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Sullivan County
Sullivan County Courthouse
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Sullivan County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Pennsylvania
Founded March 15, 1847
Named for Charles C. Sullivan
Seat Laporte
Largest borough Dushore
 • Total 452 sq mi (1,170 km2)
 • Land 450 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Water 2.6 sq mi (7 km2)  0.6%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 14/sq mi (5/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 12th

Sullivan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,428, making it the second-least populous county in Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Laporte. The county was created on March 15, 1847, from part of Lycoming County and named for Charles C. Sullivan, leader of the Pennsylvania Senate at that time.


The land which became Sullivan County was originally purchased from the Iroquois by the Province of Pennsylvania in 1768, as part of the first Treaty of Fort Stanwix. It was then part of Northumberland County, then became part of Lycoming County when it was formed in 1795. Sullivan County itself was formed from the northeastern part of Lycoming County on March 15, 1847. It was the thirteenth and last county formed at least partly from Lycoming County (and the fifth entirely formed from it).

According to the official state publication Pennsylvania Local Government, Sullivan County was named for Pennsylvania state senator Charles C. Sullivan, who "took an active part in procuring passage of the bill" establishing the county. However, according to Frederic A. Godcharles (1933), the county is named for General John Sullivan, who led the Sullivan Expedition against the Iroquois in 1779.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 452 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Elevation ranges from 2593 ft at North Mountain in Davidson Township to 779 ft on Loyalsock Creek at the Lycoming County line. The county is served by Pennsylvania Route 87, Pennsylvania Route 487, and U.S. Route 220. The major rivers in the county are Loyalsock Creek, Little Loyalsock Creek, Muncy Creek, and Fishing Creek. The majority of the land in Sullivan County is forest, but there is some farmland, especially in the northern part of the county. There are numerous river valleys in the southern and western parts of Sullivan County.

Adjacent counties


Sullivan County lies predominantly within the Appalachian Plateau physiographic province, which is characterized by gently folded and faulted sedimentary rocks of middle to late Paleozoic age. The southern border of the county is approximately at the Allegheny Front, a geological boundary between the Ridge and Valley province and the plateau. (PA Geologic Survey Map 13). The mountains within the county are part of the Endless Mountains.

The stratigraphic record of sedimentary rocks within the county spans from the Devonian Lock Haven Formation (exposed only in Lick Creek valley) to the coal-bearing Pennsylvanian Allegheny Formation. Generally, the Catskill Formation underlies most of the lowlands, and sandstones of the Huntley Mountain, Burgoon, Mauch Chunk, or Pottsville Formations cap the mountains. No igneous or metamorphic rocks exist within the county, other than possible glacial erratics.

Structurally, the bedrock of Sullivan County is gently folded, with the axes of two major anticlines (including the Wilmot Anticline) and two major synclines (Bernice-Mehoopany Syncline and Noxen Syncline) each trending roughly east-west. There are three mapped faults in the Allegheny Formation between the towns of Murray and Ringdale.

Nearly all of Sullivan County was glaciated several times in the past, during the Pleistocene epoch, or "Ice Age." (PA Geologic Survey Map 59). Most of the county is covered by glacial till of Late Wisconsinan age. Late Illinoian Stage deposits may underlie the Late Wisconsinan deposits, and these are exposed in the south central part of the county (roughly western Davidson Township).

The major rivers in Sullivan County are Loyalsock Creek and Muncy Creek. Both flow into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Some streams along the eastern border of the county flow into the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. All of Sullivan county is thus within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Several small coal fields exist within Sullivan County. The fields contain either bituminous coal or semi-anthracite, and all occur within Pennsylvanian strata.

Haystacks1 Loyalsock Creek Sullivan Co PA
The Haystacks in Loyalsock Creek

Notable geologic features within Sullivan County include some of the following:

Ticklish Rock
Ticklish Rock, at ground level


Name Height
Huckleberry Mountain 2,496 ft. (762 meters)
Roundtop 2,484 ft. (758 meters)
Prospect Hill 2,140 ft. (653 meters)
Tomkins Corners Vista 2,110 ft. (644 meters)
High Knob 2,025 ft. (618 meters)
Bear Mountain 1,995 ft. (609 meters)
Lovers Rock 1,995 ft. (609 meters)
Gooseberry Hill 1,940 ft. (592 meters)
Middle Hill 1,927 ft. (588 meters)
Camp Mountain 1,920 ft. (586 meters)
Hogback Hill 1,923 ft. (587 meters)
Pole Hill 1,917 ft. (585 meters)
Big Hill 1,897 ft. (579 meters)
Browns Vista 1,819 ft. (554 meters)
Lambert Hill 1,743 (532 meters)
Warburton Hill 1,743 ft. (532 meters)
Molyneux Hill 1,740 ft. (531 meters)
Wright Hill 1,717 ft. (524 meters)
Shrimp Hill 1,661 ft. (507 meters)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,694
1860 5,637 52.6%
1870 6,191 9.8%
1880 8,073 30.4%
1890 11,620 43.9%
1900 12,134 4.4%
1910 11,293 −6.9%
1920 9,520 −15.7%
1930 7,499 −21.2%
1940 7,504 0.1%
1950 6,745 −10.1%
1960 6,251 −7.3%
1970 5,961 −4.6%
1980 6,349 6.5%
1990 6,104 −3.9%
2000 6,556 7.4%
2010 6,428 −2.0%
2020 5,840 −9.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2017 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,556 people, 2,660 households, and 1,752 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 6,017 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.58% White, 2.20% Black or African American, 0.76% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.46% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.8% were of German, 14.7% Irish, 9.5% English, 7.5% American, 5.9% Polish and 5.6% Italian ancestry.

There were 2,660 households, out of which 24.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.70% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.10% were non-families. 29.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.80% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 24.10% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 21.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 102.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.40 males.


Public transportation is provided by BeST Transit.

Sullivan County is one of only two counties in Pennsylvania with no known active railroad lines of any kind, the other being Fulton County. However, several narrow-gauge logging railroads once served Sullivan County.

Major roads

  • US 220
  • PA 42
  • PA 87
  • PA 154
  • PA 487
  • PA 564


Loyalsock State Forest
Loyalsock State Forest in Hillsgrove Township

There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Sullivan County.

There are several festivities held in the county each year. Dushore Founder's Day- Held in August. Activities such as Outhouse Races, Roll-a-Keg Races, Arts and Crafts, and vendors. Dushore Dairy Parade- Held in Mid-June. Activities such as Milking a Cow. Laporte Fireman's Carnival- Held in August. Carnival rides and games. Sullivan County Fair- Held in Late August and Early September. Carnival rides and games, exhibitions, competitions, Demolition Derby, and vendors.

Sullivan County is also home to a large, private hunting club, Painter Den, Inc. This vast property is situated in Davidson, Laporte and Colley townships. Painter Den pond is also on the property and is stocked with Perch and Pike.


Map of Sullivan County Pennsylvania with Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red) and Townships (white).

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 Sullivan County:



  • Cherry Township
  • Colley Township
  • Davidson Township
  • Elkland Township
  • Forks Township
  • Fox Township
  • Hillsgrove Township
  • Laporte Township
  • Shrewsbury Township

Unincorporated communities

  • Bedford Corners
  • Beech Glen
  • Bernice
  • Bethel
  • Campbellville
  • Cherry Mills
  • Colley
  • Coveytown
  • Eagles Mere Park
  • Eldredsville
  • Elk Grove (partly in Columbia County)
  • Elkland Meeting House
  • Emmons
  • Estella
  • Foley Corner
  • Hemlock Grove
  • Hillsgrove
  • Hugos Corner
  • Kinsley Corners
  • Lincoln Falls
  • Long Brook
  • Lopez
  • Maple Summit
  • McCaroll Corner
  • Mildred
  • Millview
  • Muncy Valley
  • Murray
  • Nordmont
  • Ogdonia
  • Ricketts
  • Ringdale
  • Satterfield
  • Shinerville
  • Shunk
  • Sonestown
  • Summit
  • Tompkins Corners
  • Wheelerville
  • Wissingers

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Sullivan County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Dushore Borough 608
2 Laporte Borough 316
3 Forksville Borough 145
4 Eagles Mere Borough 120


Public school districts

  • Sullivan County School District

Sullivan County School District has one high school, grades 7-12, and one elementary school, grades K-6. Sullivan County High School is located in Laporte. Sullivan County Elementary School is located just behind the high school.

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