Ashland, Pennsylvania

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There is also an Ashland Township in Clarion County.
Ashland, Pennsylvania
View east on Centre Street (PA 54/61)
View east on Centre Street (PA 54/61)
Ashland is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°46′54″N 76°20′40″W / 40.78167°N 76.34444°W / 40.78167; -76.34444Coordinates: 40°46′54″N 76°20′40″W / 40.78167°N 76.34444°W / 40.78167; -76.34444
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Counties Schuylkill / Columbia
Settled 1820
Laid out 1847
Incorporated 1857
 • Type Borough Council
 • Mayor Dennis Kane
 • Total 1.7 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 • Land 1.7 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 980 ft (300 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,817
 • Density 1,699/sq mi (656.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 17921
Area code(s) 570 Exchange: 875

Ashland is a borough in Schuylkill County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Pottsville. A small part of the borough also lies in Columbia County, although all of the population resided in the Schuylkill County portion as of the 2010 census. The borough lies in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. Settled in 1850, Ashland was incorporated in 1857, and was named for Henry Clay's estate near Lexington, Kentucky. The population in 1900 was 6,438, and in 1940, 7,045, but had dropped to 2,817 at the 2010 census.[1]

Ashland is part of the Pottsville Micropolitan Statistical Area.

It is the location of Pioneer Tunnel, a tourist attraction featuring a tour of a coal mine on mine cars and a separate 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge[2] steam train ride.[3]


For a long time after the southern part of Pennsylvania was settled, the area that is now Ashland was mostly wilderness except for a hotel that was in the area in 1820. Despite this, a prominent citizen of the county, Burd S. Patterson, predicted that the area would eventually become a prominent mining town. In 1845, John P. Brock and James Hart joined Patterson in buying 800 acres (320 ha) of land in the Ashland area. In 1846, a group of miners lead by Patrick Devine developed coal seams in veins in the area. However, the town progressed little over the next three years. By 1857, though, the town had 3,500 people, and Ashland became a borough, detaching itself from Butler Township. The first post office was built in 1853, and the first church was built in 1855.[4]

In 1938, a statue based on the famous painting Whistler's Mother was erected in the town as a tribute to local mothers.[5]

Pennsylvania Route 61 takes an unexplained detour just north of Ashland, where a "Keep Out" sign straddles the original highway that used to lead to the abandoned town of Centralia, where an underground mine fire has been burning since 1962.


The former First Presbyterian Church, now known as the Methodist Presbyterian Church

Ashland is located along the northern boundary of Schuylkill County at 40°46′54″N 76°20′40″W / 40.78167°N 76.34444°W / 40.78167; -76.34444 (40.781587, -76.344426).[6] A small portion of the borough, comprising less than 1% of its area, extends north into Columbia County. Butler Township of Schuylkill County borders Ashland to the east, south, and west, while Conyngham Township of Columbia County borders the borough to the north. According to the United States Census Bureau, Ashland has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.3 km2), all land.[1]

Ashland is served by Pennsylvania Route 54 and Pennsylvania Route 61. PA 54 leads east-northeast 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to Girardville and 9 miles (14 km) to Shenandoah, and northwest 16 miles (26 km) to Elysburg. PA 61 leads north 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to Centralia and then west 4 miles (6 km) farther to Mount Carmel, and east 7 miles (11 km) to Frackville. The two highways share Centre Street, the main street through Ashland.

The majority of Ashland is forest, with an urban area in the center. Most of the borough's terrain is steep hills, but the hills are gentler near the center. The southern border of the borough follows the top of Ashland Mountain, which rises 400 to 600 feet (120 to 180 m) above the center of town, except where Mahanoy Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, passes through a water gap in the mountain in the southeast part of the borough.[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 3,880
1870 5,714 47.3%
1880 6,052 5.9%
1890 7,346 21.4%
1900 6,438 −12.4%
1910 6,855 6.5%
1920 6,686 −2.5%
1930 7,164 7.1%
1940 7,045 −1.7%
1950 6,192 −12.1%
1960 5,237 −15.4%
1970 4,737 −9.5%
1980 4,235 −10.6%
1990 3,859 −8.9%
2000 3,283 −14.9%
2010 2,817 −14.2%
Est. 2012 2,787 −1.1%

As of the census of 2000,[10] there were 3,283 people, 1,437 households, and 863 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,886 people per square mile (728.5/km²). There were 1,724 housing units at an average density of 990.4 per square mile (382.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.39% White, 0.21% African American, 0.09% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.09% of the population.

There were 1,437 households out of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the borough the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $27,234, and the median income for a family was $34,688. Males had a median income of $30,500 versus $20,920 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,036. About 11.1% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.


All residents of Ashland attend North Schuylkill School District, located at 1 Academy Lane in the borough. This district includes one elementary school building (K-6) and one upper campus high school (7-12).

Notable people[edit]


External links[edit]