In the northeast of the United States of America, the federal state of Pennsylvania covers an area of 119,283 km2. It borders the states of New York, New Jersey, Ohio, East Virginia, Baltimore and Delaware. In the north, the natural border with Canada is Lake Erie. Pennsylvania was annexed to the USA on December 12, 1787. The name of the state was first mentioned in a charter issued by the English king Charles II in 1680.
The landscape of Pennsylvania is very diverse, the massive Appalachian Mountains stretch from the south to the northwest, where we also find the highest peak – Mount Davis measuring 979 meters above sea level. The state’s eastern border is bordered by the Delaware River, which flows into the Delaware Bay. Other major rivers are the Allegheny River, Susquehanna, and Ohio. The southeast is made up of coastal plains. Pennsylvania is also characterized by dense mixed and deciduous forests and numerous lakes, the most famous of which is Erie.
According to TRACKAAH, around 12.3 million people live in Pennsylvania today, so the population density is quite high – 105.8 people per square kilometer. Around 85% of the population is white, 10% black, 2% Asian and the rest are Indians and mixed race. The proportion of the Hispanic population, regardless of race, is 3.2%. The people are very religious, most of them are Christians – as almost everywhere in America, the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches predominate. About 6% of the population has no religious affiliation.
Pennsylvania has a highly developed industry, the greatest importance is placed on the mining, metallurgical, engineering, chemical, woodworking, electrical, paper and tobacco industries. Oil, natural gas, coal and iron ore are mined here. In agriculture, people mainly grow corn, tobacco, fruit, vegetables, mushrooms and hay are produced. Cattle breeding, poultry, beef and pork production and dairy products are also important.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the capital is Harrisburg, but much larger, better known and more visited is Philadelphia, where around 1.5 million people live. Philadelphia has played a very important role in US history. Important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were written here. Between 1790 and 1800, Philadelphia was even the capital of the USA. Today, an important university – the University of Pennsylvania – is located here.
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
The Allegheny Portage Railroad is the first historic railroad to run through the Allegheny Mountains in central Pennsylvania. The construction of the track was started in 1831 and completed three years later. The line was in operation in the years 1834 – 1854, overcame a large gradient and crossed the mountain range for a length of 58 km. It connected two canals, the Main Line of Public Works and the Pennsylvania Canal, running from Johnstown in the west to Hollidaysburg in the east. It thus enabled continuous shipping between the Ohio and Sasquehanna Rivers.
The railway is considered a technical marvel of its time, it played a decisive role in the settlement of landlocked states beyond the walls of the Appalachian Mountains. It is also part of the first railway tunnel in the United States of America – the Stample Bend Tunnel, the opening of which was a big event. The entire main line system connects Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with a length of 644 km.
Today, the remains of this famous line are preserved at the Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS, which is operated by the National Park Service. An interesting attraction located along the route of the track is the Lemon House near Cresson. In the past it was a popular stop for travelers, today it houses a historical museum.
The Deshler-Morris House, also known as the Perot-Morris House, is located in the Germantown area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This residence was a witness to the Battle of Germantown in the past and is the oldest official presidential residence and also a protected site for the then President of the United States of America, George Washington. He stayed here during the yellow fever epidemic in 1793.
The house was named after its first and last owner. Merchant David Deshler bought 8,100 m2 of land here in 1751 from George and Anna Bringhurst. A year later, he had a four-room cottage built here. Twenty years later, a three-story house with nine rooms was built here, which became one of the most elegant houses in the region. In 1777, an important battle took place here, during which British General William Howe occupied this house. Four meetings of the government cabinet also took place in the house, where topics such as the country’s position in relation to the war between England and France were discussed during a stormy debate.
When Deshler died in 1792, former Continental Army Lt. Col. Isaac Franks purchased this beautiful home. He rented that house and later sold it to the Morris family. The house was in her possession for many years, the last owner, Elliston P. Morris, finally handed the house over to the National Park Service in 1948.