Michael RossThe Lycoming County Historical Society invites the public to attend a ceremony to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Michael Ross, founder of Williamsport, on Thursday, June 20th, at 6 pm, in Williamsport Cemetery on Washington Boulevard. Ross died on June 20, 1819.

Michael Ross was living in Philadelphia 1772 when he signed an indenture to be apprenticed to Samuel Wallis in north-central Pennsylvania, thereafter serving him for a period of seven years as a surveyor. At the conclusion of this indenture, Samuel Wallis presented Michael Ross with 100 acres of land, in what is now the eastern part of Williamsport.

Ross Grave

Ross purchased more land and in 1795, at the urging of William Hepburn, he began to develop an area of approximately 110 acres adjacent to the Susquehanna River, and he employed William Ellis and Joseph Williams to lay out the town, which was known as William’s Port. Ross set aside land for a courthouse and jail and began selling plots in 1796 after Gov. Thomas Mifflin signed a bill making the new town the seat of Lycoming County. Williamsport became a borough in 1806 and a city in 1866.

The short ceremony will take place at the Ross family plot near the center of the cemetery. Attendees may bring a lawn chair if desired.

For more information contact the Lycoming County Historical Society, 858 West Fourth St., Williamsport or phone 570-326-3326.