Once a wheat field and popular slope for sledding, this site has long been central to the economic growth of the City of Williamsport. The portion of the L.L. Stearns & Sons department store that occupied the corner of Pine and Third Streets was originally a large, private residence built by J. Cowden. This house was purchased by the West Branch Bank in 1850, which in 1860 raised the height of the building from two and a half stories to four stories. The building was then converted into the Parker Hotel, which in 1866 became the City Hotel. L.L. Stearns & Sons purchased the City Hotel in 1888, and a small addition was constructed along Third Street in 1904. In 1925, the department store expanded again with the purchased [sic] of the West Branch National Bank building, which had been constructed in 1850 at the same time the Bank bought the J. Cowden residence. Later, an L-shaped property further along Third Street was purchased and an addition was constructed. The picture at right shows the front of the buildings facing Pine Street until 1965, when a new store front was installed.