Lewis Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

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Lewis Township is a township in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 1,139 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Lewis Township was formed from part of Hepburn Township in 1835. It is named for Ellis Lewis who was the president judge of the local district court at the time. The township was expanded in on December 10, 1846 when part of Cascade Township was added to Lewis Township. This was done at the request of the residents of the area who geographically cut off from the rest of Cascade Township.

Lycoming Creek and the Sheshequin Path played an important role in the early history of Lewis Township. The path was a major Native American trail in that ran between two Native American villages: "French Margaret's Town" on the West Branch Susquehanna River (part of modern day Williamsport in Lycoming County) and "Sheshequin" on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River (modern day Ulster Township, in Bradford County). The path ran north and east along Lycoming Creek in Lycoming County and followed much of Towanda Creek in Bradford County. It was a shortcut between the two main branches of the Susquehanna River and was used by early settlers as well as Native Americans.[3]

Lycoming Creek which begins to the north of Lewis Township in McNett Township also served as a highway of sorts during the colonial era of Pennsylvania's history. The stream was used by early explorers and the Native Americans in the area as a means of travel. They were able to float their canoes down the creek and into the West Branch Susquehanna River. This mode of transportation was considerably faster than walking the path. Conrad Weiser guided Moravian missonaries along the creek and path to reach Onondaga the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy in 1737. Raiding parties of Indian warriors used the creek and path in 1770 when conducting attacks on the West Branch Susquehanna Valley strongholds of Fort Muncy and Fort Freeland. Colonel Thomas Hartley led the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment up the Sheshequin Path during the American Revolution. Hartley's expedition in 1778 preceded the Sullivan Expedition of 1779. Both Hartley and Sullivan were instrumental in claiming the frontier of Pennsylvania and New York for the forces of the Continental Army. As Hartley and his men passed through Lewis Township the Sheshequin path was widened. The widening of the path helped to open this area to settlement in the years following the Revolution.[4]

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