Milton History

a pictorial history of Milton, PA


From Bell’s History of Northumberland County 1891: The opening of a public road on the eastern side of the West Branch was ordered at the first session of the court of quarter sessions after the organization of Northumberland county. Some years elapsed before this order was carried into effect, owing to the state of the frontier, and during the intervening period a winding bridle-path, at no great distance from the river and subject to such changes in its course as individual preference might determine, was the avenue of overland communication between the Limestone Run settlements and the county seat. The public road as ultimately opened coincided with Front Street.

River navigation contributed in an essential degree to the prosperity of the town during the period preceding the construction of the canal. Rafts, flat-boats, and other varieties of river craft were loaded at the public wharves of the port of Milton with cargoes of grain, whiskey, etc., and consigned to Columbia, Baltimore, or other river points. After the canal was opened this traffic was transferred to it; packet boats were also established, and the people of that day regarded themselves as highly favored with such facilities of rapid communication at their command.

The Susquehanna river bridge was first built in 1832-33, by a local company incorporated by the legislature. The contractors were Abraham and Isaac Straub, and the contract was executed for the sum of twenty-four thousand dollars. In 1847 the middle section was carried away by a flood, and rebuilt by Thomas Murdock. The entire structure was demolished by the flood of March 17, 1865; it was again rebuilt, however, and again carried away in June, 1889.

The opening of the Philadelphia & Reading railroad to Milton occurred in 1854. It established railroad communication with Philadelphia, and was continued to Williamsport in 1871. In 1883 the Reading Company constructed their line from West Milton to Shamokin, thus giving Milton the advantage of a competing line in that direction.

That part of the Philadelphia & Erie railroad between Milton and Williamsport was opened in 1854; it was then extended to Northumberland and Sunbury, giving to the town its present rail facilities by this great artery of the Pennsylvania system.