Danville is located in Montour County, the smallest county in the commonwealth in terms of land area
The county was established in 1850, carved from Columbia County after opposition arose in 1846 over the relocation of the Columbia county seat from Danville to Bloomsburg.
Montour County's borders are formed by Northumberland County on the west and south, Lycoming County on the north and Columbia County on the east.
The Susquehanna River forms part of the county's southern border. The Borough of Danville lies along the river's northern banks. The Susquehanna played a large role in the early settlement of Danville and Montour County, providing transportation to and from a trading post known as Montgomery's Landing, the present-day site of Danville.
Development and large-scale settlement in the county began to occur in the mid-1800s. The presence of iron in the hills surrounding Danville gave rise to iron ore works, which flourished from the 1830s through the end of the century. Complementing this industry, iron mills began the manufacture of T-rails, used across the country in constructing the nation's rail industry. With this economic development came people. The population of Danville increased from 1,100 in 1840 to 8,400 in 1870.
Montour County's emphasis on manufacturing carries forward today. Manufacturing continues to provide a substantial employment base in the county, and industries such as Merck Pharmaceuticals and others continue to thrive in the Danville area. The service industry is also strong in the county, with Geisinger Medical Center and related services providing a major portion of the employment base.
Today, Danvilles 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. The Danville Business Alliance is a partnership of businesses and other entities focused on revitalization of the downtown.
Recreation and Entertainment
The Danville area offers a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from convenient dining to award-winning cuisine. Mexican, Italian, Chinese and traditional American restaurants can all be found in the area.
The Box of Light Arts Center adds to the cultural opportunities available. This performing arts center features theater, music and multimedia, as well as classes and workshops in multimedia, claymation, robotics and filmmaking.
Knoebels Amusement Resort, located only 20 minutes away, is Americas largest free admission amusement park and draws thousands of people through Danville from spring through fall each year. Also close by are four golf courses (three public and one private) and PPLs Montour Preserve. Residents and visitors enjoy boating and camping in the summer and cross county skiing and ice fishing in the winter.
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 Systems 408-bed facility includes trauma and cardiac care, Life Flight, Janet Weis Childrens Hospital, Janet Weis Womens 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.
Building Relationships for a Stronger Region
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 serves as a catalyst to build the cultural and business opportunities throughout the area.