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New graduate publishes book about Union County lumber company

New graduate publishes book about Union County lumber company

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Jonathan Bastian, a recent graduate of Lycoming College, has published his first book, “Lumbering: A Way of Life at Pardee,” which is based on a lumbering empire in Central Pennsylvania during the 19th century.

Bastian researched the book as part of an independent study during the spring semester of his junior year that was advised by Cullen Chandler, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the history department. The book focuses on Pardee Lumbering Operation, a company that transformed the Central Pennsylvania region and helped influence the state during the last 20 years of the 19th century. The Pardee Lumbering Operation provided jobs and economic development to the isolated region, but it also held onto secrets for more than 110 years. Using more than 10 years of research, the book provides an in-depth historical analysis of the lumbering operation near Pardee, Pa. It also discusses the implications and lasting effects of the lumbering operation at the beginning of the 21st century.

“This book has been 10 years in the making, beginning as a middle school research topic for a five-page paper,” Bastian said. “While at Lycoming College, as part of the Scholars program, I learned that we had to pursue a formal research topic and I began to see a bigger potential for this work. While the target audience may be small, this information is locally relevant and helpful to people researching similar topics in other parts of the country. By looking at similarities and differences between the lumbering operation at Pardee and lumbering in other communities, pieces of American history begin to come together. We can better understand our nation’s past and what our ancestors did to help us become who we are today as we look to continue progress into the future.”

A lifelong resident of Union County, Bastian earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lycoming. As a hobby, he has researched various historical aspects of Central Pennsylvania. His most extensive research focuses on the lumbering operation in Western Union County. Bastian has served on the Union County Historical Society Board of Directors and participated in the county Rural Heritage Days as a committee member and demonstrator. Additionally, he has contributed to a local history newsletter, The Millmont Times.

The book is available on

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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