Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Schuylkill County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 1, 1811|
|Named for||Schuylkill River|
|• Total||783 sq mi (2,030 km2)|
|• Land||779 sq mi (2,020 km2)|
|• Water||4.2 sq mi (11 km2) 0.5%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||186/sq mi (72/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Schuylkill County (pronounced locally) is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 148,289. The county seat is Pottsville. The county was created on March 1, 1811, from parts of Berks, Northampton, and Northumberland counties and named for the Schuylkill River.
Schuylkill County comprises the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the heart of the anthracite Coal Region of Eastern Pennsylvania.
In the year 1754, the area that would become Schuylkill County was settled by Germans, as were areas that are now part of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lehigh counties. The earliest settlers in southeastern Schuylkill County, which was then part of Northampton County, were primarily Moravian missionaries from Saxony. Other early settlers in southern Schuylkill County were German Palatines. An early mill in the county was built in 1744 by John Finscher, but it later burned down. The first log church in the county was built in 1755. Native American massacres were commonplace in Schuylkill County between 1755 and 1765. Warrant for tracts of land in the vicinity of McKeansburg were in existence as early as 1750.
Schuylkill County was created via an Act of Assembly on March 1, 1811, from portions of Berks, Lancaster, and Northampton counties. More land was added to the county in 1818, from Columbia and Lehigh counties. An early book of Schuylkill County history was written by Daniel Deibert in 1802.
McKeansburg was the first community in Schuylkill County to be laid out. Initial construction of the community was done in 1803, and the community was expanded in 1809. During the early years of Schuylkill County, there was an attempt to make McKeansburg the county seat of the new county. The community of Orwigsburg was also a contender for the county seat. Orwigsburg was agreed upon to be the county seat, as it was deemed to be well-suited for industries.
The Reading and Pennsylvania railroads: In the early 19th century southern Schuylkill County was served by the Union Canal out of Pine Grove Township with connections west, and the Schuylkill Canal southward from Port Carbon. Coal mined by Lehigh Coal and Navigation in the Tamaqua and Coaldale areas was often shipped down the Lehigh Canal from Jim Thorpe in neighboring Carbon County. To the north, Broad Mountain was a natural barrier to navigation. Other means would be required to transport coal out of the rich basin of the Mahanoy Valley. Numerous railroads were begun north of the headwaters of the Schuylkill Canal.
Through the 1830s and 1840s, short railroads sprouted up at numerous areas in the county. Of prime importance was the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven, which served the Schuylkill Canal. Chartered in 1831, tracks were laid from the "flats" in Schuylkill Haven along the river through Cressona and Minersville to Tremont. The railroad eventually reached Ashland and Locust Gap via the Gordon Planes.
Construction beginning in 1829, the Little Schuylkill Railroad ran from Port Clinton northward to Mahanoy Junction above Tamaqua. It would become the keystone of the Philadelphia and Reading system, serving as a gauntlet for its eastern and western branches. Connecting with it were four important lines. The 146 mile (235 km) Catawissa Railroad operated from Mahanoy Junction to West Milton, providing access to the Mahanoy region by joining the northern terminus of the Little Schuylkill with connections to New York City and Scranton. At Port Clinton, it connected with the P&R's main line from Mount Carbon. Its most important connection would be with the Mahanoy and Broad Mountain Railway via Mahanoy Tunnel and East Mahanoy Railroad.
There was once over 1,000 miles (1600 km) of railroad track in Schuylkill County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 783 square miles (2,030 km2), of which 779 square miles (2,020 km2) is land and 4.2 square miles (11 km2) (0.5%) is water.
The Schuylkill River headwaters are found in the county, starting in the Appalachian Mountains, and flows through many towns and the city of Reading, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia where it flows into the Delaware River. The Schuylkill drains the majority of the county while some western and northern areas of the county are drained by the Susquehanna River. The Swatara Creek, Wiconisco Creek, Mahantango Creek, Mahanoy Creek, and Catawissa Creek all start in Schuylkill County and are tributaries of the Susquehanna. Areas of the eastern portion of the county drain into the Lehigh River via the Quakake Creek, Nesquehoning Creek, Mahoning Creek, and Lizard Creek, all of which also start in the county. To the south, southern Schuylkill county is home to Blue Mountain and the Appalachian Trail. Broad Mountain crosses the county from northeast to southwest.
Schuylkill County is located in northeastern Pennsylvania's Coal Region. It is located just north of the Lehigh Valley and Reading metropolitan areas. Portions of eastern Schuylkill County around Tamaqua are located in the Pocono Mountains. As a result, like other portions of the Poconos, eastern Schuylkill has experienced an influx of people from New York City and New Jersey who commute into Manhattan each day. The commute can take up to two hours each way due to distance and traffic. Far western areas of the county are located near Harrisburg and are sometimes considered to be located in South Central Pennsylvania.
- Luzerne County (north)
- Carbon County (northeast)
- Lehigh County (southeast)
- Berks County (south)
- Lebanon County (southwest)
- Dauphin County (southwest)
- Northumberland County (northwest)
- Columbia County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2000, there were 150,336 people, 60,530 households, and 40,131 families residing in the county. The population density was 193 people per square mile (75/km²). There were 67,806 housing units at an average density of 87 per square mile (34/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.62% White, 0.08% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, 2.09% African American, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population. 29.0% were of German, 14.1% Irish, 9.7% Polish, 7.5% Italian, 5.6% American and 5.1% Lithuanian ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.7% spoke English and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.
Micropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Schuylkill County as the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA). As of the 2010 U.S. Census the micropolitan area ranked the number 1 most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 5th most populous in the United States with a population of 148,289.
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Schuylkill County:
- Pottsville (county seat)
- Ashland (partly in Columbia County)
- Deer Lake
- Mahanoy City
- Mount Carbon
- New Philadelphia
- New Ringgold
- Palo Alto
- Pine Grove
- Port Carbon
- Port Clinton
- Schuylkill Haven
- St. Clair
- Tower City
- East Brunswick
- East Norwegian
- East Union
- New Castle
- North Manheim
- North Union
- Pine Grove
- South Manheim
- Upper Mahantongo
- West Brunswick
- West Mahanoy
- West Penn
- Beurys Lake
- Buck Run
- Fountain Springs
- Grier City
- Lake Wynonah
- Park Crest
- Shenandoah Heights
- Summit Station
- Valley View
- Boston Run
- Glen Carbon
- Mahoning Valley
- Mary D
- Owl Creek
- Rough and Ready
- South Tamaqua
- Still Creek
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Schuylkill County.
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|10||Ashland (partially in Columbia County)||Borough||2,817|
|45||Nuremberg (partially in Luzerne County)||CDP||434|
|62||Locustdale (partially in Columbia County)||CDP||177|
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