West 4th Street Walking Tour
View The Millionaires' Row Historic District Walking Tour Brochure, West Fourth Street. PDF
Welcome to Williamsport A Short History
Once the Lumber Capital of the World, Williamsport had more millionaires per person than any other city and hosted such notables as Diamond Jim Brady, Mark Twain and Lillian Russell. Founded by Michael Ross in the late 18th century the majority of Williamsport's growth occurred after it became a city in 1866. Between 1860 and 1870, the population tripled, partly through the annexation of neighboring Newberry, with out its resident's knowledge.
~The burgeoning lumber industry spurred the growth of other industries and by 1890 there were over 27,000 residents. One of the most remarkable was Peter Herdic. He owned large tracts of land and many businesses including the finest hotel in town, the Herdic House, (800 W 4th). The major (architectural) survivals from this period are the rich and varied architectural gems along West Fourth Street. Here great lumber barons erected mansions designed to flaunt their wealth and impress their neighbors. They spent as freely on the interiors as they did on the exteriors, filling their homes with grand staircases, polished wood, intricate mantelpieces and works of art. A walk westward will take you by architectural styles called Italian Villa, Queen Anne, Victorian Romanesque, Second Empire, Gothic Revival, and others.- Dr. John F. Piper Jr.
Visit A History of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Wikipedia, for more information about Williamsport history.