Birdsboro, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 40°15′47″N 75°48′28″W / 40.26306°N 75.80778°W / 40.26306; -75.80778
Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
Borough
Birdsboro, Berks County, Pa. 1890..jpg
Birdsboro in 1890
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Berks
Elevation 207 ft (63.1 m)
Coordinates 40°15′47″N 75°48′28″W / 40.26306°N 75.80778°W / 40.26306; -75.80778
Area 3.54 km2 (1.4 sq mi)
 - land 3.46 km2 (1 sq mi)
 - water 0.08 km2 (0 sq mi)
Population 5,163 (2010)
Density 1,494.2 / km2 (3,870 / sq mi)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 19508
Area code 610 Exchanges: 404,582
Location of Birdsboro in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: www.birdsboropa.org

Birdsboro is a borough along the Schuylkill River in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States, 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Reading. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 5,163.[1] In the past, Birdsboro was noted for its large foundries and machine shops, none of which remain in operation today.

History[edit]

The Birdsboro Corporation (formerly Birdsboro Steel Corporation) steel plant closed in 1988.

Birdsboro was named for ironmaker William Bird, who established a forge on Hay Creek about 1740. His son Marcus founded Hopewell Furnace in 1771, which was the largest domestic producer of iron by the time of the American Revolution. The Schuylkill Canal, running parallel to the river, was completed in 1827. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, constructed to haul anthracite coal, was completed in 1843. Edward and George Brooke, descendants of the Birds, established the Birdsboro Iron Foundry Company (1867), which became Birdsboro Steel Company (1905). The principal employer for 120 years, the steel plant closed in 1988, following a lengthy strike.[2]

The borough was created in 1872, from sections of Union and Robeson townships. Its population increased slowly from 2,261 in 1890, to 2,264 in 1900, to 2,930 in 1910. The population was 5,064 at the 2000 census.[3]

Armorcast Corporation built a plant in the borough in 1944, which manufactured tanks for World War II and the Korean War.[4] The plant closed in 1988 and remains abandoned.

Suburban housing developments such as Mansion Heights, built on the hills overlooking the valley in the 1980s and 1990s, increased the borough's population markedly. Still, the local Episcopal church closed in 2002, and the Roman Catholic parish built a new church and school outside the borough, in Douglassville, in 2005.[5]

In 1987, torrential rains over a period of several days caused Hay Creek to flood Pennsylvania Route 82, which ran through the borough, and washed out several bridges. After many years of discussion between local and state officials, the decision was finally made in 2004 that the bridges should not be rebuilt. Instead, the former road connecting Birdsboro to Robeson Township would be used formally as a nature trail, as it had been informally used since the time of the flood.[citation needed] In December 2008, the PA 82 designation was removed from this stretch of road.[6]

St. Michael's Protestant Episcopal Church, Parish House and Rectory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[7]

Geography[edit]

Birdsboro is located in southern Berks County at 40°15′47″N 75°48′28″W / 40.26306°N 75.80778°W / 40.26306; -75.80778 (40.263142, -75.807832).[8] Its northern border is the Schuylkill River, with Exeter Township to the north. Union Township is to the east, and Robeson Township is to the south and west.

Pennsylvania Route 724 is Birdsboro's Main Street, leading west to Shillington near Reading and east to South Pottstown. Pennsylvania Route 345 leaves north from the center of town and crosses the Schuylkill River to U.S. Route 422 in Baumstown. PA-345 leads south into French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Birdsboro has a total area of 1.37 square miles (3.54 km2), of which 1.34 square miles (3.46 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2), or 2.27%, is water.[1]

Birdsboro is located on the northern edge of the Hopewell Big Woods, the largest area of contiguous forest in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Birdsboro has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[9]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2000 census,[10] 5,064 people, 1,854 households, and 1,379 families resided in the borough. The population density was 3,646.2 people per square mile (1,406.6/km²). There were 1,927 housing units at an average density of 1,387.5 per square mile (535.3/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.86% White, 1.05% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.24% of the population.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,705
1890 2,261 32.6%
1900 2,264 0.1%
1910 2,930 29.4%
1920 3,290 12.3%
1930 3,542 7.7%
1940 3,313 −6.5%
1950 3,158 −4.7%
1960 3,025 −4.2%
1970 3,196 5.7%
1980 3,481 8.9%
1990 4,222 21.3%
2000 5,064 19.9%
2010 5,163 2.0%
Est. 2012 5,163 0.0%
Sources:[10][11][12]

There were 1,854 households, out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. A total of 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73, and the average family size was 3.18.

The population was diverse in the borough, with 29.2% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% aged 65 years or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $53,932, and the median income for a family was $58,542. Males had a median income of $39,875 versus $26,705 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,890. About 1.4% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Local education[edit]

Children in the borough of Birdsboro attend the public schools in the Daniel Boone Area School District. Elementary students in grades K-5 attend Birdsboro Elementary while students in grades 6-8 attend the Daniel Boone Middle School in nearby Amity Township. For high school, the students return to the Birdsboro area, attending Daniel Boone Area High School, just beyond the borough limits. Children in grades K-8 also have the option of attending Immaculate Conception Academy, a Catholic school whose campus is nearly adjacent to that of the Daniel Boone Area High School.

Notable people[edit]

Historic Birdsboro[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Birdsboro borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Forging a Future: A Birdsboro Steel Timeline," Reading Eagle, August 9, 2007 [1]
  3. ^ Birdsboro History from Birdsboro Borough Website.
  4. ^ Armorcast factory from Dave Thomas.
  5. ^ Immaculate Conception B. V. M. Church
  6. ^ Elimination of PA 82 north of PA 23 in Chester County and in Berks Co.
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
  10. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "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 11 December 2013. 

External links[edit]