County text and building entries by Richard J. Webster

Sullivan County is as densely forested as it is sparsely populated. The county seat's year-round residents number fewer than 300 and the county has only one traffic light, where U.S. 220 and PA 87 intersect in Dushore. Sullivan County was formed from Lycoming County in 1847 and was named after state senator Charles C. Sullivan, who pushed the legislation for its creation through the General Assembly. English and German settlers first ventured into the area in the 1780s and 1790s, but the county's high elevation, thick forests, and absence of rivers discouraged settlement. When Laporte was finally accepted as the county seat, its only advantage was its central location. Forests surrounded it, and the three roads leading into it were barely passable. Agriculture in the creek valleys and lumber products have underpinned Sullivan County's economy since its inception. Seams of semi-anthracite coal, mined in the Bernice area, played out rather quickly.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas

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