Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania as well as the seat of Dauphin County. It is located on the Susquehanna River near the Appalachian Mountains in the south-central part of the state. Besides government, its economy rests on transportation, national defense, and the manufacture of food, computer, and steel products.
The city's history dates back to colonial times, when a ferry was operated here by John Harris, Sr. His son John laid out the town in 1785, giving land to the commonwealth which later became the Capitol grounds. Harrisburg was made capital of Pennsylvania in 1812, and was incorporated as a city in 1860.
The hub of a metropolitan area of over half a million, Harrisburg proper stretches for several miles between the Susquehanna and the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks. The river is up to a mile wide as it passes Harrisburg, creating an attractive setting for the city with parks and boating. The compact and lively downtown is anchored by the stately Pennsylvania State Capitol to the north and Market Square to the south.