Open main menu

Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Harrisburg (Pennsylvania)

< Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)

HARRISBURG, a city, capital of the State of Pennsylvania, and county-seat of Dauphin co.; on the Susquehanna river, the Pennsylvania canal, and on the Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia and Reading, the Cumberland Valley, and the Northern Central railroads; 160 miles W. of Philadelphia. It is a railroad center with direct connections with the coal and iron resources of the State, and is an extensive lumber depot.

Public Interests.—The city is well laid out, lighted with electricity, and surrounded by magnificent scenery. The State capitol buildings are located in the midst of a beautiful park of 10 acres on a gentle rise of ground. The Capitol is one of the most magnificent buildings in the world. Other points of interest are Fort Washington, just across the Susquehanna river, marking the most northern point of the Confederate advance; Gettysburg, with its famous battlefield, 46 miles to the south; the Executive Mansion, 313 North Front street; the Rockville four-track railroad bridge, five miles to the north, the largest stone arch bridge in the world; Hershey Park and the model town of the Hershey Chocolate Company, 12 miles to the east, and the beautiful Masonic Home at Elizabethtown, 17 miles away. The educational institutions include 35 public schools, two junior high schools, and many private schools. The total enrollment in 1920 was over 13,000. Harrisburg is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop, and its charitable organizations include several hospitals, the Home of the Friendless, and the Children's Industrial Home. It has electric street railway connections with neighboring towns.

Business Interests.—The iron, steel, and lumber industries are of great importance. The leading manufactures are machinery, boilers, bricks, castings, brooms, cars and coaches, tanned leather, lumber, cotton goods, iron, steel, tin plate, shoes, clothing, and flour. Much trade is carried on in butter, hay, and other farm products. In 1919 there were 4 National banks and several private banking houses with total resources of $31,000,000. The clearings in 1919 were $154,767,943. The assessed property valuation in 1919 was $62,500,000.

History.—Harrisburg was founded by John Harris in 1785; was incorporated as a borough in 1791; became the State capital in 1812; and received its charter as a city in 1860. Pop. (1910) 64,186; (1920) 75,917.