The Historic Harrisburg, PA

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The sexual harassment attorneys in Harrisburg, PA, at Abuse Guardian have sponsored the following article about the area.


Harrisburg is located within Dauphin County and is the capital of the state of Pennsylvania. 

Early History

The first inhabitants of the area were the Native Americans. The location was rich in resources due to the Susquehanna River, and traders used the trails that ran parallel. 

Captain John Smith, an Englishman, was the first to encounter the Natives of the area as he traveled up the Susquehanna River from Virginia in 1608. Following him was the English trader John Harris Sr. Harris acquired 800 acres of the land in 1733. His son, John Harris Jr., named Harrisburg in 1785 and surveyed the land for development. 

19th Century

The city was home to a training center for the Union Army during the American Civil War. The railroads in the area were essential for travel from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast. General Robert E. Lee targeted the region during his invasions.

The Underground Railroad used the area as a stopping point during the early 19th century. The slaves were fed, and supplies were obtained before heading further north. 

20th Century

During the 20th century, the city saw devastation as typhoid wiped out some of its population. Under J. Horace McFarland and Vance McCormick, the town began to rebuild by using urban advancements such as the following:

  • enlarged park systems
  • buried electrical wires
  • installation of sewer systems
  • expansion of the Capitol complex

Historical Landmarks

With the rich history of the area, it is no wonder that it has many historical sites and museums. Some of the notable historical places include the following:

  • Pennsylvania Holocaust Museum - located on Front Street 
  • State Museum of Pennsylvania - located on North Street 
  • Broad Street Market - located on North Street 
  • Harris-Cameron Mansion - situated on Front Street

Parks and Recreation

Several parks in the city offer many amenities to both the residents and visitors. Some of the most common parks include the following:

  • Riverfront Park - runs along the river on Front Street
  • City Island - full of family fun activities and Native American archaeological remains
  • Wildwood Park - this 210 acres park has more than 6 miles of trails to hike
  • Italian Lake Park - offers scenic walks through gardens and across the Japanese-style bridges


As of 2010, the city's population was 49,528 and consisted of 20,561 households. The racial makeup of the area was the following:

  • 30.7% white
  • 52.4% African American
  • 18.0% Hispanic or Latino
  • 3.5% Asian
  • 0.5% Native American
  • 0.1% Pacific Islander
  • 5.2% two or more races

The city has the most prominent Dutch communities in the country. Some of the common ancestries that the residents identify with are as follows:

  • 52.4% African American
  • 15.0% German 
  • 6.5% Irish 
  • 3.3% Italian
  • 2.4% English
  • 1.0% Dutch

Continue learning about the nearby neighborhoods: An Abridged History of Reading, PA 

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