Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

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Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
—  Borough  —
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°49′11″N 76°12′10″W / 40.81972°N 76.20278°W / 40.81972; -76.20278Coordinates: 40°49′11″N 76°12′10″W / 40.81972°N 76.20278°W / 40.81972; -76.20278
CountryUnited States
StatePennsylvania
CountySchuylkill
Settled1820
Incorporated1866
Government
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorMichael Whitecavage
Area
 • Total1.6 sq mi (4 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total5,071
 • Density3,169.4/sq mi (1,223.7/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code17976
Area code(s)570 Exchange: 462
 
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Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
—  Borough  —
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°49′11″N 76°12′10″W / 40.81972°N 76.20278°W / 40.81972; -76.20278Coordinates: 40°49′11″N 76°12′10″W / 40.81972°N 76.20278°W / 40.81972; -76.20278
CountryUnited States
StatePennsylvania
CountySchuylkill
Settled1820
Incorporated1866
Government
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorMichael Whitecavage
Area
 • Total1.6 sq mi (4 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total5,071
 • Density3,169.4/sq mi (1,223.7/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code17976
Area code(s)570 Exchange: 462

Shenandoah is a small town located in the lower part of the anthracite Coal Region, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. It is 105 miles (169 km) northwest of Philadelphia. The Greater Shenandoah area includes Shenandoah Heights, which is part of West Mahanoy Township and is located just north of Shenandoah.

Contents

History

The area that became Shenandoah was first settled by a farmer named Peter Kehley in 1835. He sold his claim to the Philadelphia Land Company, which in anticipation of the opening of coal mines in the area, laid out the town in 1862.[1]

Booming growth occurred during the Civil War years caused by the development and opening of several anthracite coal mines.[citation needed] The area was incorporated as a borough in 1866 [1] and was a famous hotbed of activity during the era of the Molly Maguires in the 1870s.[citation needed]

After the original influx of English, Welsh, Irish, and German immigrants a large influx of peoples from the eastern and southern European countries occurred in the decades before and after the turn of the 20th century.[citation needed] By 1920, the town had a population of nearly 30,000 residents.[citation needed] The community was hard hit by the decline of the anthracite coal industry after World War II and heavy emigration by coal miners occurred in order to find work elsewhere.[citation needed]

1889 Panoramic Map of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

In Schuylkill County Court, January 1902, those interested filed their petition for retail, wholesale, bottling or brewing licenses at the Office of the Clerk of the Court. Shenandoah was represented with bars and breweries. This coal town offered more bars per thousand people than any other location in the world.[citation needed]

The Lehigh Valley Railroad Station served as the main passenger terminal in Shenandoah, but because of the coal industry, it was not the only railroad to service Shenandoah. The town was also served by the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Railroad, making Shenandoah the only borough in Pennsylvania to be served by three railroad companies.[citation needed]

During the Great Coal Strike of 1902 the Pennsylvania National Guard was called into Shenandoah to keep the peace and curb rioting by angry miners.[citation needed] The strike would only be resolved after President Theodore Roosevelt intervened.

Origins of the name

The origin of the name Shenandoah is much debated. One theory holds that Shenandoah received its name from an Indian word meaning "sprucy stream" or "river flowing alongside high hills and mountains." Another origin theory is that the town was named after the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The Virginia valley in turn took its name from the Indian word meaning "daughter of the skies." [2]

Geography

Shenandoah is located at 40°49′11″N 76°12′10″W / 40.81972°N 76.20278°W / 40.81972; -76.20278 (40.819753, -76.202883)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), of which 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (3.80%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 5,624 people, 2,649 households, and 1,380 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,710.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,432.7 /km2)). There were 3,339 housing units at an average density of 2,203.1 per square mile (850.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.40% White, 0.34% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.76% of the population.

Historical populations
CensusPop.
190020,321
191025,77426.8%
192024,726−4.1%
193021,782−11.9%
194019,790−9.1%
195015,704−20.6%
196011,073−29.5%
19708,287−25.2%
19807,589−8.4%
19906,221−18.0%
20005,624−9.6%
20105,071−9.8%

There were 2,649 households out of which 20.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.5% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.9% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 26.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the borough the population was spread out with 19.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 28.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $18,714, and the median income for a family was $26,910. Males had a median income of $24,289 versus $19,783 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $12,562. About 16.2% of families and 20.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.3% of those under age 18 and 16.1% of those age 65 or over.

1939 Time Magazine article

"Huddled in a fold in the Pennsylvania hills, with bulbous Greek Catholic church domes rising over wooden houses, this once-prosperous anthracite town is rusty, dingy, mournful, too melodramatic to be desolate. The Shenandoah City Colliery, its windows broken, its stacks smokeless, is a wild ruin; Stief's Cut Rate Drug and Quick Lunch occupies the banking room of the defunct Shenandoah Trust Co. But once John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers, rode triumphantly up Main Street. Joseph Beddal was killed during the strike of 1902 trying to smuggle arms to strikebreakers besieged in the Reading station. In Muff Lawler's saloon on Coal Street, a young detective named McParlan, hired by President Gowen of the Reading, joined the Molly McGuires, later gave testimony that sent ten Mollies to their death. When Gowen committed suicide 13 years later, Shenandoah miners said it was remorse."[5]

Notable people

Churches

St Michael Greek Catholic Church (Ruthenian Catholic Church) was first of that denomination in the United States. On November 21, 1886, the church was dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. The new parish was started four years earlier when a group of seventy Galician and Subcarpathian Ruthenian families gathered together and agreed to petition the Ruthenian Catholic Metropolitan of Galicia.[citation needed]

St. George Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church is the oldest Lithuanian parish in the United States.[6] The Lithuanian parish was established in 1872, and the church was built in 1891.[7] The church was demolished in 2010 by the decision of Diocese of Allentown and against the wishes of parishioners.[8]

St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church is listed as the oldest Polish parish in the Eastern United States.

See also

References

External links