Historic Muncy

Welcome to Historic Muncy, a borough in Northcentral Pennsylvania. One of the earliest settlements in the West Branch Valley, Muncy and its residents were participants in some of the most significant historic events in the making of the American Frontier, including the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.

Explorers recognized its importance because of its proximity to the Susquehanna River, and the numerous Indian trails that crisscrossed the landscape. Pioneers cleared land, planted crops, and built cabins as early as 1752, hoping to farm and trade with the Munsee Indians who lived nearby.

In 1797, brothers Benjamin and William McCarty and Isaac Walton laid out the town of Pennsborough. Derisively nicknamed “Hardscrable,” the small village grew slowly. Pennsborough was incorporated as a borough on March 15, 1826, then, on January 19, 1827, the name of Pennsborough was changed to Muncy.

John P. Schuyler and Joshua Alder purchased 50 acres that became known as Port Penn. The neighborhood would, first, be dissected by the West Branch Canal and, later, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad – both important to Muncy’s growth. Manufacturing flourished and the small community supported a variety of trades, products and businesses.

Historically, Muncy was an ideal community for commerce and industry. Located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, Muncy developed a thriving lumber industry complete with saw and planing mills. Timber raftsmen moving logs down the Susquehanna to the Chesapeake often stopped at Muncy. They frequented the taverns and hotels, and certainly kept area distilleries in business. More than 1,300 gallons were produced each day during this time period.

The West Branch Canal became a great business thoroughfare and its chief exports locally were hogs, wheat, flour, lumber, leather and whiskey. At the time period, there were thirteen distilleries in the area with an output of up to 1,500 gallons per day.

The canal ended in town at the Muncy Woolen Mills. Nearby, Muncy’s Main Street began to fill with shops and industry. There were carriage makers, an iron foundry, broom makers, dry goods stores, drug stores, a newspaper office, hotels, restaurants and even an opera house that also held the town’s billiard room. A hospital was established.

When the railroad eventually replaced the West Branch Canal, the Reading Railroad installed a depot in Muncy. If Muncy had a “Golden Era,” this pre-Civil War period was it.

Today, Muncy PA has nearly 2,700 residents. The friendly citizens are proud of its rich heritage and look forward to its dynamic future. Muncy’s high school American football team and that of its rival, the Montgomery’s high school team, play annually for The Shoe. The trophy was created in 1961 from an old athletic shoe found in the Muncy High School locker room; the shoe has been bronzed and mounted on a wooden box.