Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania
Millcreek Township sign
|Named for: Mill Creek|
|Motto: "Gateway to Presque Isle"|
|Area||29.5 sq mi (76 km2)|
|Density||1,768.5 / sq mi (683 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-5)|
Millcreek Township is a township in Erie County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 53,515 at the 2010 census. It is the largest suburb of Erie, Pennsylvania and the 14th-largest municipality in the state; larger than the cities of Altoona and Harrisburg.
Millcreek Township is home to the Millcreek Mall and portions of busy Peach Street, the entrance of Presque Isle State Park, Waldameer Park and many other attractions. Also located in the township is Erie International Airport, the major airport serving the Erie metropolitan area.
Evidence exists of Native American presence in Millcreek Township as early as 3700 BC. The township's Sommerheim Park is the location of the Sommerheim Park Archaeological District, which has yielded archaeological artifacts from the Archaic and Woodland periods.
One of the earliest townships in the Erie Triangle to be settled, Millcreek was one of the original 16 townships of Erie County. As families came they moved from the bayfront settlement of Erie they began to form small hamlets such as Federal Hill, Kearsarge, Marvintown, Weigelville, etc. all to become part of Mill Creek Township. As the Erie settlement grew, first into a borough, then a city, it annexed more and more sections of the township.
After the east/west roads were laid out, taverns began to sprout about every mile or so. Along the Ridge Road (U.S. Route 20), which was laid west through Millcreek in 1805, one of the few that remains is the Nicholson Tavern. Built in 1836, mostly by Isabella Nicholson and her sons, it is still owned by the family and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Presque Isle Light and Sommerheim Park Archaeological District are also listed.
A recurving sandspit peninsula, Presque Isle, connects to the mainland in western Millcreek. During the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry commanded his fleet in battle and strategically used the peninsula's bay as a harbor to construct six out of nine of the ships in his fleet. In 1921 the peninsula was made a state park and was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. Today the park is a bird sanctuary with over 150 different species identified here.
Just west of the entry into Presque Isle was a well-forested area known as Hopkins Grove. The Erie Electric Motor Company purchased the grove in 1896 for development into an amusement park. Today Waldameer is one of the oldest amusement parks in the nation.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 29.5 square miles (76.4 km²), of which, 29.5 square miles (76.4 km²) of it is land and 0.03% is water. Millcreek Township is the second largest municipality in Erie County.
Today land use in Millcreek is dedicated to retail, commercial and service-oriented businesses, to light industry, fine public and private schools, and residential areas. About 1% of the land is still zoned for agriculture. Located within its borders is Edinboro University's Porreco Extension Center, Zuck Park, (donated for recreational use by the Zuck family), the Erie Golf Course, and the Asbury Woods Nature Center and Recreation Center, which was once the holdings and summer home of the Behrend family.
As of the census of 2000, there were 52,129 people, 21,217 households, and 14,088 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,768.5 people per square mile (682.7/km²). There were 22,369 housing units at an average density of 758.9/sq mi (293.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 96.55% White, 1.09% African American, 0.09% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.99% of the population.
There were 21,217 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the township the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $45,019, and the median income for a family was $56,341. Males had a median income of $41,868 versus $26,610 for females. The per capita income for the township was $24,279. About 3.9% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.
Millcreek Township is served by the Millcreek Township School District.
Fire and EMS Protection
Millcreek Township is protected by separate volunteer fire departments. There are four (4) fire departments in Millcreek, Township Department #1 West Lake Fire Department, also known as Department 48 ( or stations 48 and 49 ), Township Department #2 Kearsarge Fire Department also known as Department 44, Township Department #3 Belle Valley Fire Department also known as Station 36, Township Department #4 West Ridge Fire Department, also known as Station 46 and Station 47 and Lake Shore Fire Department. Lake Shore is a Fairview Township Fire Department, that lies within the border of Millcreek Township and provides mutual aid to the Millcreek Departments. Each department is completely separate, however they work with each other on fires, rescues, etc. everyday. They all provide fire, rescue and fire responder services to Millcreek Township, 24/7 365. There is approximately 100 volunteers in the township. Millcreek Township employees (Water Dept, Street Dept, Etc.) form a Fire Response unit while on duty five (5) days a week (8am-4pm), known as 929. They will be dispatched and respond to any report of a fire or at anytime request by the fire departments. This "department" is supervised by the Township Chief Fire Inspector and Assistant Fire Inspector (920 and 931). Millcreek Fire Departments are classified as an ISO Class 3, the township recently achieved this before they were ISO Class 4. Millcreek Paramedic Service is the sole ALS (Advanced Life Support) and transportable ambulance service in Millcreek Township. MPS is owned by the four Millcreek Fire Departments and Lake Shore FD. Currently, operates with three (3) front line ambulances stationed at West Ridge (West), Kearsarge (Central) and Belle Valley (East) - 24/7 365. Also on duty from 7am-5am is a Paramedic Supervisor in an ambulance or a "flycar" to provide ALS to mutual aid companies and to first respond to emergencies. This is a paid ambulance service with about 50 employees. Better known as "MPS" provides emergency services as well as non-emergency services. Remember to always call 9-1-1 for emergencies.
As said previously, there are four township departments. These departments operate out of six ( 6 ) stations. Apparatus within the township is as follows; Engines - 7 ( West Lake 482,483 - West Ridge 472,474 - Kearsarge 442 - Belle Valley 362,363 ) Towers - 3 ( West Ridge 479, Kearsarge 449, Belle Valley 369 ) Ladders - 1 ( West Lake 489 ) Rescues - 4 ( West Lake 488,485 - Kearsarge 444 - Belle Valley 368 ) QRV's - 4 ( West Lake 487 - West Ridge 477 - Kearsarge 447 - Belle Valley 367 ) Boats - 2 ( Lake Shore 509 Fire Boat - West Lake 486 Ice Rescue Boat ) Air/Light Truck - 1 ( West Ridge 478 ) ATV's - 2 ( Belle Valley Mule 4x4 - West Ridge ARGO 6x6) Specialty Rescue Trailer - 2 (West Ridge Water Rescue and Special Operations - West Lake Trench and Confined Space )
Total Apparatus - 26 Rigs
Millcreek Fire Departments have a Dive/Water Rescue team, operating from members from West Lake and West Ridge Fire Departments.
The four ( 4 ) departments stay extremely busy throughout the year answering over 4,000 calls within the township. Over 4,500 calls if you include Lake Shore. The busiest stations are in order from busiest to slowest; West Ridge, West Lake, Kearsarge and Belle Valley.
- Johnson, William C. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Sommerheim Park Archaeological District. National Park Service, 1981-06-29, p. 2.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.