Tell Me About Ridge and Valley...


Like many of the regions, Ridge and Valley has a nickname because of it's landscape. It is called the "Endless Mountains" because of the Appalachian Mountains running all the way down this region. The ridges can be seen throughout.

Timber on the Ridges

The ridges of the mountain are almost completely covered in trees. People who live in this region have turned to lumbering. Lumbering involves cutting the trees down to sell the wood for money. Not all people in this region lumber, but a large portion do. A town called Williamsport used to be a well-known town for lumber. Loggers would go into the forests to cut down trees. Then, to transport the logs to other places in Pennsylvania, they would send rafts down the Susquehanna river. Unfortunately, they cut down all trees and caused major damage to the land. Soil was washed away by the rain because trees were not there to keep it in place or help drink up the water. Rivers and creeks flooded and animals lost their homes.

Between 1850-1870, Williamsport had 29 sawmills and became the lumber capital of the world. Lumbering was so important to Williamsport, the high school mascot is still the "Millionaire"!

The Susquehanna river held the largest log boom in the world. Check out the picture of the log boom below! Underneath the men standing on logs is water!
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Lumbering has changed since then. Companies only remove trees that are large so smaller and younger trees have time to grow. They don't take the smaller and younger trees for another reason as well; they know people need wood for homes, furniture, and other things in the future. Today, Williamsport has factories that make leather products, metal, fabric, food, and furniture.

Little League World Series

The Little League World Series is a baseball tournament for children who are 11-13 years old. It started in 1947 and is held every August in the Howard J. Lamade Stadium. At first, only U.S. teams could compete in the tournament, but now teams from all over the world compete. The games have grown immensely popular so two new stadiums were built.

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Farming in the Valleys

When you have ridges on mountains, you have valleys. The soil in Ridge and Valley is very fertile, which means it is good for growing crops. See why this region is called "Ridge and Valley"? The largest valley is named the Great Valley. PSU (Pennsylvania State University) is in one of these valleys.

Hard Coal

Anthracite coal is found around Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. This is the country's largest area of this kind of coal. Anthracite coal is also known as hard coal. It is good for fuel and it burns long, hot, and clean. People used to use this kind of coal to heat their homes and buildings and to run factories. Today, many people use oil or natural gas instead of anthracite coal.

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When mining for this coal was popular, many people from different parts of the world came to this region to mine. They built small towns around the mines. The coal isn't used as often now so many of the mines have been closed. Mining was a very dangerous and dirty job.

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Tourism

Piedmont may have rural areas of land, but Ridge and Valley is the most rural part of the state. A common joke among people who live here say they have more deer than people! People who visit the area usually come to ski in the winter, hunt in the fall, and hike and bike in the summer. Some people even have tourist jobs to help people that visit this region.

People of the Ridge and Valley

Like people in the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Piedmont, people in Ridge and Valley have ancestors from different parts of the world. This region has people who were from Scotland and Ireland. When they first arrived, they were farmers.

People in this region have a history of being hard-working people and they are proud of it. To honor many of the things they do, they have many festivals and contests of skill. Some festivals are filled with music, crafts, and food. There are also maple sugar festivals, lumbering festivals, the River and Rail Festival, county fairs, and the Firemen's and Threshermen's Jubilee, which is a celebration of steam engines of all sorts. They have activities like the Outhouse Dash, scarecrow contests, and hay bale tosses! Click on the maple leaf to see the events at the Maple Sugar Festival! Click on the lumberjack to see what they do at the Lumber Festival in Galeton!
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