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Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
Borough
Downtown Port Allegany
Downtown Port Allegany
Location of Port Allegany in McKean County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Port Allegany in McKean County, Pennsylvania.
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County McKean
Settled 1815
Incorporated 1882
Government
 • Type Borough Council
Area
 • Total 1.83 sq mi (4.74 km2)
 • Land 1.81 sq mi (4.68 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 2,157
 • Estimate 
(2019)
1,998
 • Density 1,105.70/sq mi (426.99/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
16743
Area code(s) 814
FIPS code 42-62088
Port Allegany welcome sign on Route 6
Welcome sign on Route 6
Historical sign, Port Allegany, PA
Historical sign

Port Allegany is a borough in McKean County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,157 at the 2010 census.

The town's tree-lined streets lie in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles west of the Allegheny River's headwaters.

History

Originally known as Canoe Place, the town’s name was changed to Port Allegany in 1838.

The town developed as a port on the Allegheny River, and provided a place where travelers coming overland from the Susquehanna River could continue by boat.

Geography

Port Allegany is located at 41°48′54″N 78°16′45″W / 41.81500°N 78.27917°W / 41.81500; -78.27917 (41.814919, -78.279218).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), all of it land.

Port Allegany is located in McKean County, which is generally considered to be part of the Northern Pennsylvania region (and sometimes part of the Northern Tier region). This part of the state is rural and heavily forested.

Before the arrival of the first European settlers, the area was densely forested with Eastern Hemlock. Many of these sometimes massive trees were cut for lumber or sometimes only for their bark, which was used in the tanning industry. The rough and ready lifestyles and skills of the men who did this work are commemorated each year at the "Barkpeelers' Festival" at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in nearby Ulysses, Pennsylvania. Many older homes, barns and other buildings in the region were at least partly built with hemlock lumber.

The contemporary forests in the region produce high quality black cherry lumber, valued in the furniture and cabinetry industries. While there are currently no working furniture factories in the region, the trade in black cherry continues.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 731
1890 1,230 68.3%
1900 1,853 50.7%
1910 1,972 6.4%
1920 2,356 19.5%
1930 2,193 −6.9%
1940 2,356 7.4%
1950 2,519 6.9%
1960 2,742 8.9%
1970 2,703 −1.4%
1980 2,593 −4.1%
1990 2,391 −7.8%
2000 2,355 −1.5%
2010 2,157 −8.4%
2019 (est.) 1,998 −7.4%
Sources:

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,355 people, 924 households, and 623 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,286.0 people per square mile (496.9/km2). There were 992 housing units at an average density of 541.7/sq mi (209.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.36% White, 0.08% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.25% of the population.

There were 924 households, out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 30.7% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

Main Street, looking west, Port Allegany, PA
Main Street, looking west

The median income for a household in the borough was $34,896, and the median income for a family was $43,125. Males had a median income of $32,792 versus $21,434 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,601. About 13.2% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Signs at the bridge where Route 155 joins Route 6, Port Allegany, PA
Signs at the bridge where Route 155 joins Route 6

People of note

Major League Baseball player Josh Kinney grew up in Port Allegany.

Filming of Unstoppable

Parts of the 2010 film Unstoppable were filmed in Port Allegany and many of the small communities nearby.


Economy

In the 1800s natural gas was discovered in the area, which led to the expansion of industries including glass firms, chemical plants, cheese factories, machine shops, brick plants, sawmills, planing mills and tanneries. The area also produces crude oil and it is not unusual to see small gas or oil wells and storage tanks in fields, forests or back yards in the region. The introduction of hydraulic fracturing produced an increase in local production of gas and oil, and a boost to the local economy, in the 2000s and 2010s.

Port Allegany has long been associated with glass manufacturing. Saint-Gobain, a glass container producer, is located there, in a facility that has been owned at different stages by Pierce Glass and Ball-Incon. A concrete tower that is part of the manufacturing plant is the tallest structure in Port Allegany and is visible from most of the small downtown area. From 1937 to 2016, Port Allegany was also home to a factory of the Pittsburgh Corning Corporation. The "PC", as the factory was known locally, was the only producer of architectural glass building blocks in the United States, and also produced foamglas insulation.

In the middle of the 20th century, the town was home to a factory that manufactured Kewpie dolls.

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