Perry County Offers a Variety of Features Perry County boasts a diverse mix of century-old family farms, forests, small towns and bedroom communities. It also has an active artists' community and a 5 year-old Habitat for Humanity organization.The entire borough of Newport on the Juniata River is on the Federal Register of Historic Places as part of an effort to revitalize the Victorian-era downtown.Nearly 6,000 Perry County residents commute to work in Dauphin County while 6550 commute to Cumberland County, State Data Center statistics show.With virtually no industry, Perry is the only Pennsylvania county in which a majority of its labor force travels outside the county to work. Of Perry’s 13,878 workers in the 1990 census, 63.5 percent were employed outside the county.Bridges still covered ...Perry County boasts 14 covered bridges. Only three or four Pennsylvania counties have more, officials say.Bridge enthusiasts are known to tour the county to examine the historic wooden structures, county Transportation Director Gary Eby says.But the bridges are not immune to change.Under a bill being considered in Congress, the Dellville bridge in Wheatfield Township would remain intact while a concrete bridge is added nearby.Three covered bridges are closed to traffic in Jackson Township, hampering motorists in the western part of the county.Commissioners have set aside $300,000 in liquid fuels tax money for repairs and maintenance of the historic bridges, including New Germantown bridge in Toboyne Township, Dellville bridge and the Enslow bridge in Jackson Township. The most heavily settled and fastest-growing areas of Perry are the southeastern townships closest to Harrisburg and Carlisle.More Facts...The county showed a 15.27 percent increase in population in the l980s. The 1970s showed even greater growth ,24.82 percent, census records show.The latest population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 44,384. The 1990 census reported the population at 41,172.The county seat is New Bloomfield.Perry County, named for War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry, has some well-defined boundaries consisting of Blue Mountain, the Susquehanna River and the Tuscarora Mountains.Within its borders is a varied terrain of ridges, valleys, streams and wildlife.The county covers about 550 square miles. It is 47 miles long and an average of 20 miles wide.Approximately 62 percent of the county is wooded land, which makes it attractive to outdoor enthusiasts. Hunters flock to Perry County in the spring and fall during turkey and deer seasons.Hundreds of miles of short, marked hiking trails wind through Tuscarora State Forest, much of which is in the western portion of Perry County.Also found there is Hemlocks Natural Area near Big Spring State Park. It consists of 131 acres of virgin hemlock in a .5-mile-long ravine. Possibly the largest bat population in the state lives in Newport. State game officials estimate 20,000 little brown and big brown hats make their home in the aging buildings in an eight-square-block area of the borough on the Juniata River.Perry County has several remarkable landmarks:The Stone Arch Bridge, which carries trains over the Susquehanna River from Marysville to Dauphin.Millersburg or Crow’s Ferry south of Liverpool, the last operating ferry on the Susquehanna.A rare colony of box huckleberry estimated to be 1,300 years old on 10 acres near New Bloomfield. An interpretive trail is at the site.Seventeen historic mills, including Brownawell’s or Shermans Dale Mill on Route 3-and Shoaff’s Mill at Little Buffalo State Park.Blue Ball Tavern, a Little Buffalo State Park structure that serves as a museum of Perry County historical artifacts. The museum is crammed with everything from archaic ironsmithing tools to Native American arrowheads to World War I uniforms and equipment. Maintained by Perry County Historical Society, the restored building is open Sundays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. during the warmer months. A community of artists, musicians and writers sponsor cultural events throughout the year.