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Port Royal, Pennsylvania
Houses on Main Street
Houses on Main Street
Detailed map of Port Royal
Detailed map of Port Royal
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Juniata
Settled 1812
Incorporated 1843
 • Total 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
Elevation 472 ft (144 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 925
 • Density 1,471.9/sq mi (571.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 17082
Area code(s) 717 Exchange: 527

Port Royal is a borough in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 925 at the 2010 census.


Port Royal used to be named Perrysville, after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. At the time, the Port Royal post office was located in Saint Tammany town, just across the Tuscarora Creek. However, the Pennsylvania Railroad brought increased traffic through the area and prompted a move of the Port Royal post office into Perrysville in 1847. In 1874, the borough took on the name itself and Saint Tammany became known as Old Port.

Port Royal (and Perrysville before it) once was a stop on the old main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Port Royal was, in fact, one of the first towns to be linked to the Pennsylvania Railroad system, as it lay along the Lewistown-to-Harrisburg stretch of the railroad—the first leg constructed after the new railroad was chartered. The old Pennsylvania Railroad station no longer exists. Port Royal was also the northern terminus of the Tuscarora Valley Railroad, a narrow-gauge railroad serving southern Juniata and northern Franklin counties. The railroad was decommissioned in the 1930s.

From the PRR station during the Gettysburg Campaign of the Civil War, Union scout Stephen W. Pomeroy telegraphed the vital news to Governor Andrew Curtin that Robert E. Lee was concentrating the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg. This was how state officials came to know of this vital intelligence, which Pomeroy had carried for nearly sixty miles from near Lee's headquarters in Chambersburg. He had sewn the message into his belt strap of his pants.


Port Royal is located at 40°32′0″N 77°23′15″W / 40.533333°N 77.3875°W / 40.533333; -77.3875 (40.533257, -77.387619).

Port Royal is located 40 miles northwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), of which, 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (4.35%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 621
1890 519 −16.4%
1900 546 5.2%
1910 535 −2.0%
1920 558 4.3%
1930 579 3.8%
1940 744 28.5%
1950 800 7.5%
1960 805 0.6%
1970 829 3.0%
1980 835 0.7%
1990 836 0.1%
2000 977 16.9%
2010 925 −5.3%
Est. 2015 922 −0.3%

As of the census of 2000, there were 977 people, 398 households, and 278 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,471.9 people per square mile (571.5/km²). There were 434 housing units at an average density of 653.9 per square mile (253.9/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.70% White, 1.33% African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 1.54% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.89% of the population.

There were 398 households, out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $34,514, and the median income for a family was $39,479. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $22,841 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $16,212. About 8.2% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

Juniata County Fair

The first fair was held in Port Royal in 1852 and there has been an annual fair in the town thereafter. In 1887 the original fairgrounds south of town were found to lack adequate space and a larger tract of land was purchased north of the town, from Smith Kepner, in what is now known as the Juniata County Fair Grounds. Beginning as primarily a showcase for agrarian enterprise, the fair has slowly changed so that today it has much less of its agrarian roots. In 1953 weekly summer automobile racing began on a track that was originally built for horse racing and this activity has played a large part in focusing attention on the town during the summer months.

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