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Union County River Towns


Union County River Towns (Images of America Series) by Jeannette Lasansky

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High ridges and lush valleys teeming with natural resources abutted Union County’s river towns of Allenwood, White Deer, New Columbia, West Milton, and Winfield. Creeks emptying into the Susquehanna River connected gristmills and communities like Spring Garden to their river neighbors. Narrow-gauge railroad lines brought excursions from White Deer to Tea Springs and men and lumber to operations run by lumber barons. The Reading Railroad ran beside the Susquehanna, but other lines crossed it, establishing West Milton as a railroad hub. Central Oak Heights and Devitt’s Camp perched above West Milton, Allenwood, and Spring Garden, while groves and islands at the river’s edge were dotted with rustic camps. In the mid-20th century, a new Route 15 altered most of these towns’ streetscapes as World War II took the town of Alvira and area farmlands by eminent domain for explosives production. Through vintage photographs, Union County River Towns chronicles the rich history and evolution of this former frontier land.