Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

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Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
Town
Bloomsburg town hall in 2012
Bloomsburg town hall in 2012
Nickname(s): The only incorporated town in Pennsylvania
Map showing Bloomsburg in Columbia County
Map showing Bloomsburg in Columbia County
Map showing Columbia County in Pennsylvania
Map showing Columbia County in Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 41°00′04″N 76°27′14″W / 41.001°N 76.454°W / 41.001; -76.454Coordinates: 41°00′04″N 76°27′14″W / 41.001°N 76.454°W / 41.001; -76.454
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Columbia County
Bloom Township 1797
Incorporated Town of Bloomsburg March 4, 1870
Government
 • Mayor Dan Knorr
 • Town Council Eric Bower, Bill Kreisher, Fred Trump, Diane Levan, Sylvia Costa, W. Carey Howell
Area
 • Total 4.59 sq mi (11.888 km2)
 • Land 4.39 sq mi (11.370 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.518 km2)  4.98%
Elevation 531 ft (161.849 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 14,855
 • Density 3,383.83/sq mi (1,306.50/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 17815
Area code(s) 570 Exchanges: 380,387,389,784
Website http://www.bloomsburgpa.org/

Bloomsburg is a town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States, located 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Wilkes Barre along the Susquehanna River. With a population of 15,127 as of 2011,[1] it is the county seat of Columbia County[2] and the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania.[3]

Bloomsburg is one of two principal communities of the Bloomsburg–Berwick Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Columbia and Montour counties,[4] and had a combined population of 82,387 at the 2000 census.[5]

History[edit]

A marker behind the airport showing the height of the river during historic floods (the dirt mark is from the 2006 floods).
A monument set up by the Daughters of the American Colonists honoring Native American settlement in Bloomsburg

The first signs of European settlement date to the year 1772, when James McClure established a log cabin in the area. Until the mid-19th century, it was just a small village, known as the Bloom Township. Traditionally, Bloomsburg's founding in 1802 has been ascribed to settler Ludwig Eyer, son of Johann Martin Eyer.[6][7] For 75 years after the discovery of ore in the area[when?], Bloomsburg developed a booming iron industry.

For more than a century, starting from its incorporation on March 4, 1870, Bloomsburg held the distinction of being the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania. While other municipalities are often commonly referred to as towns, they were all officially classified as either cities, boroughs, or townships. Bloomsburg still uses the slogan of "The only incorporated TOWN in Pennsylvania", and state government publications continue to describe Bloomsburg as "the only incorporated town" in Pennsylvania.[8][9][10] However, in 1975, McCandless Township, in Allegheny County adopted a home rule charter under the name "Town of McCandless".[11][12]

The Bloomsburg Historic District and Rupert Covered Bridge No. 56 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), of which, 4.4 square miles (11 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (4.98%) is water.

Bloomsburg is bordered by the Susquehanna River to the south, Scott Township to the east, and Fishing Creek to the northwest and west.[14]

Neighboring municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

The average high temperature in January is 35° Fahrenheit with the average low temperature in January is 19° Fahrenheit. The average high temperature in July is 85° Fahrenheit and the average low temperature in July is 62° Fahrenheit. The month with the least precipitation is February, which has 2.37 inches on average. The month with the most precipitation is June, which has 4.5 inches on average.[15]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,626
1830 2,090 28.5%
1840 1,774 −15.1%
1850 3,122 76.0%
1860 2,668 −14.5%
1870 3,341 25.2%
1880 3,702 10.8%
1890 4,635 25.2%
1900 6,170 33.1%
1910 7,413 20.1%
1920 7,819 5.5%
1930 9,093 16.3%
1940 9,799 7.8%
1950 10,633 8.5%
1960 10,655 0.2%
1970 11,652 9.4%
1980 11,717 0.6%
1990 12,439 6.2%
2000 12,375 −0.5%
2010 14,855 20.0%
Est. 2012 14,633 −1.5%
Sources:[16][17][5][18]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 12,375 people, 4,080 households, and 1,791 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,818.1 people per square mile (1,088.4/km²). There were 4,399 housing units at an average density of 1,001.8 per square mile (386.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.42% White, 2.60% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.74% of the population.

There were 4,080 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.1% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% 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 2.83.

In the town the population was spread out with 12.3% under the age of 18, 45.5% from 18 to 24, 18.6% from 25 to 44, 12.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 77.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $24,868, and the median income for a family was $39,806. Males had a median income of $29,940 versus $19,961 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,819. About 10.5% of families and 31.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.8% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Top of the Bloomsburg, PA Post Office

The town of Bloomsburg is administered by a Town Council of six members and the mayor. As an incorporated town, the mayor can vote along with council on every motion. This is different than most borough councils, where there are seven council members and the mayor can only vote to break ties.[19] The current mayor is Sandy Davis.[20]

Education[edit]

Bloomsburg is served by the Bloomsburg Area School District, which has about 1,800 students enrolled from the town itself, western, and southeastern suburbs.

Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School in Bloomsburg has numerous secondary education trade programs.

The Central Columbia School District has approximately 2,100 students and encompasses the eastern and northern suburbs of Bloomsburg.

Bloomsburg University, one of the 14 institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, had a 2012 enrollment of 10,000 full-time undergraduate and 846 graduate students.

Additionally, there are several private religious and non-denominational schools in and of the immediate vicinity of Bloomsburg.

Recreation[edit]

The one park in Bloomsburg is the 43-acre (170,000 m2) Town Park, established in 1927. The Norris E. Rock Memorial Swimming Pool and the Bloomsburg Skate Park immediately adjoin the park. The town has also purchased the former Streater Farm at the confluence of Fishing Creek and the Susquehanna River, with plans to convert it into athletic fields.

Notable businesses[edit]

Notable businesses located in the Bloomsburg zip code include Mariano Construction Inc, R.R. Donnelly & Sons, Kawneer Inc (division of Alcoa), Del Monte Foods, Milco Industries, Bloomsburg Carpet, Windsor Foods, Rieter Automotive Systems (formerly Magee Carpet Company), MoonLite Telescope Accessories and Anodizing, Dyco, and KYDEX LLC.The Bloomsburg News

On May 31, 2009, Bloomsburg Mills, Inc., after 120 years of weaving and finishing fabrics in Bloomsburg, went out of business, closing both a local plant and a dye plant in Monroe, North Carolina. The closure affected over 200 employees in both locations.[21]

Bloomsburg, PA, Columbia Montour (Counties) Chamber of Commerce

Culture[edit]

Bloomsburg is home to the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble was founded in 1978 to establish a resident professional ensemble for the production of quality entertainment and educational programs for the region, and to promote the arts.

The town also has a public library, Bloomsburg Public Library, founded in 1899 and funded jointly by the taxpayers of Bloomsburg, Scott Township, and Hemlock Township.

Bloomsburg is also home to the Bloomsburg Fair (the largest fair in the state of Pennsylvania) which, since 1855, is a traditional farm fair.

The David Stroup Fountain, erected in 1892, is a fountain located at Bloomsburg's Market Square. David Stroup was the owner of a local candy shop who left money in his will to the town's water works. The current fountain is a restored version of the original, which was dismantled in 1966 due to its deterioration but was put back together in 1982 by two local residents. The original crane sculpture, which was at the top of the fountain, was lost in storage until 2005, when it was cleaned, repaired, and replaced on the fountain.

Local media[edit]

Bloomsburg is home to one daily newspaper, the Press Enterprise. Bloomsburg has two online news site The Bloomsburg News http://www.thebloomsburgnews.com covering all of Bloomsburg activities. BloomUtoday.com covering Bloomsburg University News & Entertainment as well as local news; The Voice, Bloomsburg University's student newspaper, covers university-related campus news.[22]

Several radio stations also serve the area, including WHLM (formerly WCNR-AM), WHLM-FM (formerly WKAB), and WFYY-FM (formerly WHLM-FM). The town is primarily served by Service Electric Cablevision cable TV and receives both the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market television stations and Philadelphia stations.

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

The Bloomsburg Municipal Airport

Bloomsburg is home to the Bloomsburg Municipal Airport. It is in the southeast of Bloomsburg, along the Susquehanna River.

Road[edit]

The main highways in Bloomsburg are U.S. Route 11, Pennsylvania Route 42 (serves the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds) and Pennsylvania Route 487. Also, Interstate 80 has interchanges north of the town.

Utilities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.city-data.com/city/Bloomsburg-Pennsylvania.html
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Welcome to the Town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
  4. ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-07-27.
  5. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Manual, Volume 117
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Local Government Fact Sheet, 2005
  10. ^ "Local Government Entities in Pennsylvania" and "Municipal Statistics" in Legislator’s Municipal Deskbook for Pennsylvania
  11. ^ Bloomsburg
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Code, Title 302, Chapter 23
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  14. ^ http://maps.google.com
  15. ^ http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/bloomsburg-pa/17815/
  16. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Borough Mayors Manual, 6/1/2003, retrieved 2011-01-11 
  20. ^ Szymanski, Mallory (11/8/07), Bloomsburg student elected Mayor, retrieved 2009-04-10 
  21. ^ http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2009/04/13/daily7.html retrieved on 2009-04-13.
  22. ^ Stories can also be found online at www.buvoice.com.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania at Wikimedia Commons