The first successful commercially produced automobile in America was built in Philadelphia in 1895 by the Duryea brothers.
Lawrence County, Pennsylvania has a rich history that dates back to the Native American tribes who originally inhabited the region. The area was frequented by various tribes, including the Delaware, Shawnee, and Iroquois, before European settlers arrived in the 18th century. The county was officially established in 1849, named in honor of Captain James Lawrence, a naval war hero from the War of 1812.

In the early years of European settlement, Lawrence County was primarily a rural, agricultural area, with many families relying on farming for their livelihood. However, the discovery of valuable natural resources like coal and oil in the late 19th century drastically changed the county's landscape. The mining and extraction industries boomed, attracting new residents and contributing to the growth of towns like New Castle and Ellwood City.

Lawrence County played a significant role during the industrial revolution, particularly in the steel industry. In the early 1900s, the region became home to numerous steel mills, which quickly became the backbone of the local economy. The steel industry brought jobs and prosperity but also faced challenges during periods of economic downturn and technological advancements. Despite these challenges, Lawrence County's steel heritage remains an important part of its identity.

In more recent years, Lawrence County has diversified its economy, transitioning from a reliance on heavy industry to a more balanced mix of manufacturing, healthcare, education, and service sectors. The county continues to embrace its historical roots, with several museums, historical sites, and cultural events that provide opportunities for residents and visitors to learn more about the county's past. Today, Lawrence County is a vibrant and thriving community, with a blend of old and new industries, a strong sense of community pride, and a commitment to preserving its history for future generations.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.

  • 1849 - Lawrence County is established from parts of Beaver and Mercer counties.
  • 1851 - New Castle becomes the county seat.
  • 1858 - The Shenango and Mahoning Railroad is completed, boosting transportation and trade in the region.
  • 1871 - Slippery Rock University is founded as a teacher's college.
  • 1908 - The Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad begins operations, further improving transportation in the county.
  • 1932 - Lawrence County experiences a severe flood, causing significant damage to infrastructure.
  • 1942 - The Ellwood City Hospital is established to serve the healthcare needs of the local community.
  • 1951 - The Lawrence County Historical Society is founded to preserve and display the county's history.
  • 1977 - The Lawrence County Government Center is built, providing a centralized location for county offices.
  • 1998 - Westminster College establishes a branch campus in New Wilmington, offering expanded educational opportunities.