Bastress Township, Pennsylvania

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Bastress Township is a township in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 574 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Bastress Township was formed from part of Susquehanna Township on December 13, 1854 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The township is named in honor of Solomon Bastress, of Jersey Shore, who was a former member of the legislature and an associate judge.[3]

The first settlers were German Roman Catholic farmers. They migrated to the area beginning in 1837 under the leadership of the Jesuit missionary, Father Nicholas Steinbacher. Together they built the first Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1838. The current stone church building was erected in 1860.[3] The parish also established a cemetery and Catholic school soon after the settlement of Bastress. Immaculate Conception parish and school stand today as a reminder of the German Catholic heritage of the residents of Bastress Township.

Bastress has changed very little since its founding. The community is largely rural and many of the residents are descendants of the first settlers. Since the 1890 census it has grown from a population of 236 to just 574.

Geography

Bastress Township is bordered by Susquehanna Township to the north, Armstrong Township to the east, Limestone Township to the south, and Nippenose Township to the west. As the crow flies, Lycoming County is about 130 miles (209 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 165 miles (266 km) east-northeast of Pittsburgh.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22.4 kmĀ²), all of it land.

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