Loyalsock Township, Pennsylvania

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Loyalsock Township is a township in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 10,876 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Loyalsock Township was formed from Muncy Township in February 1786 by the Northumberland County court. This was nine years prior to the formation of Lycoming County. The township was originally bounded by the West Branch Susquehanna River to the south, Loyalsock Creek was the eastern limit and Lycoming Creek was the western limit. As for the northern limit, this was undefined, it may have extended as far north as New York state. The city of Williamsport was formed in large measure from a great part of Loyalsock Township. Seventy-five percent of Williamsport's lands came from Loyalsock.[1]

In the American Revolutionary War, settlements throughout the Susquehanna valley and what was to become Loyalsock Township were attacked by Loyalists and Native Americans allied with the British. After the Wyoming Valley battle and massacre in the summer of 1778 (near what is now Wilkes-Barre) and smaller local attacks, the "Big Runaway" occurred throughout the West Branch Susquehanna valley. Settlers fled feared and actual attacks by the British and their allies. Homes and fields were abandoned, with livestock driven along and a few possessions floated on rafts on the river east to Muncy, then further south to Sunbury. The abandoned property was burnt by the attackers. Some settlers soon returned, only to flee again in the summer of 1779 in the "Little Runaway". Sullivan's Expedition helped stabilize the area and encouraged resettlement, which continued after the war.[1]

Isaac and William McKinney, father and son, built the McKinney Iron Works along Lycoming Creek in western Loyalsock Townshop between 1825 and 1830, when they built a forge, in an area known as Heshbon Park. Their operation was expanded in 1836 with the construction of an iron furnace and further still in 1841 when a rolling mill was added to the complex. Iron ore was transported down the West Branch Susquehanna River Valley and up Lycoming Creek to the iron works from Centre County. The McKinney's effort was ultimately unsuccessful. The efforts of two more iron masters also failed. The iron works was largely destroyed by a flood in 1865.

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