Montrose, Pennsylvania

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Montrose, Pennsylvania
Downtown Montrose, Pennsylvania
Downtown Montrose, Pennsylvania
Nickname(s): Quarry Town
Montrose, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Montrose, Pennsylvania
Montrose, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 41°49′59″N 75°52′38″W / 41.83306°N 75.87722°W / 41.83306; -75.87722Coordinates: 41°49′59″N 75°52′38″W / 41.83306°N 75.87722°W / 41.83306; -75.87722
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Susquehanna
Settled 1812
Incorporated 1824[1]
 • Type Borough Council
 • Mayor John Wilson
 • Total 1.3 sq mi (3.3 km2)
Elevation 1,400 ft (627 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,617
 • Density 1,243.8/sq mi (485.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 18801
Area code(s) 570 Exchange: 278
Montrose, Pennsylvania, as depicted on an 1890 panoramic map.

Montrose is a borough in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, United States, 46 miles (74 km) north by west of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The land is elevated about 1,400 feet (427 m) above sea level.


Montrose was laid out in 1812. The first courthouse was built a year later, and Montrose was incorporated as a borough from part of Bridgewater Township on March 29, 1824.[1] Its name is a combination of "mont", the French word for “mountain” and Rose, for Dr. L R. Rose, a prominent citizen.

The traditional older industries included creameries and the manufacturing of cut glass, boxes, sawing machinery, lumber, etc. In 1900, 1,827 people lived here, and in 1910, 1,914 people lived here. The population was 1,664 at the 2000 census. The population was 1,617 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Susquehanna County[2]. The area of Montrose is notable for its many quarry sites. A type of rock that is indigenous to this area is called blue stone. The town, along with Susquehanna County, is best known as the location of significant Marcellus shale drilling, putting Montrose in the center of the bourgeoning natural gas industry.

Montrose was incorporated as a town and seat of Susquehanna County in 1824, but families began immigrating to the area in the mid Eighteenth Century, primarily from areas along the Connecticut River Valley (western Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont). The American Revolution dramatically changed the political and built environments of New England, and consequentially, many inhabitants desired vast and affordable land in the western lands of Pennsylvania. When settlers arrived in what is now Susquehanna County they found rolling hills, clear lakes, and mountain streams with an abundance of natural resources like timber and bluestone. In a very short period of time, the first families built Montrose like familiar New England towns – large colonial style houses surrounding churches with a main street straddling the town. A town “green” adjacent to the courthouse allowed for community events, a spirit that still carries on to the present day.

Arguably, the most mystified (and thus contested) aspect of the town’s history occurred during the height of America’s Civil War. Several townsfolk and local historians claim that Montrose played a significant role in the Northern Trail of the Underground Railroad, housing several slave families in the area. Folklore has it that many of these families remained in Montrose and across the county after the War. These supposed connections opened a floodgate of local residents seeking historical landmark status for their homes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, many of which were denied by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission due to lack of evidence that the events actually took place. Several academic historians believe that, while the possibility of a family or two stopping in Montrose along the Northern Trail is certainly plausible, the number of increased African Americans during the time is most likely explained by the then-bourgeoning coal industry just south of the county that appealed to many immigrants and former slaves looking for work. The Susquehanna County Historical Society and the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (housed in one of the suspected homes) remains dedicated to identifying and analyzing primary documents of the time, but little legitimate data exists to satisfy the burdens of the Underground Railroad claims.

Between the 1950s and 1990s the region experienced a large emigration of people to other places for work. It wasn't until oil started to be heavily drilled for in the late 2000s that the economy in the area began to feel a pickup. The economy has not experienced this level of pickup since the mid to late Nineteenth century. With the money from this boom, the hospital in Montrose (the only major hospital in Susquehanna County) was moved from an old and small facility downtown to a large and advanced facility just outside of town. This comes to show the economy in Susquehanna County and Montrose has taken a turn for the better.

The Sylvanus Mulford House, Silver Lake Bank, and Susquehanna County Courthouse Complex are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3] The Montrose Historic District was added in 2011.


Montrose is located at 41°49′59″N 75°52′38″W / 41.83306°N 75.87722°W / 41.83306; -75.87722 (41.833064, -75.877190)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 917
1860 1,168 27.4%
1870 1,463 25.3%
1880 1,722 17.7%
1890 1,735 0.8%
1900 1,827 5.3%
1910 1,914 4.8%
1920 1,661 −13.2%
1930 1,909 14.9%
1940 1,977 3.6%
1950 2,075 5.0%
1960 2,363 13.9%
1970 2,058 −12.9%
1980 1,980 −3.8%
1990 1,982 0.1%
2000 1,664 −16.0%
2010 1,617 −2.8%
Est. 2012 1,582 −2.2%

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 1,617 people, 754 households, and 399 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,243.8 people per square mile (485.9/km²). There were 857 housing units at an average density of 659.2 per square mile (257.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.05% American Indian, 0.05% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

There were 754 households out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 42.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the borough the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 56.8% from 18 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.4 years.

The median income for a household in the borough was $37,125, and the median income for a family was $48,867. Males had a median income of $33,077 versus $26,174 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,255. About 12.5% of families and 15.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.


Montrose is linked to the major highway in the area, Interstate 81, by only one winding road, Pennsylvania Route 706. Montrose is linked also by road to Friendsville, Little Meadows, and South Montrose. Although Husky Haven Airport is located just minutes away, it is strictly recreational. All main flights must come in through Scranton, PA, or Binghamton, NY Airports.


WPEL AM 800 and 96.5 FM has served the region for more than sixty years from studios at 251 High Street.

Notable people[edit]

Charles Martin Crandall toymaker
William Jessup, judge and abolitionist
Rich Thompson, outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays
Chris Snee, two time Super Bowl winning offensive lineman for the New York Giants


  1. ^ a b "Bridgewater Township". Susquehanna County Historical Society. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]