About Lewisburg, PA in Union County
The charming town of Lewisburg, PA is often described by visitors and residents as a “Norman Rockwellian” kind of town. Its tree lined streets, dozens of boutique shops, historic architecture, and attention to customer service are unsurpassed in Central Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River Valley region. The town is home to just over 5,600 people. The easiest way to reach the town is by travelling Route 15, and turning onto Route 45, or Market Street. The town is 60 miles north of Harrisburg, PA and 30 miles south of Williamsport, PA.
The school system, Lewisburg Area School District, is one of excellence. In 2009, Lewisburg Area High School was awarded a Silver Medal and recognized as one of America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report, placing it among the top 3% of high schools in the nation. The Lewisburg Area High School has been ranked in the top ten percent in the Commonwealth.
The borough of Lewisburg, PA is located in Union County. Lewisburg, PA is home to Bucknell University. According to Bucknell’s website, the University is the nation’s largest private liberal arts university and was founded in 1846.
Three large employers in Union County are Evangelical Community, Playworld Systems, and the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.
It’s hard to think about Lewisburg, PA and not have three-globed lamp posts come to mind. The lamp posts line Market Street and many of the side streets in the borough, giving the town a unique charm and historic feel. They also provide the perfect ambiance for an evening stroll throughout the downtown.
The cast iron lamp posts were installed in 1912 when Market Street was paved with brick (today, the streets are paved). At that time, they were produced by Westinghouse and only placed on the main street. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Borough of Lewisburg, PA asked nearby manufacturer, Watsontown Foundry, to make a mold using the original street lamp. There are now almost 1,500 lampposts lining Market Street and beyond. They are still made by Watsontown Foundry.
The History of Lewisburg, PA
Lewisburg was founded in 1784 by Ludwig Derr. Originally, the town was called Derrstown, but was changed to Lewisburg after Derr’s death. There are many stories concerning how the name changed from Derrstown to Lewisburg. The most likely truth is that Derr’s first name “Ludwig” translated into English as “Louis” but, being of German descent, it was spelled “Lewis”. Later, after Derr’s death, the traditional Germanic “burg” was appended to his first name to create Lewisburg.
Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA
Bucknell University was founded in 1846, and features programs in engineering, management, education, and a music department which uses a Holoplot immersive sound system, as well as nationally ranked programs in pre-law and pre-medicine. It has almost 50 majors and over 60 minors. In 2009, Forbes rated it 46th in America’s Best Colleges. Although it is primarily an undergraduate school with 3,400 students, there are also 150 graduate students on the campus.
It is hard to visit Lewisburg, PA and not notice Bucknell University’s impact. While the campus is located less than 1 mile from the downtown, its presence can easily been seen on Market Street, first and foremost from the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University.
Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University, which opened in August 2010, was carefully constructed keeping the town’s historical architecture and charming character in mind. One interesting piece of trivia about the Barnes & Noble is that it is home to the first escalator in Union County.
In the summer of 2011, through Bucknell’s assistance, the historic Art Deco movie palace, the Campus Theatre, was renovated and transformed to its former 1940s grandeur. The “crown jewel” of downtown Lewisburg, nearly $3 Million was injected into the Campus Theatre’s renovation and restoration by the best restoration companies. Renovations included:
- A new air conditioning and heating system, installed by the Eastwood Air
- New DVD/Blue Ray projector
- Seat refurbishing
- New retractable screen
- Fully operational stage curtain
- Refurbished historical lighting and additional theatrical lighting
- Upgraded sound system
- Lobby and concession upgrades
- Restroom upgrades
- A sprinkler system
- Upgraded electrical system
- Upgraded wireless capabilities
Hufnagle Park in Lewisburg, PA
A central gathering place in downtown Lewisburg, PA is Hufnagle Park. The Park features a gazebo and built-in seating ideal for live music in the summer, a large grassy area that is often used for outdoor festivals spring through fall, bench seating, a playground donated by local company Playworld Systems, and a view of Bull Run Creek.
Susquehanna River Access in Lewisburg, PA
Lewisburg, PA is located on the Susquehanna River — just north of where the two branches meet in Northumberland/Sunbury. The Susquehanna River provides many recreational opportunities for residents, college students and visitors, including boating, fishing, swimming, and ice skating.
Historically, the West Branch Susquehanna River was used for logging and shipping, and remains of old factories exist along the river banks.
Downtown Lewisburg, PA and Lewisburg Downtown Partnership
Downtown Lewisburg, PA is home to dozens of boutique shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. The downtown is managed by a full-time Main Street Manager who is employed by Lewisburg Downtown Partnership.
The Lewisburg Downtown Partnership (LDP) is a not-for profit corporation organized for the purpose of bringing together diverse community interests and resources to promote the economic vitality, architectural heritage, and cultural vibrancy of the downtown commercial district for the benefit of the greater Lewisburg area.
Some of the most popular downtown Lewisburg, PA events include:
- Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival and Polar Bear Plunge (February)
- Lewisburg Arts Festival (April)
- Lewisburg Live! (May)
- Hometown Independence Day Celebration (July)
- Woolly Worm Festival (October)
- Stroll Through the Arts, Dance to the Music (November)
- Victorian Holiday Parade (December)
Additional Resources in and Around Lewisburg, PA
- Borough of Lewisburg – http://www.lewisburgborough.org
- Lewisburg Downtown Partnership – http://www.lewisburgpa.com
- Lewisburg Area School District – http://www.lasd.us
- Union County – http://www.unioncountypa.org
- Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce – http://www.gsvcc.org
- Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau – http://www.visitcentralpa.org/
- Pennsylvania State Parks – http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/