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Ride the Historic Millersburg Ferry. Operating Since 1817

paddle steamer
paddle steamer
http://www.millersburg.com/attractions/index.html

Millersburg, Pennsylvania is about a 20 minute ride North of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Similar to Harrisburg, Millersburg was the site of a ferry boat crossing point on the East shore of the Susquehanna River. Many of the towns that formed along the banks of the Susquehanna River had similar origins. Like the Harris’s Ferry at Harrisburg, the Millersburg Ferry predates the city. The implication is that ferry service points inspired the need for a town settlement. Before bridges were built, ferries were the only way to cross the Susquehanna River. Settlers migrating west and the distribution of goods were the primary uses for the ferry boat services. Millersburg is unique because the ferry service continues to operate to this day. The Susquehanna River carved a path through mountain ridges that early industry used as a transportation corridor for timber, coal and other resources to be delivered to the port city of Baltimore. The Susquehanna River is not navigable, and this is the reason for the development of the canal and railroad systems that flank the Susquehanna River. Imagine how useful this could be for the transportation of resources in the North-South directions. In fact, the anthracite coal region in the Schuykill Valley runs right into the Susquehanna River and the town of Millersburg. Towns such as Coaldale, Port Carbon, Pottsville and Lykens, form a string of coal towns that follow the valley in an East-West direction. The Susquehanna River is a very unique geologic feature because it cuts through the mountain range transversely. Is it possible that this is the result of glacial friction during the last ice age? This could have weakened a path through the mountain ridges that eventually allowed erosion from rain and watershed activity to complete a river course. Nonetheless, Millersburg ferry was adopted into the National Registry of Historic Places in 2006. The docket states that the “Property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad pattern of our history.” (http://www.arch.state.pa.us/pdfs/H086655_01H.pdf)

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