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Mercersburg, Pennsylvania facts for kids

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Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Mercersburg Borough Hall
Mercersburg Borough Hall
Location of Mercersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Mercersburg in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Franklin
 • Type Borough Council
 • Total 0.90 sq mi (2.34 km2)
 • Land 0.90 sq mi (2.34 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
558 ft (170 m)
 • Total 1,561
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,698.45/sq mi (655.83/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 717
FIPS code 42-48704
Academy Chapel
Mercersburg Academy Chapel

Mercersburg is a borough in Franklin County, located near the southern border of Pennsylvania, United States. The borough is 72 miles (116 km) southwest of Harrisburg, the state capital.

Due to its location in a rural area, it had a relatively large percentage of African-American workers who had been enslaved from the Revolution. It was called "Black Town" in the early nineteenth century before incorporation under its current name. Refugee African Americans escaping from slavery in the South also settled here, and the area was known as "Little Africa".


The borough was named after Hugh Mercer, a general in the American Revolutionary War.

The Mercersburg Historic District, Lane House, and Mercersburg Academy are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Mercersburg is located in southwestern Franklin County at 39°49′46″N 77°54′7″W / 39.82944°N 77.90194°W / 39.82944; -77.90194 (39.829388, -77.901952). According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.89 square miles (2.3 km2), all of it land.

Mercersburg is located at the eastern foot of Cove Mountain on the west side of the Great Appalachian Valley. The borough is 7.5 miles (12.1 km) north of the Mason–Dixon line, which serves as the state border with Maryland. Whitetail Ski Resort is located 7 miles (11 km) south of the town.

Pennsylvania state highways 16, 75, and 416 all pass through Mercersburg. PA 16 leads east 10 miles (16 km) to Greencastle and 11 miles (18 km) to Interstate 81, and northwest through Cove Gap and over Tuscarora Mountain 10 miles to McConnellsburg. PA 75 leads north 6 miles (10 km) to Fort Loudon and south 7.5 miles (12.1 km) to the Maryland border. PA 416 leads northeast 7 miles (11 km) to U.S. Route 30 near St. Thomas and southeast 10 miles (16 km) to the Maryland border. Hagerstown, Maryland, is 17 miles (27 km) to the southeast via PA 416 and Maryland Route 58, while Chambersburg, the Franklin County seat, is 16 miles (26 km) to the northeast via PA 416 and US 30.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,143
1850 1,179 3.1%
1860 897 −23.9%
1870 971 8.2%
1880 970 −0.1%
1890 967 −0.3%
1900 956 −1.1%
1910 1,410 47.5%
1920 1,663 17.9%
1930 1,634 −1.7%
1940 1,763 7.9%
1950 1,613 −8.5%
1960 1,759 9.1%
1970 1,727 −1.8%
1980 1,617 −6.4%
1990 1,640 1.4%
2000 1,540 −6.1%
2010 1,561 1.4%
2019 (est.) 1,532 −1.9%

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,540 people, 686 households, and 439 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,581.0 people per square mile (613.0/km²). There were 770 housing units at an average density of 790.5 per square mile (306.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 92.08% White, 6.49% African American, 0.58% Asian, 0.52% from other races, and 0.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.36% of the population.

There were 686 households, out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 23.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $32,619, and the median income for a family was $46,042. Males had a median income of $30,602 versus $23,000 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,934. About 7.2% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


Map of Franklin County Pennsylvania School Districts
Franklin County school districts

Tuscarora School District

The Tuscarora School District covers an area of 201 square miles (520 km2), stretching north-south from just south of 40 degrees north latitude to the Maryland border and from east of the 78 degree west longitude line to just west of Chambersburg. The district is located within the borders of Franklin County in south-central Pennsylvania. It includes the borough of Mercersburg and Montgomery, Peters, St. Thomas and Warren townships. The school district primarily encompasses a rural agricultural area with a total population of approximately 17,000 people.

The district consists of four K-5 elementary schools (Saint Thomas, Mountain View, Mercersburg, Montgomery), one grades 6-8 middle school (James Buchanan MS) and one grade 9-12 high school (James Buchanan High School). Tuscarora, the name of the mountain on the western boundary, was named for the Tuscarora Nation, an Iroquoian-speaking tribe. They had lived in this area for a period after migrating from the Carolinas about 1713 after disastrous warfare. They continued to migrate north to present-day New York, where about 1722 they declared their migration over. They were accepted as the sixth nation of the Iroquois League, or Haudenosaunee, the powerful confederacy of five nations that occupied much of the territory west of the Hudson River and into northern Pennsylvania.

Colonists adopted the Lenape language term for Conococheague Creek, which flows through the district on its way from the Path Valley south to the Potomac River. The local Delaware people, properly known as Lenape, named it for "clear water".

Mercersburg Academy, Main Hall, FrankCo, PA
Main Hall, Mercersburg Academy

Mercersburg Academy

Mercersburg Academy is an independent college preparatory school that was founded in 1893. It has produced several Rhodes scholars, three Medal of Honor recipients, a Nobel laureate, two Academy Award winners, and 54 Olympians (including 12 gold medalists). Its campus, located east of the square in downtown Mercersburg, spans 300 acres (120 ha). It has 430 students (grades 9-12) from 26 states and 40 nations.

Mercersburg Academy, FrankCo, PA
Mercersburg Academy

Marshall College

Marshall College was founded in Mercersburg in 1836. It later merged with Franklin College, in Lancaster County. It is known for the Mercersburg Theology of the Presbyterian Church.

Notable people

Lane House Mercersburg FrankCo PA
Harriet Lane House
  • James Buchanan, the first Pennsylvanian to be elected President of the United States, was born in a log cabin in the village of Cove Gap, Pennsylvania northwest of Mercersburg; he grew up in the town.
  • Jimmy Curran (1880–1963), athlete and coach who trained five Olympic champions
  • James Findlay, politician, mayor of Cincinnati and U.S. representative (1825-1833) from Ohio, was born and grew up here; younger brother of John and William Findlay
  • John Findlay, politician and oldest of the three Findlay brothers born and raised in Mercersburg; served as a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania
  • William Findlay, governor of Pennsylvania from 1817 to 1820 and U.S. senator from Pennsylvania from 1821 to 1827, was born and raised in Mercersburg.
  • Harriet Lane (1830–1903), niece of James Buchanan, was born at Mercersburg in the Lane House
  • James S. McCullough (1843-1914), Illinois state auditor, was born in Mercersburg.
  • Thomas Bard McFarland (1828–1908), associate justice of the Supreme Court of California
  • Joseph Mitchell (1837-1890), justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, mayor of Goshen, Indiana, and Captain of the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.
  • Blanche Nevin (1841–1925), sculptor and daughter of John Williamson Nevin
  • John Williamson Nevin (1803–1886), theologian
  • Benicio del Toro (1969 – ...), Actor and producer

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Mercersburg para niños

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