Lehigh Avenue in Frackville, 2015
|Etymology: Daniel Frack|
|Nickname(s): Mountain City|
|• Mayor||Dale O. Foose|
|• Total||0.6 sq mi (2 km2)|
|• Land||0.6 sq mi (2 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,470 ft (450 m)|
|• Density||7,300/sq mi (2,800/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||570 Exchange:874|
Frackville is a borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, United States. Frackville is located near the intersection of Interstate 81 and Pennsylvania State Route 61, approximately 55 miles (89 km) northeast of Harrisburg and 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Wilkes-Barre. Frackville is named for Daniel Frack, an early settler.
Frackville was settled in 1861 and incorporated in 1876, when the villages of Frackville and Mountain City merged to form the borough of Frackville. The name "Mountain City", however, is still a common nickname for the borough. A past diner and beer distributor were both named after it. Early in the twentieth century, anthracite coal mining was the chief industry of the region, although Frackville remained a predominantly residential community. The Mahanoy Plane, which operated from 1862 to 1931 on Broad Mountain just to the north of the borough, was able to hoist 50,000 tons of coal daily. There is a small patch-town owning the name "Mahanoy Plane" at the northern foot of Frackville's Broad Mountain. Industrial relics and infrastructure remain in the thick forest north of the borough's youth baseball complex but historical preservation or restoration has yet to take place.
Frackville celebrated its centennial in 1976 while James Nahas was mayor. It was a weeklong event from August 22 to 28 which hosted parades each night and brought the community closer together. The borough's 125th anniversary celebration was held in 2001 and had similar events and effects. It culminated with a Frackville Cruise Night that had routes running throughout the borough.
Frackville sits in the middle of Northeastern Pennsylvania's historic Coal Region, about 4 miles south of Shenandoah. Coal mining has largely ceased in the area. Coal mining was never actually done in Frackville itself; it was, however, a source of transporting the coal through the now-defunct railroad companies. Many of Frackville's residents are employed at local factories, retail outlets, and the numerous Pennsylvania State Prisons in the immediate area. Many more commute daily to the cities of Pottsville, Hazleton, Allentown, Reading or Harrisburg to work. Frackville is indeed surrounded by many prisons.
In 1900, the population was 2,595; in 1910, 3,118; and in 1940, 8,035. The population was 4,361 at the 2000 census.
Located at Interstate 81 Exit 124, Frackville is a popular stop for travelers. It is home of the Dutch Kitchen, a well publicized restaurant that is a renovated diner. The Schuylkill Mall, a former Crown American shopping mall, resides on the south end of the borough.
In 1974, Lorraine Stanton began interviewing the elderly citizens of Frackville in preparation for the town’s 1976 Centennial. The result of her research and interviews during that period are found in the Old Frackville Tales—articles printed in the Shenandoah Evening Herald newspaper from 1975 until the culminating Centennial Edition in August 1976. The Tales can be found at the State Library in Harrisburg. However, her interest in promoting the town’s history lingered long after the Centennial. She continued collecting articles about and pictures of the town and its residents, as well as artifacts reflecting life during the years following our town’s incorporation. She envisioned a central home for her collection of files and pictures, in addition to those items given to her by other people over the years. When the Frackville Borough Council agreed to give space in the new Borough Complex and acquire her collection, the vision became a reality. The Frackville Museum welcomes the donation of any items relevant to the town, such as small collectibles, local school memorabilia, Frackville souvenirs, or business items from years gone by.
Frackville is located at (40.783618, -76.233662).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), all of it land.
Current day Frackville
In 2003, Frackville became a partner of the Upper Schuylkill Regional Main Street program along with neighboring communities Ashland, Girardville, Mahanoy City, Ringtown and Shenandoah. The numerous educational programs including grant writing courses arranged through the regional program made it possible to complete $523,304.00 in projects in the targeted central business district in Frackville Borough from 2004 and continuing through 2008. The Upper Schuylkill Design Challenge Grant program provides facade assistance to business and property owners for restoration projects.
Frackville has over half a dozen parks which can be used by residents of all ages. Among the borough’s sports leagues are: Frackville Mountaineer mini, pee-wee and midget football teams, Frackville Area Softball Association, Frackville Legion Baseball Team, Frackville tee-ball, intermediate and Little League Baseball teams, CYO basketball teams and many others. The numerous civic agencies such as the Elks, American Legion, Rotary, Masons, Knights of Columbus and Lions Club hold regular events to involve the citizens of the borough. Frackville has a borough pool which opens each spring for the citizens to use. There are more than a dozen churches in the borough. The borough is serviced by three fire companies and the Frackville Ambulance Service.
The Frackville Pool will be closed for the 2015 summer due to damage from considerable snowfall and ice buildup. There is an committee of residents currently working to establish a community pool at a as yet undisclosed site.
Frackville's foremost police protection is provided 24 hours a day by the Frackville Borough Police Department. The Frackville Police Station is located in the Borough Hall Building. The Pennsylvania State Police have a barracks located on the east end of the borough (PSP Frackville Barracks). The Schuylkill County Sheriff's Department also retain jurisdiction and provide police service to Frackville.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,361 people, 1,914 households, and 1,169 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,309.8 people per square mile (2,806.3/km²). There were 2,094 housing units at an average density of 3,509.9 per square mile (1,347.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.14% White, 1.05% Asian, 0.37% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.25% from other races, and 0.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.
There were 1,914 households out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 36.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the borough the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 25.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 88.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $32,071, and the median income for a family was $47,553. Males had a median income of $31,412 versus $21,836 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,587. About 2.7% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.
In popular culture
In 1986 music historian Maxim W. Furek published "The Jordan Brothers: A Musical Biography of Rock's Fortunate Sons." The book traced the career of Frackville's Jordan Brothers who appeared on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" and were headliners on Clark's 49-day "Caravan of Stars" that toured the United States and Canada. The Jordans were featured on several Alan Freed stage shows and were mainstays on all the important East Coast TV programs, especially in the Tri-State area.Their biggest hit, in 1966, was "Gimme Some Lovin.'" In a commercial bumper during an episode of Pardon the Interruption that first aired August 3, 2010, Tony Kornheiser mentioned that in Frackville it's 20 degrees colder than anywhere else on Earth.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 130.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "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.
- Furek, Maxim. The Jordan Brothers: A Musical Biography of Rock's Fortunate Sons. Kimberley Press, 1986