Latrobe, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Latrobe, Pennsylvania
City
Looking down Main Street
Looking down Main Street
Motto: Sumus laeti
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Westmoreland
Settled 1852
Incorporated (borough) May 24, 1854
Incorporated (city) 1999
Area
 • Total 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)
Elevation 997 ft (304 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 8,338
 • Density 3,625.2/sq mi (1,399.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 15650
Area code(s) 724
Website www.cityoflatrobe.com

Latrobe /lˈtrb/ is a city in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in the United States and part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

The city population was 8,338 as of the 2010 census (9,265 in 1990). It is located near Pennsylvania's scenic Chestnut Ridge. Latrobe was incorporated as a borough in 1854, and as a city in 1999. The current Mayor is Rosemarie M. Wolford.

Among its claims to fame, Latrobe is the home of Saint Vincent Archabbey, the Latrobe Brewery (the original brewer of Rolling Rock beer), Saint Vincent College and golfer Arnold Palmer. It was the childhood home of Fred Rogers, children's television personality who was buried there in Unity Cemetery after his death in 2003. While it was believed for years that the first professional American football game was played in Latrobe, the city's claim was refused induction into the Hall of Fame records. Latrobe is home of the first banana split, invented in Latrobe by David Strickler in 1904. Latrobe is also home to the training camp of the six time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

In May 2006, Anheuser-Busch purchased the Rolling Rock brands, but not the brewery. In June 2006, City Brewing Company from La Crosse, Wisconsin entered into negotiations to buy the brewery. In September 2006, City Brewing Company agreed to purchase the brewery, and they licensed it to the Boston Beer Company in April 2007 as a satellite brewery to produce Samuel Adams beers. Sam Adams production did not last long. The plant is currently brewing Iron City Beer under contract. In addition, Duquesne Bottling Company has brewed the revived Duquesne Beer, "The Prince of Pilseners", at the Latrobe plant.

History

In 1852, Oliver Barnes (a civil engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad) laid out the plans for the community that was incorporated in 1854 as the Borough of Latrobe. Barnes named the town for his best friend and college classmate, Benjamin Latrobe, who was a civil engineer for the B&O Railroad. (His father, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, was the architect who rebuilt the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. after the War of 1812.)

Its location along the route of the Pennsylvania Railroad helped Latrobe develop into a significant industrial hub. Latrobe was also served by the Ligonier Valley Railroad from 1877 to 1952.

In 1904, the banana split was invented in Latrobe by David Evans Strickler at Strickler's Drug Store.

Two interurban (long-distance trolley) lines served Latrobe: The Westmoreland County Railway Company connected Latrobe to Derry, operating 1904 to 1932. Also, Latrobe Street Railway Company began operations in 1900, connecting Latrobe to Kingston. That line was purchased by West Penn Railways, which eventually linked it with its network running through Youngstown, Pleasant Unity, and eventually to Greensburg and Uniontown. Service ceased in 1952.

Latrobe has two sites on the National Register of Historic Places within its city boundaries:

  • Pennsylvania Railroad Station at Latrobe (325 McKinley Avenue): This station was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1903.
  • Citizens National Bank of Latrobe (816 Ligonier Street): At six stories, this is the city’s tallest building, previously known as the Mellon Bank Building. This 1926 structure was designed by the Greensburg firm of Batholomew & Smith.

Early professional football team

1897 Latrobe
Latrobe's Pro Football Team in 1897

From 1895 until 1909, Latrobe was the home of the Latrobe Athletic Association, one of the earliest professional football teams. The team's quarterback, John Brallier, became the first football player to admit playing for money. In 1895 he accepted $10 and expenses to play for Latrobe in a 12-0 victory over the Jeannette Athletic Club. Brallier was thought to be the very first professional football player, until the 1960s. It was then, that documents surfaced showing that William "Pudge" Heffelfinger, a former three-time All-American from Yale, was employed to play guard for the Allegheny Athletic Association three years earlier. In 1897, Latrobe was the first football team to play a full season with a team composed entirely of professional players. In 1898 Latrobe and two players from their rivals, the Greensburg Athletic Association, formed the very first professional football all-star team for a game against the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, to be played at Pittsburgh's Exposition Park. Duquesne went on to win the game 16-0. On November 18, 1905, Latrobe defeated the Canton Bulldogs, which later became a founding member, and two-time champion, of the National Football League, 6-0.

Aside from Brallier, the Latrobe Athletic Association included several of the era's top players, such as: Ed Abbaticchio, Charles Barney, Alf Bull, Jack Gass, Walter Okeson, Harry Ryan, Doggie Trenchard, Eddie Wood and manager Dave Berry.

Geography

Latrobe is located at 40°18′54″N 79°22′52″W / 40.315°N 79.38111°W / 40.315; -79.38111 (40.314940, -79.381171). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all land.

Demographics

Latrobe-pennsylvania-mozart-hall
Mozart Hall (1890)
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 758
1870 1,127 48.7%
1880 1,815 61.0%
1890 3,589 97.7%
1900 4,614 28.6%
1910 8,777 90.2%
1920 9,484 8.1%
1930 10,644 12.2%
1940 11,111 4.4%
1950 11,811 6.3%
1960 11,932 1.0%
1970 11,749 −1.5%
1980 10,799 −8.1%
1990 9,265 −14.2%
2000 8,944 −3.5%
2010 8,338 −6.8%
Est. 2015 8,081 −3.1%

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,338 people, 3,786 households, and 2,458 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,913.6 people per square mile (1,509.8/km²). There were 4,258 housing units at an average density of 1,852.8 per square mile (714.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.78% White, 0.32% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.37% of the population.

There were 3,786 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city, the population was spread out with 1,730 persons under the age of 18, 429 persons from 20 to 24, 2583 persons from 25 to 49, 1780 persons from 50 to 64, and 1614 persons who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,268, and the median income for a family was $42,168. Males had a median income of $31,802 versus $22,227 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,208. About 6.5% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Federally, Latrobe is part of Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district.

Latrobe-pennsylvania-railroad-station
Latrobe Railroad Station (1903)
National Register of Historic Places

Transportation

  • Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (formerly known as Westmoreland County Airport)
  • Latrobe (Amtrak station)

In popular culture

  • Latrobe is featured in "Scan", an episode of the television series Prison Break. Fugitive Fernando Sucre is stopped by a Pennsylvania State Trooper, but runs through a field and presumably jumps aboard a cargo train headed towards New York.
  • Latrobe is featured prominently in the 2008 feature length Kurt Kuenne documentary entitled Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. The basis of the movie is the murder of local doctor Andrew Bagby by his former partner.
  • In George Romero's Night of the Living Dead the town is featured as a sanctuary from the uprising of the dead.
  • Latrobe Brewing Company is on a sign in the background of a bar in the film Gone Girl.
  • Latrobe is mentioned on an episode of Quantum Leap as the setting of character Arnold Watkins' (Tristan Tait) parents' final resting place.

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