Armstrong Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

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Armstrong Township is a township in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 717 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Armstrong Township was formed from part of Clinton Township in 1842. It is named in honor of James Armstrong, a prominent lawyer. The first European settlers arrived in Armstrong Township in 1773. Thomas Hartley, Michael Graybill, George Leffler, and John Kern all received warrants for land on February 11, 1773. Hartley then purchased the properties of Graybill, Leffler and Kern on March 31, 1773. This was to avoid a Province of Pennsylvania law that stated that no one man could purchase more than one tract of land. Marcus Huling appears to have been the first permanent settler in Mosquito Valley, which makes up the greatest portion of Armstrong Township. Huling settled in the eastern portion of Mosquito Valley, near where Culbertson's Path crossed. Huling and family cleared land, built a cabin, a sawmill, and distillery in 1795. Huling's son, Thomas, carried on the family businesses until his death. Interestingly, although the Huling's were apparently successful businessmen, they never saw fit to settle their debt on the land that they had developed. Upon Thomas Huling's death, the land was foreclosed and was left to be reclaimed by nature until the arrival of German farmers in 1832.[3]

Mosquito Valley was cleared by the lumber companies that made nearby Williamsport the "Lumber Capital of the World." Lumberjacks harvested the old-growth forests of white pine and hemlock. They then floated the logs down Mosquito Run to the sawmills close to the mouth of the creek. As the valley was cleared of trees, farmers moved into the area and began several successful orchard and dairy operations.

Armstrong Township is not limited to Mosquito Valley alone. Bald Eagle Mountain runs through the northernmost portions of it. From this ridge, several mountain streams find their source. The lumber barons from Williamsport flocked to Mosquito Run in the south and western sections of the township and to Hagerman's Run in the eastern portion of the township. The barons built summer cottages on both streams, fished for trout in the waters, and built small dams for recreational swimming and ice skating. They also built several trout hatcheries in Mosquito Valley.

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