Harrisburg Information

Harrisburg is a small city of fewer than 50,000 residents on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Though small in size, as the capitol of Pennsylvania, the city is an important center of government and an interesting tourist destination for history buffs.

Harrisburg was founded in 1791 by John Harris. Years prior, the area in and around Harrisburg was settled by the Susquehanna tribe.

With its perfect location on a river, Harrisburg quickly grew and prospered as an important trading center. In 1812, the city was named the capitol of the Commenwealth of Pennsylvania.

During the Civil War, Harrisburg served as a vital supply depot for the Union forces. This made the city an inviting target for Confederate forces who sought to invade and capture the city in 1863. The invasion was successfully repelled by forces under the command of General William Smith.

Following the war, Harrisburg became a major industrial center. For many years, the area around the city was a leader in steel manufacturing.

Today, Harrisburg is a highly rated place to live and a growing center for art and culture. Those planning a trip to Harrisburg wil find numerous opportunities for family enjoyment.

One of the highlights of a trip to Harrisburg is a visist to the Pennsylvania State Capitol. The current building was completed in 1906 and is built in a Renaissance style. The dome of the building is said to resemble the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Guided tours through this ornate building are available throughout the year.

Visitors to the National Civil War Museum, located at Resevoir Park, will see a variety of exhibits featuring artifacts from both the Union and Confederate armies. Some of the Museum's highlights are General Ulysses S. Grant's sword, General McClellan's saddle and a Bible that belonged to General Robert E. Lee.

After a day of touring one of the many historic and cultural attractions in Harrisburg, visitors will find many quality dining establishments throughout the city serving a wide range of cuisine which reflect the city's cultural diversity. Harrisburg is also home to many fine hotels to accomodate the weary traveler.