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Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania
Borough
Willow Avenue and Poplar Street
Willow Avenue and Poplar Street
Etymology: Local farm named "Castle Shanahan"
Nickname(s): 
"Shannon"
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Incorporated December 20, 1919
Area
 • Total 1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
 • Land 1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
1,040 ft (320 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 8,316
 • Estimate 
(2019)
8,216
 • Density 5,144.65/sq mi (1,986.58/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
15234
Area code(s) 412
FIPS code 42-11680
School District Keystone Oaks
Website borough.castle-shannon.pa.us

Castle Shannon is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 8,316 at the 2010 census.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land. Its average elevation is 1,040 feet (320 m) above sea level.

Surrounding communities

History

The first families settled Castle Shannon in 1786 in pursuit of farmland and timber. The most prominent farm was owned by David Strawbridge, who named it Castle Shanahan. Over time, the farm would lend its name to the area, as "Shanahan" would evolve into "Shannon". In 1872, the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad line was completed, providing a direct link from Pittsburgh to the then-village of Castle Shannon. Development was stimulated by two years of free transportation and lumber transport given to anybody building a home.

In 1877, a second railroad was built from Finleyville through Castle Shannon to the West End neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1909, the right of way through the valley containing Castle Shannon was purchased by the Pittsburgh Railroad. This helped lead to Castle Shannon becoming a center for coal mining, with eight mines in operation in 1904. The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad, still active today, came shortly afterward.

The First National Bank in Castle Shannon was the site of a much publicized bank robbery in 1917. $18,500 was taken in the robbery, of which $10,500 was immediately recovered from one man shot during the escape. The full sum was never recovered. Castle Shannon was incorporated as a borough in 1919, formed from parts of Baldwin Township, Mt. Lebanon, and Bethel Township.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 306
1920 2,353
1930 3,810 61.9%
1940 3,970 4.2%
1950 5,459 37.5%
1960 11,836 116.8%
1970 12,036 1.7%
1980 10,164 −15.6%
1990 9,135 −10.1%
2000 8,556 −6.3%
2010 8,316 −2.8%
2019 (est.) 8,216 −1.2%
Sources:

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,556 people, 3,859 households, and 2,288 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,259.8 people per square mile (2,026.7/km²). There were 4,037 housing units at an average density of 2,481.8 per square mile (956.3/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.91% White, 1.34% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.

There were 3,859 households, out of which 23.2% had children under age 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years old or older. The average household size was 2.20 persons, and the average family size was 2.88 persons. In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.7% under age 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24 years old, 32.9% from 25 to 44 years old, 21.4% from 45 to 64 years old, and 18.7% who were 65 years old or older. The median age was 39. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males. The median income for a household in the borough was $38,040; and, the median income for a family was $48,586. Males had a median income of $33,013, versus $27,907 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,518. About 5.0% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

  • Lee Hartman, animator
  • Dennis Miller, comedian, grew up in Castle Shannon, and attended St. Anne Elementary School and Keystone Oaks High School
  • Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Archbishop of Houston Galveston, Texas, spent his childhood years in Castle Shannon and attended St Annés elementary school there.
  • Elmer J Zeiler - First Chief of Police, A WWI recipient of 2 Purple Hearts, Metal of Valor, Croix De Guerre Medal (Highest medal of Valor from France). Founder of the VFW in Castle Shannon which was located on 88 across from Chevy Dealership. Received US Presidents Medal in 1964. Castle Shannon named a day of honor and had parade celebrating Elmer J Zeiler's accomplishments. Mr Zeiler was also the first to receive a phone in his home when he became Chief of Police. Unfortunately many of the town residents came to his home and used the phone causing a $400 phone bill. As acting Chief of Police, he refused to allow the corrupt coal mine owners to evict their employees from company houses in the middle of winter.
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