Lower Swatara Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other townships in Pennsylvania with similar names, see Swatara (disambiguation).
Lower Swatara Township, Pennsylvania
The Star Barn Complex, a historic site in the township
The Star Barn Complex, a historic site in the township
Motto: "A Progressive First Class Township"
Location in Dauphin County and state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Dauphin County and state of Pennsylvania.
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Dauphin
Settled 1717
Incorporated 1961
 • Type Board of Commissioners
 • President Thomas L. Mehaffie III
 • Total 14.8 sq mi (38 km2)
 • Land 12.1 sq mi (31 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (7 km2)
Population (2000)
 • Total 8,149
 • Density 672.3/sq mi (259.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 717
Website Lower Swatara Township official website

Lower Swatara Township is a township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 8,149 at the 2000 census. Harrisburg International Airport and Penn State Harrisburg are located within the township.[1]


Lower Swatara Township is bordered by the Susquehanna River on the south, and the Swatara Creek to the east. The Township name of "Swatara" is derived from the Indian language. The word is thought to be from an Iroquois Indian word meaning "Where we fed on eels."[2] The Indians established a network of pathways through the area. Presbyterian settlers from Scotland and Ireland were followed by settlers from the German Palatinate. The first settlers erected their log homes along the banks of the Susquehanna and Swatara.[3]

The population in Pennsylvania increased. In 1729 the Paxtang Township of Lancaster County was established. The spelling "Paxtang" is from the original Indian name "Peshtank," which meant "standing water."[4]

On March 4, 1785 the County of Dauphin was formed from Lancaster County. The word “Dauphin” was from the French name given to the Prince of France whose country the area government wanted to honor for its assistance in the Revolutionary War. In August of 1787 the legislature separated Paxtang Township into Upper Paxtang, Middle Paxtang and Lower Paxtang Townships.[5]

Lower Paxtang Township embraced the areas now known as Lower Swatara, Swatara, Lower Paxton, Derry and Susquehanna Townships.

Lower Swatara Township was incorporated from Swatara Township on 7 November 1961 as a first class township. Within Lower Swatara are the Conrad and Margaret Allerman House and the Star Barn Complex, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.3 km²), of which, 12.1 square miles (31.4 km²) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (6.9 km²) of it (18.11%) is water.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 8,149 people, 3,003 households, and 2,201 families residing in the township. The population density was 672.3 people per square mile (259.6/km²). There were 3,124 housing units at an average density of 257.7/sq mi (99.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.70% White, 3.07% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.91% of the population.

There were 3,003 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.3% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the township the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $48,940, and the median income for a family was $58,203. Males had a median income of $39,980 versus $29,436 for females. The per capita income for the township was $23,271. About 3.0% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.


The US Airways subsidiary Allegheny Airlines had its headquarters on the grounds of Harrisburg International Airport in the township.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b "Lower Swatara township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  2. ^ http://www.swataratwp.com/
  3. ^ Lower Swatara Township History
  4. ^ http://www.susquehannatwp.com/About.asp
  5. ^ http://middlepaxtontwp.org/community/history/
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 16–22, 2004. 83.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°14′N 76°45′W / 40.233°N 76.750°W / 40.233; -76.750