Pennsylvania Counties
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Pennsylvania Counties

There are sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America. The city of Philadelphia is coterminous with Philadelphia County, and governmental functions have been consolidated since 1854.

Columbia County, Pennsylvania

Columbia County Education, Geography, and History

Columbia County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Columbia County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 67,295. Its county seat is Bloomsburg. The county was created on March 22, 1813, from part of Northumberland County and named for Columbia, a poetic name for the United States that alludes to Christopher Columbus.

Columbia County is part of the Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Columbia County Name

Its name is a poetic allusion to America.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Columbia County History

Created on March 22, 1813 from part of Northumberland County. Its name is a poetic allusion to America.

Bloomsburg, the county seat since November 30, 1847, was incorporated as a town on March 4, 1870, and is the only incorporated town in the state. Its name comes from Bloom Township, which was named for Samuel Bloom, a commissioner of Northumberland County. Danville, the county seat from 1813 to 1846, is now the seat of Montour County.

Native American communities had long lived here along the Susquehanna River, and the first white settlement was south of the river. Berwick was laid out in 1783. As a North Branch Canal depot and then a railroad station, Catawissa grew and served a thriving farm region. Anthracite mining and a lumber boom arose but, like Columbia's farming, yielded to competition in the 1930s. Abandoned deep coal mines have burned for decades beneath the town of Centralia. ACF's railroad car complex and Bloomsburg's silk and carpet works prospered until the national trend toward deindustrialization began in recent decades. ACF manufactured tanks during World War II. The county's farming has emphasized fruit and field crops; in 1992 Columbia ranked 37th among all 67 counties in value of farm crops. Farms cover 37 percent of the county's area. There were Underground Railroad stations at Berwick and Millville. Some of the accused Molly Maguires were tried in Bloomsburg in 1877.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 490 square miles (1,269 km2), of which, 486 square miles (1,258 km2) of it is land and 4 square miles (11 km2) of it (0.87%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Sullivan County (north)
  • Luzerne County (east)
  • Schuylkill County (south)
  • Northumberland County (southwest)
  • Montour County (west)
  • Lycoming County (northwest)


Colleges and universities

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Public school districts

Benton Area School District
Berwick Area School District (also in Luzerne County)
Bloomsburg Area School District
Central Columbia School District
Millville Area School District
Mount Carmel Area School District (also in Northumberland County)
North Schuylkill School District (also in Schuylkill County)
Southern Columbia Area School District (also in Northumberland County)

Technical school

Vocational-Technical School

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