Newport History

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Newport is a small town located in Perry County, Pennsylvania nestled along the Juniata River. Settlers first arrived here in the 1760s. It was originally known as Ryder’s Ferry, the site of an early ferry on the Juniata River and was later named Newport after the canal was built. Grist mills became the first industry of the hamlet, thanks in part to river transportation to distant markets. The Pennsylvania Canal (1829) and the Pennsylvania Railroad (1849) accelerated economic development. From the Civil War into the 1920s, numerous industries produced iron, tannery products, bricks, textiles and lumber, and workers serviced canal boats, trains, and supported area agriculture. Newport was later established as a Borough in 1840.

Today, Newport is on the National Register of Historic Places, celebrating the domestic and business architecture of the 19th Century. The downtown square is a charming venue for eateries and specialty shops. The Borough of Newport is just 25 miles northwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, and within close proximity to US Routes 22/322 a primary transportation corridor in the County. Quality schools, civic organizations, a public library, parks, and annual festivals contribute to a delightful small town and rural environment that continues to attract young families and retirees to a proud community now over 250 years old.