Bloomsburg is the county seat of Columbia County. It also holds the distinction of being the only incorporated town in the state of Pennsylvania. The relaxed rural atmosphere characteristic of central Pennsylvania is balanced by stimulating cultural and recreational activities.
Bloomsburg's earliest development was closely associated with the Native American period of American history. A legacy of colorful Indian names, such as Susquehanna, Catawissa and Nescopeck, are among the reminders of the original inhabitants in the area.
The discovery of iron ore nearby gave rise to a flourishing iron industry that lasted 75 years. At the turn of the century, when the iron ore supply was depleted, many new types of businesses were introduced. Textile mills such as Magee Carpet, Milco and Bloomsburg Mills began to locate here. These industries were supplemented by numerous small-manufacturing enterprises. Manufacturing provides the largest source of employment, with retail, service and wholesale trade included in the top ranks.
The central business district has experienced an economic and aesthetic revitalization. It has become a model to other communities involved in similar activities. A section of the town has been named a National Historical District, opening the way for the refurbishing of its fine residential architecture. The Chamber of Commerce's Downtown Division also received two awards from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center for its efforts relating to community activities, cultural diversity, community pride and economic development.
The Boy and Girl Scouts, Lions Club, BPW, Kiwanis, Rotary and Soroptimists are among the 150 clubs and organizations represented throughout the community. Containing more the 30,000 volumes, the Bloomsburg Public Library is easily accessible in the downtown and recently underwent a large expansion project to meet the needs of our local community.
The 90-bed Bloomsburg Hospital meets the community's health care needs. It offers a wide range of medical services, including acute, intensive and emergency care, same-day surgery, CAT scans, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, physical/respiratory therapy, plastic surgery, community health programs and a drug/alcohol dependency treatment unit.
The Columbia-Montour Home Health Services/Visiting Nurses Association provides in-home services for skilled nursing rehabilitation, hospice and intravenous therapy.
There are more than 125 physicians and dentists serving the area. The Geisinger Health System serves the area with a 548-bed facility located in nearby Danville, providing trauma and cardiac care, Life Flight, cancer treatment, kidney transport/dialysis, neurosurgery/neurology, newborn/pediatric specialty care, Poison Control network and an eye bank.
The annual Town Park Festival, Covered Bridges Festival, Renaissance Jamboree and Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, which presents a yearly schedule of plays, greatly contribute to the town's rich cultural diversity. In existence for more than 144 years, the Bloomsburg Fair brings more than a half-million individuals to our area every year. Held at the end of September, the annual event includes a wealth of attractions, entertainment, rides and food for everyone. Numerous other events are also held at the fairgrounds throughout the year.
The beautiful campus of Bloomsburg University immediately adjoins the downtown and contributes to the community in many ways. The University's library facilities contain a growing number of volumes, periodicals and microfilms, necessitating its recent library expansion/construction project at the upper campus. The college Community Orchestra and the Haas Gallery of Art, with changing exhibits, display works by faculty, students, local residents and special guest artists. The Celebrity Artist Series at Bloomsburg University offers renowned artists, plays and musicals that contribute to the cultural opportunities in the area.
Located on the banks of the Susquehanna River, the Town Park is the setting for family picnics and special events. Tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, the community swimming pool, a fitness trail and a lagoon for fishing in the summer and ice skating in the winter make this a popular place for residents of all ages.
The Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Southern, Millville and Benton Area school districts serve the area with fine academic and vocational learning experiences. The Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School provides additional opportunities. Several private schools complement the educational offerings available in the surrounding area.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is made up of more than 400 member businesses. It includes firms from the greater Bloomsburg area and surrounding communities, including Berwick, Danville, Benton, Orangeville, Millville, Mifflinville, Elysburg and Catawissa. The Chamber was established in July 1941. In August 1941, it became a member of the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce. In 2001, the local Chamber celebrated its 60th anniversary. It has grown to become one of the largest affiliations of its kind in the Susquehanna Valley. With a competent Board of Directors, dedicated staff and working divisions of Community and Economic Development, Finance, Administration and Governmental Affairs, Marketing and a Downtown Division, the Chamber continues to address the important issues facing its business members and their future existence in our area and the state.
A beautiful, safe and healthy environment combined with the benefits of a diverse and progressive business community, great location, cultural tradition, quality education and outdoor fun, make the Bloomsburg area an ideal place to visit, raise a family or operate a profitable business.