Dauphin County (pop. 268,100) is west of Lebanon County. The only Lebanon County in the U.S., its population has been rising steadily since 1820.
The county was named for Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France, the first son of King Louis XVI.
The county seat of Dauphin County is Harrisburg (pop. 49,192), the state capital, on the Susquehanna River. Harrisburg reached its peak population of 89,544 in 1950.
The Pennsylvania State Capitol, built in 1906 in Beaux-Arts style, is considered one of the most beautiful state capitol buildings.
Harrisburg is the home of the National Civil War Museum, which opened in 2001.
The Harrisburg Senators, Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Washington Nationals, play at FNB Field (1987). The park was formerly named Riverside Stadium, Commerce Bank Park, and Metro Bank Park.
The Broad Street Market (1860) in Harrisburg is one of the oldest continually operating farmers’ markets in the country.
The Harrisburg Transportation Center, formerly Pennsylvania Station (1887), has Amtrak Keystone Service to Philadelphia and New York City, as well as the Pennsylvanian train to Pittsburgh.
The community of Hershey (pop. 14,257) is about 15 miles east of Harrisburg. Hershey began in the early 1900s as a company town for Milton S. Hershey’s Hershey Chocolate Company.
Hershey, nicknamed “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” has a Chocolate World visitor center, the Hersheypark theme park, Hersheypark Stadium, Hersheypark Arena, and Hershey Museum.
Newt Gingrich, former Congressman from Georgia and Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, grew up in the Dauphin County community of Hummelstown (pop. 4,538).
The Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, site of an accident in 1979, is in Dauphin County.
NEXT: PERRY COUNTY