Picture Rocks, Pennsylvania

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Picture Rocks is a borough in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 693 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Picture Rocks was incorporated as a borough on September 27, 1875 from Wolf Township. But the history of Picture Rocks began long before European settlers first arrived in 1773. The name of the borough is derived from the pictographs that were left by some of the Native Americans that a previously inhabited the Muncy Creek valley. The paintings on the cliffs above Muncy Creek have long since disappeared. The town is built upon land that was once a Munsee Indian village. Evidence of this is found in the arrowheads and other relics that have been found in the vicinity of the creek.

The first warrant for property in the Picture Rocks area was issued by the Province of Pennsylvania to Henry Rody on June 3, 1773. The land was used very little and passed through several hands until 1848 when it was sold to A. R. Sprout and Amos Burrows who went on to become the founding fathers of Picture Rocks. Sprout and Burrows worked to clear the land that was thought to be worthless of the rocks, logs and brush that covered it. They also rebuilt an abandoned sawmill and established a factory that manufactured sashes, doors, and window blinds. This factory, the first of its kind in the area, caused a stir among the local carpenters who believed that the ready made building materials would curtail their profit making ability.

The town grew up around the factory and soon other manufacturers arrived to harness the water power provided by Muncy Creek. People interested in by a lot in Picture Rocks were required to sign an agreement stating that they would not open a saloon or engage in the trafficking of liquor. This law was made by the residents and founders of the town, a majority of them being Baptists.

The Baptists of Picture Rocks organized as a congregation in 1840 and met for a while in a school house. A traveling preacher arrived in Picture Rocks one Saturday evening and found the school to be unfit for Sunday gatherings. After delivering his Sunday morning sermon he rallied the members of the congregation around the cause of building a proper house of worship. Under the guidance of their new pastor the members of the Baptist Church built a log building that served has their church for 25 years that was replaced by a larger facility.

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