Wiconisco Township was officially created on 26 June 1840. Its original area (green on map above) included one other present-day township [Williams Township] which was later divided from the eastern part of Wiconisco Township.
Lykens Borough, was incorporated in 1871 as a separate government entity within the boundaries of Wiconisco Township. The town of Wiconisco, never incorporated, and remains today as a part of the township.
The following explanation is from William Henry Egle‘s History of the Counties of Dauphin and Lebanon of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, published in Philadelphia in 1883 by Everts and Peck:
The 90th section of an act of the General Assembly, passed 2 July 1839, Pam. Laws, page 602, provides:
That that part of Lykens Township, in the county of Dauphin, north of lines to be run by the supervisors of said township,
“commencing at a bridge crossing the head of the Widow Snyder’s millsdam at the Mifflin Township line; thence east to the handboard in the forks of the road on the lands of Elder and Haldeman; thence a straight line to a house of Martin Rickert, now occupied by Peter Rickert, at the foot of Short Mountain; thence east along the foot of the mountain (north side) to the Schuylkill County line, shall hereafter form a separate township to be called Wiconisco.
By the 54th section of an act, passed 14 April 1840, Pam. Laws, page 342, it is provided that
“the name of Peter Rickert in the foregoing act shall be taken and construed to mean Henry Rickert, and that it shall be the duty of the supervisors to file the survey or plot of said lines run in the office of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions of the county of Dauphin.”
On 26 June 1840, the plot or draft of the lines run was filed as above directed, and are as follows, to wit:
“Beginning at a point on the Mifflin Township line; thence north 63 1/2 degrees east 296 perches to crossroads; thence due east 464 perches to a chestnut-oak; thence north 77 degrees east 30 perches to a chestnut-oak; thence north 53 degrees east 120 perches to a black-oak; thence north 60 degrees east 79 perches to a chestnut; thence north 65 degrees east 61 perches to a popular; thence north 80 degrees east 450 perches to a white-pine; thence north 75 degrees east 82 perches to a white-pine; thence north 70 degrees east 280 perches to a chestnut-oak; thence north 67 degrees east 186 perches to a chestnut; thence north 64 degrees east 300 perches to a chestnut; thence north 67 degrees east 310 perches to a white-oak at the Schuylkill County line, making in all 8 miles, 150 perches.”
The early history of Wiconisco [Township] is embraced in that of the valley proper. The erection of the township divested the old township of Lykens [Township] of its coal mining operation, all of the collieries and coal beds now lying in the new township. The contiguity of the town of Lykens, however, to that of Wiconisco… being less than half mile a mile distant, still gives the former borough the prestige of being the business centre of the Lykens Valley coal operations.
The land area of Wiconisco Township was diminished in 1869 by the creation of Williams Township.
There is also a discrepancy in the western boundary of Wiconisco Township from the 1858 maps to the 1862 maps, where it appears that certain western portions of Wiconisco Township may have been ceded to Washington Township in the time between 1858 and 1862. This is shown on the two maps below but is not explained in Egle in the section on the creation of either township.
The 1858 map by William J. Barker of Philadelphia, (above) shows the boundary (red line) between Washington Township and Wiconisco Township with the village of Loyalton (not named) in Wiconisco Township.
The 1862 map by A. Pomeroy of Philadelphia, (above) shows the boundary between Washington Township and Wiconisco Township with the village of Loyalton (named Short Mountain P.O.) in Washington Township. The 1858 boundary is shown as a red line.