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Progress: Montoursville

A borough with history moving toward the future

By MIKE REUTHER

mreuther@sungazette.com

The borough of Montoursville is comprised of 4.2 square miles and located just east of Loyalsock Township.

Bordered by the Suquehanna River and Armstrong Township to the south and Loyalsock Creek to the north and west, the borough has a population of 4,427 people.

Montoursville is named for Andrew Montour, a French/Native American and son of Madame Montour, who served as a Native American interepreter and negotiator during the Colonial times.

Montoursville Mayor Steve Bagwell recently pointed out some of the changes and improvements in his community.

Broad Street, the main two-lane thoroughfare, consists of an eclectic mix of small businesses, shops and restaurants.

“We are getting some new businesses on Broad Street that weren’t there a few years ago,” he said.

Montoursville, he feels, has the types of businesses necessary for a new economy that don’t compete with corporate giants such as Amazon.

“You need gift shops and those kinds of things,” he said.

With no room to grow, it’s more about more increasing and maintaining the quality of life, Bagnell noted.

Among the real treasures of Montoursville is Indian Park, a vast acreage of ball fields, tennis courts, playground and picnic areas, and a pond open to anglers. A walking and bicycle path cuts through the north end of the park.

In the late 19th century, Indian Park was an amusement park, which could be reached by trolley from Williamsport.

At the time, the park featured one of the largest and longest roller coaster on the East Coast. The park also including ponds, a theatre and a merry-go-round.

Tragedy struck the borough in July 1996, when 21 passengers from Montoursville, including 16 high school students, were abord TWA Flight 800.

The plane was enroute to France when it exploded shortly after taking off from New York.

The grief-stricken community received condolences from across the nation and worldwide. The TWA Flight 800 Memorial, a carved angel atop a base engraved with the names of the 21 local victims, is erected near the high school.

The community can boast of a public library and the General John Burrows Historical Society.

The Williamsport Regional Airport is located in Montoursville, where last June President Trump made a stop, drawing throngs of people.

Bagwell called that day a real exciting time for the borough.

Last November, Montoursville hosted the annual county veteran’s parade, another big day for the community.

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