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Duboistown Borough

The Duboistown Borough Hall is located at 2651 Euclid Avenue, Duboistown PA 17702; phone: 570-323-3646.

Beginnings [1]

Duboistown — Armstrong township on the south side of the river [Susquehanna] opposite the city of Williamsport has the unique distinction of being one of two townships in Lycoming out of which two boroughs have been created, and another interesting fact is that the older of the two is the smaller and has grown the slower.

Duboistown stands on historic ground and every foot of the surrounding territory is filled with interest. The borough is located on a high plateau which was originally covered with a dense growth of walnut timber. In the early days it was known as the "walnut bottom" because of this fact. A great deal of this walnut timber was cut down and used in the building of houses and even barns and other outbuildings. It would be worth millions of dollars today if it were still standing.

At the mouth of Mosquito Creek, down which followed the famous Indian trail afterwards known as the "Culbertson Path," the land on which the present borough of Duboistown is located was at one time covered with Indian relics, such as stone implements, arrow heads, cooking utensils, etc. These were all gathered up many years ago and found their way into some of the most valued archaeological collections in this country and Europe.

The most striking of the early settlers in what is now Duboistown was Andrew Culbertson, who came to the mouth of Mosquito Creek somewhere about the year 1773. He built a saw mill near the mouth of the stream and also a carding mill a little farther up. The tract on which he settled was originally surveyed in the name of Samuel Boone, a brother of Captain Hawkins Boone, who was killed in the attempted rescue of the prisoners at Fort Freeland and was a cousin of the famous Daniel Boone, of Kentucky.

The importance of the site at Duboistown for lumber operations early attracted the interest of those engaged in the business, not only because of the timber that could be brought down Mosquito Creek, but also because of the fact that it was conveniently situated near the lower end of the Susquehanna boom. The first modern saw mill to be erected on the south side of the river was built at Duboistown by Major James H. Perkins, in 1854. It stood just a little west of the mouth of Mosquito Creek.

Two years later, one of the wizards in the lumber industry of those days, John DuBois, recognizing the advantages of the location, built a steam saw mill on the other side of the creek and laid out a town to which was given the name Duboistown. At that time the cheapest way to get lumber to market was by way of the canal, and, as the canal was on the Williamsport side of the river, DuBois built a wire suspension ferry across the stream. The lumber was pushed over through a pair of compression rolls and was then "jacked" over into the canal when it reached the other side by means of machinery specially constructed for that purpose.

The mill and ferry were washed away in the great flood of 1865. In 1867 John DuBois, not at all discouraged by his previous experience, built another mill on the site of the old Perkins mill. This was of stone and was known as the "modern mill," which it probably was at that time. It had a capacity of 100,000 feet a day. This mill was burned in 1884 and then John DuBois transferred his operations to Clearfield County and ultimately became a multi-millionaire. He never married.

On October 14, 1878 Duboistown was incorporated as a borough; after strong opposition on the part of some of the citizens of Armstrong township who were not in favor of giving up such a large slice of territory. C. C. Brown was chosen as its first burgess, but as he moved away immediately after his election, the court, upon petition, appointed George Fulkrod, March 21, 1879, and he was, therefore, first chief executive of the borough. From that time down to the present Duboistown has been a very prosperous town, although with the passing of the lumber industry it has lost much of its former importance.

It is today a delightful suburb of the city of Williamsport, lying at the base of Bald Eagle Mountain, and is principally a residential section for many who are employed in Williamsport and elsewhere. Its population is 756.

  1. Lloyd, Colonel Thomas W., History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania: Volume One, 1929, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka
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