Pottsville, Pennsylvania

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Pottsville, Pennsylvania
City
Pottsville skyline
Pottsville skyline
Official seal of Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Seal
Pottsville's location in Schuylkill County
Pottsville's location in Schuylkill County
Pottsville, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Location within Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°41′6″N 76°12′10″W / 40.68500°N 76.20278°W / 40.68500; -76.20278Coordinates: 40°41′6″N 76°12′10″W / 40.68500°N 76.20278°W / 40.68500; -76.20278
CountryUnited States
CommonwealthPennsylvania
CountySchuylkill County
Founded1806
Incorporated as a BoroughFebruary 19, 1828
Chartered as a CityMarch 22, 1911
Government
 • MayorJames T. Muldowney
Area
 • Total4.2 sq mi (10.9 km2)
Elevation659 ft (200.9 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total14,324
 • Density3,410.48/sq mi (1,314.1/km2)
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code17901
Websitewww.city.pottsville.pa.us
 
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Not to be confused with Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
City
Pottsville skyline
Pottsville skyline
Official seal of Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Seal
Pottsville's location in Schuylkill County
Pottsville's location in Schuylkill County
Pottsville, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Location within Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°41′6″N 76°12′10″W / 40.68500°N 76.20278°W / 40.68500; -76.20278Coordinates: 40°41′6″N 76°12′10″W / 40.68500°N 76.20278°W / 40.68500; -76.20278
CountryUnited States
CommonwealthPennsylvania
CountySchuylkill County
Founded1806
Incorporated as a BoroughFebruary 19, 1828
Chartered as a CityMarch 22, 1911
Government
 • MayorJames T. Muldowney
Area
 • Total4.2 sq mi (10.9 km2)
Elevation659 ft (200.9 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total14,324
 • Density3,410.48/sq mi (1,314.1/km2)
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code17901
Websitewww.city.pottsville.pa.us

Pottsville is a city in, and the county seat of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, United States.[1] The population was 14,324 at the 2010 census, and is the principal city of the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies along the west bank of the Schuylkill River, 97 miles (156 km) north-west of Philadelphia. It is located in Pennsylvania's Coal Region, named for the abundance of anthracite coal.

History[edit]

Early settlement[edit]

Charles II granted the land that eventually became Pottsville to William Penn. The grant comprised all lands west and south of the Delaware and the Schuylkill; therefore the site of Pottsville was originally in Chester County. When the legislative Council, on May 10, 1729, enacted the law erecting Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which included all the lands of the Province lying westward of a straight line drawn northeasterly from the headwaters of Octorara Creek (near the southern borders) marked with blazed trees, to the Schuylkill River, then this placed Pottsville in Lancaster County. By enactment of the same Council, approved on March 11, 1752, Berks County was erected; this placed Pottsville within the limits of that county.

Pottsville's anthracite coal history began in 1790 when it was discovered by hunter Necho Allen. Legend has it that Allen fell asleep at the base of the Broad Mountain, and woke to the sight of a large fire; his campfire had ignited an outcropping of coal. By 1795 an anthracite-fired iron furnace was established on the Schuylkill River.[citation needed]

19th century[edit]

View of Pottsville in 1854

In 1806 John Pott purchased the furnace. By an act of Assembly of the Commonwealth approved March 1, 1811, the County of Schuylkill was erected out of portions of Berks and Northampton; this placed the site of Pottsville in Schuylkill County. The town was formally laid out in 1816 by a local surveyor, Henry Donnell. Pottsville was established as a village in Norwegian Township in 1819 and incorporated as a borough on February 19, 1828.

In 1829, D.G. Yuengling & Son established the oldest operated family beer brewery in the United States. In 1851 Pottsville became the county seat, the original county seat being Orwigsburg.[2]

The Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, which has its roots in the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company, the remnants of which were acquired in the late 20th century by the Reading Anthracite Company, acquired extentive coal lands and would become one of the most notable of the coal companies operating in Pennsylvania until the demise of the anthracite industry after World War II.

Because of its location along the Schuylkill River, Pottsville developed a small textile industry. Out of this industry grew the Phillips Van Heusen company which was founded in 1881. Moses Phillips and his wife Endel began sewing shirts by hand and selling them from pushcarts to the local coal miners. Van Heusen and other textile companies left the region starting in the late 1970s, mainly as a result of foreign competition. Another element of the textile industry was the Tilt Silk Mill on Twelfth Street, which produced silk from silk worms imported from China which fed on mulberry trees in the building's solarium. The silk business eventually was eclipsed by the development of nylon stockings. The building still stands and is presently the headquarters of a storage and vehicle rental business.

20th century[edit]

The Patterson Building served as the Pottsville Area High School from 1916 to 1933[3]

During the Prohibition period in the United States, under the 18th Amendment, Yuengling stopped making beer and moved to production of "near beer". The three brews produced in this time were the Yuengling Special (the most popular brand), Yuengling Por-Tor (a version of their "celebrated Pottsville Porter"), and finally, the Yuengling Juvo, which was a cereal beverage. Then-owner Frank Yuengling also opened the Yuengling Dairy, which produced ice cream and other dairy products for the local area. These ventures helped to keep the company afloat during that period.

When the 18th Amendment was repealed, Yuengling stopped production of "near beer" and resumed making alcoholic beverages. The brewery famously sent a truckload of its Winner Beer to the White House in 1933 as thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the repeal of Prohibition. Yuengling still continues its family-owned business today. It is the second largest American-owned brewery, after the Boston Beer Company, producer of Samuel Adams beer. The Yuengling Dairy was operated by a different branch of the family from the Brewery. Business declined and the dairy folded as of 1985. Attempted buyouts by large conglomerate breweries have all been unsuccessful.

Pottsville was chartered as a third-class city on March 22, 1911.

Pottsville was host to a National Football League (NFL) franchise from 1925-1928. The Pottsville Maroons played in Sportsman's Park (or Minersville Park) in nearby Minersville, now the site of King's Village shopping plaza. The Maroons posted some of the best records in the NFL during the 1925 and 1926 seasons. The Maroons had a claim to the 1925 NFL championship, but because of a controversial decision by NFL President Joe Carr, the title was instead awarded to the Chicago Cardinals. The Maroons suffered two more losing seasons before relocating to Boston and becoming the Boston Bulldogs. The Bulldogs folded in 1929.

Until the middle of the 20th century, Pottsville was a popular destination for many traveling acts and vaudeville performers. The 1929 film Berth Marks stars the comedy legends Laurel and Hardy as they attempt to reach Pottsville by train for one of their booked performances. Pearl Bailey had once resided in Pottsville during the early part of her entertaining career. Soldiers in training at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap were prohibited from visiting Pottsville during most of World War II due to the large amounts of illicit venues and activities present during the time.

In August 1997, the Pottsville Railway Park Little League all star team, managed by 42-year veteran Irv Schappell, made an impressive run to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania by representing the U.S. East Region. The team glided through the Pennsylvania District 24 Tournament including defeating their cross-town rival Pottsville Rotary Little League 19-0. Following the District 24 Tournament Railway Park continued its impressive run through the PA Section 3 Tournament beating every team they played. Moving on to the Pennsylvania State Tournament which was held in Carbondale, PA; they suffered their first loss of the tournament to Berwyn-Paoli Little League only to bounce back the next night to win the State Crown which earned them a berth in the U.S. Eastern Region Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. Defeating Connecticut twice, as well as teams from Rhode Island, Maine, and New Jersey they played their final game before the Series against California-Hollywood, Maryland, defeating them 2-1 in a LIVE-televised game on ESPN2. Finally, in Williamsport for the World Series they defeated Dyer, Indiana 1-0 in an extra inning game. The following evening they played Bradenton, Florida at Lamade Stadium before the largest crowd ever to watch a Non-championship game. The crowd was estimated at more than 35,000. Although they lost the game they played their final game against Mission Viejo, Southern California, losing to that team 3-1; one game shy of the United States Championship Game. The team returned home to a city-wide party and more than 200 fire trucks welcomed them back to town.[citation needed]

21st century[edit]

Today Pottsville is on the verge of revitalizing the downtown area. The city completed in 2007 a streetscaping project on Centre Street. In addition, the city plans on using the funds from the Elm Street project to revitalize Nichols Street. The city also is working on bringing the railroad back into center city for tourist excursions. In June 2011, the City of Pottsville became the county's transportation hub for STS (Schuylkill Transportation System) bus service throughout the county with the $16.1 million Union Station Intermodal Transit Center at 300 S. Centre Street.[4] It will also accommodate Trailways and Greyhound bus services. Union Station plans to eventually incorporate a train station in the current Union Street Parking Lot.

Pottsville is also the home to the Great Pottsville Cruise which is held on the second Saturday of August each year. The Great American Way Fair is also held annually in early May. Each New Year's Eve the city sponsors the raising of the Yuengling Bottle to the top of the flagpole at Garfield Square to ring in the new year.

The Pottsville Downtown Historic District, Cloud Home, John O'Hara House, Burd Patterson House, Pottsville Armory, D.G. Yuengling and Son Brewing Complex, and Frank D. Yuengling Mansion are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

Geography[edit]

Topography[edit]

Pottsville is located at 40°41′06″N 76°12′10″W / 40.685058°N 76.202747°W / 40.685058; -76.202747 (40.685058, -76.202747).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.20 square miles (10.9 km2).It is all land; none of the area is covered in water. Although there are no lakes within the city there are several water courses which flow through the city. The Schuylkill River flows through the extreme southern part of the city near Mount Carbon. The West Branch of the Schuylkill River makes up the western border for the city. Within the city itself the West Branch of Norwegian Creek flows through the Fishbach section of the city and the East Branch of Norwegian Creek flows through the Jalappa section of the city. Joining together near Progress Avenue and Terry Reiley Way they form Norwegian Creek which flows underground through the heart of the city. The creek empties into the Schuylkill River at Mauch Chunk Street.

Pottsville is said to rest on seven hills, like ancient Rome. These seven hills are Lawton's Hill, Greenwood Hill, Bunker Hill (Sharp Mountain), Guinea Hill, Forest Hills, Cottage Hill and Mount Hope.

Climate[edit]

Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
3.5
 
36
18
 
 
2.6
 
40
20
 
 
3.5
 
49
29
 
 
3.6
 
61
39
 
 
4.8
 
72
49
 
 
4.7
 
80
58
 
 
4.6
 
84
63
 
 
3.6
 
83
61
 
 
4.6
 
75
53
 
 
3.6
 
63
40
 
 
4
 
52
33
 
 
3.6
 
40
24
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: Weather Channel

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
18302,464
18404,34576.3%
18507,51573.0%
18609,44425.7%
187012,38431.1%
188013,2537.0%
189014,1176.5%
190015,71011.3%
191020,23628.8%
192021,8768.1%
193024,30011.1%
194024,5300.9%
195023,640−3.6%
196021,659−8.4%
197019,715−9.0%
198018,195−7.7%
199016,603−8.7%
200015,549−6.3%
201014,324−7.9%
Est. 201214,129−1.4%
Sources:[7][8][9]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 15,549 people, 6,399 households, and 3,877 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,697.4 people per square mile (1,426.0/km2). There were 7,343 housing units at an average density of 1,746.1 per square mile (673.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.73% White, 2.26% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.22% of the population.

There are 6,399 households, out of which 27.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,137, and the median income for a family was $41,124. Males had a median income of $31,510 versus $21,433 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,165. About 10.1% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.

Cityscape[edit]

Neighborhoods[edit]

Parks and recreation areas[edit]

Suburbs (Greater Pottsville Area)[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

The City of Pottsville has many points of interest, including:

Sports[edit]

Pottsville fielded a team in the National Football League between 1925 and 1929 called the Pottsville Maroons. There is considerable controversy over whether the Maroons should have been awarded the 1925 NFL Championship instead of the Chicago Cardinals, whom they beat on the field.

Pottsville also has two Little Leagues associated with Little League Baseball: Pottsville (Rotary) Little League, and Railway Park Little League. Railway Park was the U.S. Eastern Regional representative in the 1997 Little League World Series.

The Pottsville Crimson Tide football team is one of the oldest prep football programs in the country. At the end of the 2007 football season, Pottsville had played 1137 games, which tied them for first in the nation among prep games played .

Pottsville also hosted a home game for the New York Giants.

Fire Department[edit]

Pottsville's Fire Department is mostly volunteer. The only non-volunteer positions are the fire chief and four assistant chiefs.

The following is a list of fire companies in the city.

Media[edit]

The Republican & Herald is the only local daily newspaper serving Pottsville. There are also three radio stations broadcasting from Pottsville.

The following is a list of other radio stations which can be heard in the Pottsville area: FM

AM

The area is also served by local television stations from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. They include WNEP-TV 16 (ABC), WYOU-TV 22 (CBS), WBRE-TV 28 (NBC), WVIA-TV 44 (PBS) and WOLF-TV 56 (FOX).

Communications[edit]

Dial telephone service came to Pottsville on August 30, 1956 with Mayor George Heffner making the first call on the new MArket 2 exchange, which still exists. Since then five exchanges have been added to serve the city.

Transportation[edit]

Pottsville is served by a small general aviation airport, Schuylkill County Airport (ZER). Intercity public bus service is provided by a Trailways bus terminal, located in downtown Pottsville. The terminal also serves the community with Greyhound as well. The Trailways bus terminal will eventually be replaced by an intermodal center being built downtown.[10] Mass transit for the greater Pottsville area is provided by Schuylkill Transportation System, which operates inter-city bus services throughout the county. Two major highways converge on Pottsville, PA Route 61 and U.S. Route 209.

Passenger train service between Pottsville, Reading and Philadelphia[11] was operated by Conrail under the auspices of SEPTA until July 29, 1981. The station site has since been demolished and replaced with a parking lot.

Healthcare[edit]

Schuylkill Regional Medical Center is a non-profit affiliation between two community hospitals formerly known as Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and The Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic, both of which are located in Pottsville. On August 1, 2008, Schuylkill Health became the new parent organization for both facilities and their related health systems.[12] The medical center is designated a Level III Trauma center by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation.[13]

Street grid[edit]

Norwegian Street divides north and south in the city; Centre Street divides east and west. Since the city is built on steep hills, the street layout is more complex.

Notable people[edit]

Public and private education[edit]

The Pottsville Area High School in 1932 after completion on the current site

Colleges and universities[edit]

Churches[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ DC Henning, Esq., Early Annals of Pottsville, September 28, 1906.
  3. ^ Pottsville High School Centennial: 1853-1953, page 8
  4. ^ Pytak, Stephen J. 'Union Station, Kohl's among business spurs in 2011.' The Pottsville Republican and Evening Herald. http://republicanherald.com/news/union-station-kohl-s-among-business-spurs-in-2011-1.1251565 Accessed January 30, 2012
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ http://republicanherald.com/news/virtual-tour-of-future-pottsville-intermodal-center-available-online-1.702857
  11. ^ http://fp.users.fast.net/jprock/conrail_passenger_trains.htm
  12. ^ About Schuylkill Health System Schuylkill Regional Medical Center, accessed February 4, 2010.
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Trauma Centers Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, accessed February 4, 2010.

External links[edit]