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Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Allegheny
Established 1826
Chartered 1842
 • Type Borough
 • Total 0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)
 • Land 0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
 • Total 3,446
 • Estimate 
 • Density 6,926.93/sq mi (2,676.96/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 412, 878
FIPS code 42-69776
Chief Guyasuta Statue, Sharpsburg, PA.
The third incarnation of the Native American Statue located in the heart of the Sharpsburg Central Business District, commonly referenced as Chief Guyasuta.
H J Heinz Memorial Plaza Reliefs, Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania
H. J. Heinz Memorial Plaza
H J Heinz Memorial Plaza Reliefs, Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, 2
Detail of the H. J. Heinz Memorial Plaza
Sharpsburg Water Tower from Allegheny River.
The Sharpsburg Water Tower as viewed from the Allegheny River.

Sharpsburg is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 5 miles (8 km) northeast of downtown Pittsburgh, along the Allegheny River. In 1900, nearly 7,000 people lived here; in 1920, the population peaked at just over 8,900 people. The population was 3,446 at the 2010 census.

In the past, it had a rolling mill, foundries, machine shops, and manufacturers of varnish, brick, glass, lumber products, wire, hair, felt, and lubricating oil. In January 1869, the H. J. Heinz Company was founded in Sharpsburg as Heinz Noble & Company to manufacture and sell bricks.


Sharpsburg is located at 40°29′43″N 79°55′44″W / 40.49528°N 79.92889°W / 40.49528; -79.92889 (40.495368, -79.928991).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), of which 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 26.15%, is water.

Surrounding and adjacent neighborhoods

Sharpsburg is bordered by Etna to the west, Shaler Township and O'Hara Township to the north, and Aspinwall to the east. To the south, across the Allegheny River via the 62nd Street Bridge, are the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Upper Lawrenceville and Morningside.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,229
1860 1,436 16.8%
1870 2,176 51.5%
1880 3,466 59.3%
1890 4,898 41.3%
1900 6,842 39.7%
1910 8,153 19.2%
1920 8,921 9.4%
1930 8,642 −3.1%
1940 8,202 −5.1%
1950 7,296 −11.0%
1960 6,096 −16.4%
1970 5,453 −10.5%
1980 4,351 −20.2%
1990 3,781 −13.1%
2000 3,594 −4.9%
2010 3,446 −4.1%
2019 (est.) 3,318 −3.7%

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,594 people, 1,748 households, and 893 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,393.8 people per square mile (2,831.9/km2). There were 1,911 housing units at an average density of 3,931.4 per square mile (1,505.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 93.74% White, 3.81% African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.11% of the population.

There were 1,748 households, out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.5% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.9% were non-families. Of all households, 42.9% were made up of individuals, and 20.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 20.1% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 22.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.6 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $22,828, and the median income for a family was $30,500. Males had a median income of $27,396 versus $22,238 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,698. About 14.0% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.


Guyasuta and the Seneca Indians

The borough of Sharpsburg is located along the Allegheny River just over 5 miles (8 km) outside of downtown Pittsburgh. Sharpsburg has a rich history dating back to the 18th century when the Seneca Indians settled into the area. One Seneca in particular, Guyasuta, has a special connection to the community.

Guyasuta was a strong warrior and skilled hunter. He was chosen by George Washington to be a hunter guide with his party in 1753. When the two met again in Ohio 17 years later, General Washington greeted him with warmth and affection. In 1758, Guyasuta was involved in a bitter battle at Grant's Hill, where the Allegheny County Courthouse stands today. In the early 1760s, Guyasuta sought peace with the British Army. Guyasuta's peace efforts culminated in a peace treaty, in which the government received a tract of land in what is now western Pennsylvania. James O'Hara, who had purchased a portion of the river land, donated a small portion of it, where Sharpsburg is today, to Guyasuta.

James Sharp and the initial settlement

In 1826, a man named James Sharp rode into this area and purchased 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land, building a log cabin for his wife. Opening the land to settlers, Sharp built a school and church while continuing to donate his land for the growing needs of the community. On December 14, 1841, the borough applied for incorporation, and received its charter March 14, 1842. According to the Sharpsburg town web site,, incorporation was March 26, 1842.


Since its incorporation, Sharpsburg became an industrial town, manufacturing iron, brick and glass while goods were transported through the canal that bisected the borough, along with the Allegheny River. When railroads became the preferred mode of transportation for that time, Sharpsburg continued to thrive as thousands came for the plethora of job opportunities available.

H. J. Heinz Company

One of the most well-known industries that had its beginnings in Sharpsburg was the H. J. Heinz Company. The Heinz glass works in Sharpsburg once manufactured all of the glassware for Heinz products. In 1869, Heinz began creating and bottling his first horseradish in the kitchen of his Sharpsburg residence. This house is the place where it all began. Shortly thereafter, the house became Heinz’s first factory. Although he moved his company down the Allegheny along the North Shore of Pittsburgh, he was very gracious to the people of Sharpsburg until his death, donating gifts to the community that was his family home for many years. One of these included the life-sized statue of Guyasuta that was installed at the intersection of Main and North Canal streets. The statue has twice been hit by automobiles—the first occurrence in 1930 and the second occurrence in 1988. Each incident resulted in the destruction and subsequent replacement of the statue.

A town divided

Less than a century ago, Sharpsburg was divided into two sections because of a railroad track that went through the location where Kennedy Park currently sits. There were two fire departments, one on each side of the tracks. There were two schools on each side of the track as well, one "up street" and one "down street". Once the railroad tracks weren’t used anymore, the railcars sat vacant on the tracks. The Junior Chamber of Commerce in Sharpsburg went to the railroad company as well as the Heinz family to try to change something about this. The Heinz family said they would help build a park if it was used for recreation purposes only. The park was built around the time when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and that is why the area was named Kennedy Park.

Today, Sharpsburg continues to boast pride of its industrial past while looking forward to the opportunities of economic growth within the business district, and its residents enjoy being a part of this unique riverfront community.


St. Mary Church alter during the Christmas Season.
St. Mary Church altar during the Christmas Season
Sharpsburg PA Presby PHS563
The Sharpsburg Presbyterian Church located at 13th and North Canal Streets, now the location of the Northern Area Multi-Service Center.

Located within Sharpsburg are numerous churches and other religious gathering places. Most notably, though, in the borough, is the Catholic community. Three churches, St. Mary Church, Madonna of Jerusalem Church, and St. John Cantius Church, form the Saint Juan Diego Parish. Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh created the parish in 2009, at the behest of the parishioners, who called for the three churches to form one parish. Saint Juan Diego, a Native American from Mexico, was chosen as the name of the parish because of Sharpsburg's ties with Native Americans, specifically Guyasuta and the Senecas.

In addition, Grace Methodist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, First English Lutheran Church, First Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Sharpsburg Family Worship Center call Sharpsburg home. The basement of the Mt. Olive church was the artistic inspiration to urban lyricist Mark D. Lombardi during his 1991 recording sessions of his gold album Locked Half Cocked and Loaded.

Sharpsburg Community Library

In summer 2015, the Sharpsburg Community Library, a branch of the Cooper-Siegel Library, reopened after a one-million dollar renovation funded through state grants and private donations. The renovated library expanded its size and design, in addition to adding to its circulating collection. The reopening was organized by Borough residents, the Sharpsburg council, and donations from various philanthropies. For its design, the Library was awarded a 2015 Certificate of Merit from the American Institute of Architects Pittsburgh chapter.

The Library is also home to the Sharpsburg Community Garden, which features numerous raised beds for residents to grow and nurture vegetable gardens.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald speaks at the reopening of the Sharpsburg Community Library.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald speaks at the reopening of the Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library (6)
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library (5).
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library (4).
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library (2).
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library (3).
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Library (7)
Sharpsburg Community Library.
Sharpsburg Community Garden
Sharpsburg Community Garden
Sharpsburg Community Garden (2)
Sharpsburg Community Garden.



The borough is home to three parks: Heinz Memorial Field, Kennedy Park and a park located at 16th Street and Main. Heinz Memorial Field is home to a hockey rink, two basketball courts and a baseball field. In addition, numerous play sets are located at Heinz Memorial Field for children.

Kennedy Park is located in the center of the borough. It is a large swath of land that is dedicated to the Guyasuta Days Festival, held annually in August. Kennedy Park is outfitted with outdoor facilities, including a kitchen area and seating. Also located at Kennedy Park is one large BasketBall court

The park at 16th and Main is opened in the spring and summer months. There is a water fountain within the park that is used by children in the hot summer months to find an escape. In addition, the park is home to numerous swings, carousels, teeter totter, basketball court, picnic area and other play sets.

Heinz Memorial Field.
Heinz Memorial Field.
Kennedy Park, Borough of Sharpsburg
Kennedy Park, located in the Canal District.
James Sharp Landing.
James Sharp Landing.
Memorial located at Kennedy Park (1).
Memorial celebrating the Bicentennial of American Revolution at Kennedy Park.
Memorial at Kennedy Park (2).
Memorial celebrating the 150th Anniversary of James Sharp settling Sharpsburg.
Memorial at Kennedy Park (4).
Memorial celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Sharpsburgh-Aspinwall Rotary Club (sic).

James Sharp Landing

Sharpsburg is also home to a free-of-charge boat launch. Located at 13th and Main Streets, the James Sharp Landing serves as a spring, summer, and fall escape for all. Built in recent years through the efforts of Borough Council as well as state and federal support, the Landing attracts to Sharpsburg a wide variety of individuals and groups looking to enjoy the outdoors. The Landing is home to a boat launch, a thirty-foot fishing pier, a pavilion, a gazebo, and a kayak launch. Additionally, the Landing also hosts the annual Sharpsburg Fishing Derby, attracting hundreds of anglers looking to capture the grand prize, which has reached $40,000.00 in recent years.

View of the Allegheny River from James Sharp Landing.
View of the Allegheny River from James Sharp Landing.

The Linden Gymnasium/Sharpsburg Recreation Center

The Linden Gymnasium/Sharpsburg Recreation Center originally served as the gymnasium for the local Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA), constructed in the late 1880s through the early 1890s. The Sharpsburg School District later purchased the gym and repurposed it for use by the Sharpsburg High School until the Sharpsburg School District merged with the Fox Chapel Area School District in 1970. The Fox Chapel Area School District sold the building to the Borough in 1982 and it is operated by the Sharpsburg Recreation Committee, who have a lease with the Borough to operate and manage the building. The Linden Gym is home to the Sharpsburg Wolves and Junior Wolves, local club teams, and also host to the annual John "Tip" Veltri Basketball Tournament.

Sharpsburg Recreation Center.
The Linden Gym, home of Sharpsburg Recreation Center.


Sharpsburg is served by the Fox Chapel Area School District. High-school aged students attend the Fox Chapel Area High School, middle-school aged students attend Dorseyville Middle School, and elementary-aged students attend Kerr Elementary School.

In 2017, the Fox Chapel Area School District was ranked the number two school district in the Pittsburgh region and number six in the Commonwealth.

Notable inhabitants

Sharpsburg is the birthplace of or the home to several notable people, including:

Guyasuta, Chief of the Seneca Indians.

James Sharp, early settler and namesake of the Borough.

Henry J. Heinz, founder of the H. J. Heinz Company.

Jacob Covode, banker and financier of the H. J. Heinz Company.

Hon. Frederick H. Collier, U.S. Army Colonel and President Judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Hon. John D. Shafer, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and President Judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Lawrence Saint, stained glass artist.

Don Celender, American conceptual artist and professor.

Robert D. Fleming, Pennsylvania State Senator.

Paul Mazzei, mobster and mastermind behind the 1978–79 Boston College basketball point shaving scandal.

Jim Miller, American football player.

Shane Starr, professional wrestler.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sharpsburg (Pensilvania) para niños

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