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Explored by Europeans as early as 1615, Sunbury developed into a transportation hub because of its location at the confluence of the Susquehanna River. Later, it became important as the site of Thomas A. Edisons first successful installation of a three-wire electric lighting system on July 4, 1883, at the City Hotel, which today is called the Edison Hotel and is a cultural hub for the area. Sunbury is also an important historic district, showcasing over 200 examples of Federal, Italianate, Romanesque, and Second Empire architecture in the hotels, homes, public buildings, and taverns from the canal days to the grander Victorian era.