The #1 question that we always get is How did Jersey Shore get named Jersey Shore? After all, it’s not in New Jersey and there is no ocean!
So how does a borough in the middle of the commonwealth get named “Jersey Shore?” Jim Allen from the Jersey Shore Historical Society says it all starts with an 18th century feud spanning the Susquehanna River.
“Jersey shore was originally named Waynesburg by the two brothers Rueben and Jeremiah Manning who laid out the town in 1785,” says Allen. ” Around the time that this was happening, a settlement was rising on the eastern side.”
Those two brothers came from New Jersey. Everyone on the eastern side would tease the Jersey folks, calling their side of the river the “Jersey Shore.” The moniker was used so often that in 1826, the joke became reality.
“The original name of Waynesburg was officially abandoned and changed to Jersey Shore,” says Allen.
*The Jersey Shore Public Library was first established March of 1926 as a part of the new high school building located on Allegheny Street in the borough of Jersey Shore.
Following the end of World War II a new enthusiasm was was generated on behalf of a new public library in Jersey Shore. On May 3rd, 1949, Dr. Samuel Carter asked the school board to allow the citizens of Jersey Shore to use the high school library, and by so doing, the resources of the James V. Brown Library in Williamsport would be at their disposal. There would be no cost to the tax payer, and the contract could be terminated at any time. The grand opening of the new library was held on January 12, 1950.
In November 1959, the Library moved to the newly built high school on Thompson Street. And, following that same path, the library was then moved to the new school building located in Porter Township at the end of Cemetery Street.
In the year to follow, the Library became a member of the Central Pennsylvania Library District, which included 11 counties and allowed for inter-library loan services, which made available books, films, photographs, phonograph records and reference materials available from all libraries with the 11 county District. And, in 1982 the Library became a member of the Lycoming County Library System.
By 1998, the Jersey Shore Board of Trustees was making plans to move the public library out of the high school and to a new location. The search began for a suitable site. In September, 1998, the Board of Trustees inspected the former Epworth United Methodist Church building at 110 Oliver Street and deemed it to be the site of the next public library. The building was purchased for $60,000 with the expectation that it would take approximately $200,000 to renovate the building and make it handicap accessible.
The grand opening of the Jersey Shore Public Library is held on Sunday, October 22, 2000.*
The Jersey Shore Public Library remains at 110 Oliver Street and is a busy, thriving community center for local residents and visitors. The library is the 2nd busiest permanent library site within the Lycoming County region, only following the James V. Brown Library in downtown Williamsport.
*Credit: Wayne O. Welshans, Notes Jersey Shore Library History (March 2006)