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Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Borough
Downtown
Downtown
Official logo of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Keystone Marker
Nickname(s): 
"Weather Capital of the World," "Punxsy"
Location of Punxsutawney in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Punxsutawney in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Jefferson
Settled 1816
Incorporated 1850
Government
 • Type Borough Council
Area
 • Total 3.42 sq mi (8.85 km2)
 • Land 3.35 sq mi (8.68 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.17 km2)
Elevation
1,230 ft (370 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 5,769
 • Density 1,688.47/sq mi (651.92/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
15767
Area code(s) 814
Exchanges: 249, 938, 939
FIPS code 42-62920

Punxsutawney ( Lenape: Punkwsutènay) is a borough in the south of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, United States. Punxsutawney is known for its Groundhog Day celebration each February 2, during which thousands of attendees and international media outlets visit the town for an annual weather prediction by the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.

The borough, located 84 miles (135 km) northeast of Pittsburgh and 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Altoona, was incorporated in 1850. With a population of 5,962 as of the 2010 census, Punxsutawney is the largest incorporated municipality in Jefferson County.

History

The area was originally settled by the Lenape (Delaware Indians), and the name "Punxsutawney" derives from a Native name in Unami (a Lenape language): Punkwsutènay, which translates to "town of the sandflies" or "town of the mosquitoes" (punkwës- ‘mosquito’ + -utènay ‘town’). Alternatively, the name is said to come from another Unami term, Put'schisk'tey, which means "poison vine."

In 1907, Punxsutawney and Claysville boroughs were consolidated and incorporated as Greater Punxsutawney. A high-grade soft coal was mined in the surrounding region. Formerly, the factories included glassworks, foundries, ironworks, machine shops, and planing, flour, feed, and silk mills. In 1900, 6,746 people lived there; in 1910, 9,058; in 1920, 10,311; and in 1940, 9,482 people lived there. The population was 5,962 at the 2010 census.

Punxsutawney's most famous resident is Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog said to predict the weather annually on Groundhog Day (February 2). Phil and the town were the basis for the 1993 film Groundhog Day (although nearly all of the film was shot in Woodstock, Illinois). The film actually made the name "Punxsutawney Phil" a national cultural reference in the US.

The T. M. Kurtz House, Jefferson Theater, Christian Miller House, and United States Post Office-Punxsutawney are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

Punxsutawney is located at 40°56′44″N 78°58′31″W / 40.94556°N 78.97528°W / 40.94556; -78.97528 (40.945454, -78.975175), roughly 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and 150 miles southeast of Erie.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all of it land. It is bordered on the north, west, and south by Young Township, and on the east by Bell Township.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 256
1860 415 62.1%
1870 553 33.3%
1880 674 21.9%
1890 2,792 314.2%
1900 4,375 56.7%
1910 9,058 107.0%
1920 10,311 13.8%
1930 9,266 −10.1%
1940 9,482 2.3%
1950 8,969 −5.4%
1960 8,805 −1.8%
1970 7,792 −11.5%
1980 7,479 −4.0%
1990 6,782 −9.3%
2000 6,271 −7.5%
2010 5,962 −4.9%
Sources:

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,962 people, 2,573 households and 1,602 families in the borough. The population density was 1,836.2 people per square mile (708.0/km2). There were 3,042 housing units at an average density of 890.7 per square mile (343.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, <0.1% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 2,749 households, out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.7% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 21.3% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 22.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 80.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.2 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $26,250, and the median income for a family was $33,054. Men had a median income of $28,958 versus $19,076 for women. The per capita income for the borough was $14,802. About 13.3% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.

Education

The Punxsutawney Area School District serves the borough of Punxsutawney and the surrounding area for K-12 education. The district has two secondary buildings (Punxsutawney Area High School & Punxsutawney Area Middle School) and six elementary buildings (Jenks Hill, Bell Township, Longview, Mapleview, Parkview, West End). However, as of the 2018–2019 school year, the six elementary schools have been consolidated, and students in grades K-6 will attend Punxsutawney Area Middle School while students in grades 7-12 will attend Punxsutawney Area High School.

Punxsutawney Christian School and SS. Cosmas & Damian School (SSCD) are two private schools in Punxsutawney.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) maintains a satellite branch in Punxsutawney, including a respected culinary school.

Notable people

  • Britt Baker (b 1991), a professional wrestler currently performing for All Elite Wrestling.
  • Chuck Daly (1930– 2009) was an basketball Hall of Fame head coach for Detroit Pistons.
  • Wilbur Good (1885–1963) was an outfielder for Philadelphia Phillies and other teams in the early 20th century.
  • Bill Hunter, (b 1928) is a retired American shortstop, coach and manager in Major League Baseball.
  • Lloyd Jordan (1900–1990) was head coach at Harvard and was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Devin Mesoraco (b 1988) is a baseball coach and former professional baseball catcher, who is the current catching coach for the Pittsburgh Panthers.
  • John Mizerock (b 1960) is a former Major League Baseball catcher for the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves
  • Cast of the popular series Breaking Amish
  • Wm. C. Anderson (1950 to 2013), as a member of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle, he was known as "His Scribe." Anderson published the books "Groundhog Day 1886 to 1992: A Century of Tradition in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania" and "Groundhog Day, The True Story of Punxsutawney Phil." Anderson also wrote "When Rube Waddell Came To Town" about the early years of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell.
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