Danville is located in Montour County, the smallest county in Pennsylvania in terms of land area. The county was carved from Columbia County in 1850 due to opposition over the relocation of the County seat from Danville to Bloomsburg.
Much of Danville’s early history centers around the iron industry. The discovery of iron in the hills surrounding Danville gave rise to iron ore works, which flourished from the 1830s through the end of the century. The advance of the iron era led to Danville’s greatest contribution to America’s expansion, the manufacturing of T-rails. The last of the mills ceased operation at the end of the Great Depression. However, Danville still celebrates this history with the Iron Heritage Festival each July. The development of the Pennsylvania Canal System and railroads also contributed to the area’s growth.
Today, Danville’s historic downtown retains much of its 19th-century architecture. Professional firms, specialty shops, and a variety of restaurants inhabit these buildings. This charm, coupled with several festivals from spring through fall, draws area residents and visitors to the downtown throughout the year.
Geisinger Health System was founded in 1915 by Abigail A. Geisinger with the completion of the George F. Geisinger Memorial Hospital in Danville, named in honor of her iron-magnate husband. Today, the Geisinger Health System’s 437-bed facility includes trauma and cardiac care, Life Flight, Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, Janet Weis Women’s Health Pavilion and The Heart Hospital. The Columbia-Montour Home Health Services/Visiting Nurses Association provides in-home services for skilled nursing rehabilitation, hospice and intravenous therapy.
In addition to shopping and dining, the area offers a variety of outdoor activities. Several golf courses provide ample opportunity for beginners to skilled players. PPL’s Montour Preserve features over 14 miles of hiking and walking trails, picnicking, fishing and boating on Lake Chillisquaque. Additionally, Knoebels Amusement Resort, America’s largest free admission amusement park, is located only 20 minutes away and is open from spring through early fall.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce has long served businesses in Montour County. Montour and Columbia counties are recognized by the state and other authorities as one distinct economic and cultural region (as exemplified by the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau, Columbia Montour Vocational Technical School, Columbia Montour Boy Scout Council, Columbia Montour Area Agency on Aging, and many others.) While serving individual members with direct benefits, The Chamber is also an advocate for continued regional development. Working with local government officials and business leaders, The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce serves as a catalyst to build the cultural and business opportunities throughout the area.