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South Williamsport Borough

South Williamsport Borough Hall is located at 329 West Southern Avenue, South Williamsport PA 17702; phone: 570-322-0158.

Beginnings [1]

South Williamsport is practically a part of the city of Williamsport, being separated only by the Susquehanna, but connected by two free bridges. It is on a low plateau that was known by early pioneers and surveyors as the "Lower Bottom" to distinguish it from the "Upper Bottom" opposite Linden. On its western boundary is the borough of Duboistown. The borough is cut by Hagerman's Run, which drains the northern slope of Bald Eagle Mountain and empties into the Susquehanna River. When the Williamsport Water Company located their original reservoir it was placed near the mouth of this stream, but when more water was needed the company constructed a storage reserve farther up the ravine to be used in conjunction with its reservoir in Mosquito Valley.

Aaron Hagerman, who came to this country from Holland before the Revolutionary War, was responsible for the name of Hagerman's Run. Hagerman settled along the stream at a point near where Koch's brewery now stands. During the canal days a sizable village named Rocktown sprang up. Inasmuch as the mouth of Hagerman's Run was a popular place for "tieing up," McMichael McDonough established a tavern there. Good shad fishing in the river nearby increased the business of the place. The tavern was also at the junction of two public roads.

The initial movement towards the establishment of a town occurred when Jacob Weise bought a tract of forty acres, laid it out in town lots, and established a brick yard near McDonough's tavern. He later built an oil mill, which was razed when the water company erected their reservoir. He also erected a grist mill near the Koch Brewery.

The furniture factory of George Luppert, the sawmills of Green, Sands and Company, and Valentine Luppert, and the planing mill of the latter, together with the mills of the Williamsport Iron and Nail Company, brought about a second settlement, this one named Bootstown. The origin of the name "Bootstown" is interesting. Through George Luppert a number of Germans from Neuberg on the Rhine settled just below the Kaiser spring. Shortly after they had selected their new homes, a pair of boots was stolen from one of them. In spite of the fact that the Germans wished the town called Neuberg, news of the stolen boots spread widely and the name remained until it was amalgamated with Rocktown into the borough of South Williamsport (1886).

The population of South Williamsport grew from 2,900 in 1890 to 6,058 in 1930. Most of this increase has been due to the introduction of new industries and the growth of some of the older ones.

The old Koch Brewery still does business under the original name, though under different management. The more recent industries in the town manufacture the following: Institutional supplies, cement blocks, furniture, hardware, and silk textiles.

  1. Lycoming County Unit, Pennsylvania Writers' Project, Works Progress Administration, Federal Works Agency, A Picture of Lycoming County, Lycoming County Commissioners, Williamsport Printing and Binding, 1939
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