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The Brief History of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
Although it may not seem it, the history of Mifflin County, PA, remains interesting. While not as full of action as other communities, there is still lots to tell. Our community offered a solution to the rapid early growth the capital experienced. Today, it’s home to thousands of full-time residents, students, and families.
Blackman Bail Bonds will tell you everything we know about our home’s first years. If you see something we missed or stated incorrectly, please let us know.
Early Pioneers and Settlers
As Harrisburg quickly grew, more settlements became necessary to avoid overcrowding. New counties got drawn, some using several as their basis. In 1789 sections of Cumberland County and Northumberland County officially joined together. As these early communities struggled to take off, raids from indigenous tribes hindered growth.
Juniata County soon followed, settling a land dispute between Lewistown and Mifflintown. Growth would continue to feel strained until the canals became built and utilized.
New Transportation Methods
The Pennsylvania Canal finally wrapped construction in 1829, becoming the primary shipping network. Two decades later would see the first railroad get constructed, transforming local business practices. By the Civil War, the state had a target on its back for their manufacturing. The troops split to stop the capitol, only to discover that they lacked the numbers.
As the 1800s ended, the first automobile would sell, quickly becoming popular. Improved roads and safety conditions soon followed, making for better drivers with newer streets.
The Civil War and Manufacturing
Pennsylvania found itself involved in one war to the next since the early days. As an emerging manufacturing hub, the nation relied on our factories for supplies and ammunition. While much of these plants were located at the capital, other areas took the slack. Soon, manufacturing plants rose up from nearly everywhere, taking over the horizon with billowing smokestacks.
Once reconstruction started, it became apparent that beautification efforts then were needed. As a result, proper neighborhoods emerged, as did parks and conservation land.
1900s Mifflin County, PA
Times of peace brought with it efforts to make the state seem less industrial. Unfortunately, without the increased need for manufacturing, the local economy slowed as well. During WWI and II, our forges and factories once again found their stride. While they worked, it was up to the surrounding farmlands to keep everyone fed.
Finally, by the 1970s, many manufacturing jobs disappeared to offshore plants instead. A new source of income would need to emerge before seeing the population grow again.
Mifflin County Today
Although manufacturing was the state’s bread and butter, many workers remained uneducated. Eventually, many prominent colleges, universities, and other institutions moved into the area. Agriculture benefited from new ways of tending to fields and degree-holding owners. Professional offices emerged as well, diversifying the workforce and offering new opportunities.
While steel and iron fell away, clothing and other goods moved into the abandoned factories. Mifflin County, PA, once again became a bustling community to live in.