Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 40°47′47″N 76°24′44″W / 40.79639°N 76.41222°W / 40.79639; -76.41222
Borough of Mount Carmel
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Northumberland
Elevation 1,309 ft (399 m)
Coordinates 40°47′47″N 76°24′44″W / 40.79639°N 76.41222°W / 40.79639; -76.41222
Area 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
 - land 0.7 sq mi (2 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 5,893 (2010)
Density 8,418.6 / sq mi (3,250.4 / km2)
Settled 1770
 - Incorporated, Township November 14, 1854
 - Incorporated, Borough November 3, 1862
Mayor J. Kevin Jones
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 17851
Area code 570 Exchange: 339
FIPS 51496
Location of Mount Carmel in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States

Mount Carmel is the name of a borough in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5893 at the 2010 census, a 7.8% decrease from 2000.[1] It is located 88 miles (141 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 71 miles (114 km) northeast of Harrisburg, in the Anthracite Coal Region. It is completely encompassed by Mount Carmel Township.


Sawmill operator, Albert Bradford, gave Mount Carmel its name because of its elevation and beautiful setting in the mountains. He decided that it deserved a special name and named it after the holy mountain in Israel. Mount Carmel began as a logging town. Coal wasn't discovered until 1790 by Isaac Tomlinson. It took twenty-four years until the first shipment of anthracite was shipped from the borough. Mount Carmel Inn was opened in 1812 by Richard Yarnall and was strategically located on the Centre Turnpike (also known as the Reading-Sunbury Road or Old Reading Road) halfway between Pottsville and Danville. During the latter part of 1854 the Philadelphia and Sunbury Railroad was completed from Shamokin to Mt. Carmel, which led to the opening and development of a number of collieries in the region. During the same year, the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company commenced making extensive openings and improvements upon their valuable coal lands in the vicinity of Mt. Carmel, building breakers for two collieries - the Coal Ridge and Locust Mountain collieries.[2] The township was erected in 1854, formed from part of Coal Township; by 1862 the borough was incorporated within the township. Mount Carmel was the first towns in the country to have its streets lit by electricity. Thomas Edison placed one of his first generators plants here in 1883. The Edison Plant in Mount Carmel was the 8th in the world.

In the past, there were extensive anthracite mining interests here and in the vicinity. In earlier years, the borough had manufactories of miners' caps, cement blocks, cigars, shirts, stockings, etc., and large silk and planing mills, foundry and machine shops, a knitting mill, lumber yards, a packing plant, and wagon works. Currently that area supports light manufacturing in paper and plastics.


  • 1681 March 4 - Charles II of England grants a land charter to William Penn to repay a debt of £20,000 owed to his father, creating the Province of Pennsylvania
  • 1682 August 24 - Penn divided the Province into three counties, Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester; The last comprised all lands west and south of the Delaware and the Schuylkill; therefore the site of Mount Carmel was originally in an area claimed by Chester County
  • 1729 May 10 - Lancaster County created out of part of Chester County
  • 1749 August 22 - Land comprising Mount Carmel part of a tract purchased from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederation
  • 1752 March 11 - Berks County created out of part of Lancaster County
  • before 1770 - Area inhabited by Native Americans (possibly Lenape, Iroquois, and/or Saponi)
  • 1770 - Europeans first settled in the area
  • 1772 March 21 - Northumberland County formed, area that would become Mt. Carmel located in what was then Augusta Township
  • 1783 September 3 - Treaty of Paris signed, formally recognizing Pennsylvania's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain
  • 1785 - Catawissa Township formed from part of Augusta township
  • 1788 - Ralpho Township formed from part of Catawissa township
  • 1789 - Ralpho township renamed to Shamokin township
  • 1790 - Anthracite coal discovered by Isaac Tomlinson on nearby Broad Mountain
  • 1805 March 25 - Centre Turnpike Company incorporated
  • 1808 - Centre Turnpike opens
  • ~1811 - Centre Turnpike completed
  • 1812 - Mt. Carmel Inn opens, located on the Centre Turnpike in (then) Shamokin township
  • ~1830s - coal mining begins
  • 1837 - Coal Township formed from parts of Little Mahanoy and Shamokin townships
  • 1846 - first Post Office opens
  • 1847 - land now comprising Mount Carmel Borough purchased by speculators
  • 1853 - town plot finalized
  • 1854 November 14 - Mount Carmel Township incorporated, from part of Coal Township
  • 1855 - Evangelical Grace Church, the town's first church, opens at Third & Market Streets
  • 1855 - Centre Turnpike decommissioned
  • 1862 November 3 - Mount Carmel Borough incorporated
  • 1869 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church is built
  • 1877 December - Mt. Carmel Progress, the pioneer newspaper, was established
  • 1883 November 17 - Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Mount Carmel founded
  • 1888 - St. Matthew's Lutheran Church is built
  • 1894 November - Shamokin-Mount Carmel Electric Railway (trolley line) connecting Shamokin with Mount Carmel completed
  • 1896 - Reliance Colliery is started by Thomas Baumgardner
  • 1897 - Anthracite Brewing Company, later Mt. Carmel Brewery, founded
  • 1900 - Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church is Built
  • 1906 - Divine Redeemer Church is built
  • 1906 April - 'Miners Dispute' striking miners are shot by 21 troopers of the State Constabulary - ten men were injured, but all survived
  • 1914 - Sts. Peter and Paul Byzantine-Ukrainian Catholic Church is built (it later burned in a fire and was rededicated in 1994)
  • 1930 - The first viaduct was constructed to eliminate crossing two railroad tracks to enter town
  • 1931 - Mount Carmel High School football stadium or "Silver Bowl" is opened being one of the first high school stadiums to have lighting for night games
  • 1934 - Mattucci's Willow Cafe' opens
  • 1948 June 17 - United Airlines Flight 624 crashes near Midvalley Colliery No. 2; killing all 4 crew members and 39 passengers on board
  • 1950 - the coal mining 'boom' begins its decline
  • 1951 - Mt. Carmel Brewery closes
  • 2003 - Original viaduct is removed and a reconstructed version is built by the Department of Transportation even though the railroads are no longer there



Mount Carmel is located at 40°47′47″N 76°24′44″W / 40.79639°N 76.41222°W / 40.79639; -76.41222 (40.796447, -76.412231)[3] in the ridge-and-valley zone of the central Appalachian Mountains. It is drained by the Shamokin Creek and is part of the Lower Susquehanna watershed [1]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²), all of it land.

Mount Carmel's terrain is mostly flat. The borough's land is mostly urban. Mount Carmel is served by Pennsylvania Route 61.[4]


  • The long standing rivalry between Mt. Carmel and Shamokin Area is one of the most well-known rivalries in the United States. In the annual Coal Bucket Football Game, the two areas collide usually leading to friendly vandalism between the two schools throughout the week of the game.[citation needed] The game was traditionally one of many games of American football on Thanksgiving across the U.S., but due to changes in the high school football schedule, is no longer.
  • Mount Carmel's football team has captured the PIAA Class AA title 5 times since the state initiated the playoff system in 1988. They won in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002.
  • Mount Carmel's football program has 800 wins as of October 21, 2011; the team also won the state championships in 1927 before the playoff system was initiated.
  • The borough is home to former Major League Baseball player, Frank Bolick, former New York Jets football player Dan Ficca, former San Francisco 49ers player Len Eshmont, and former New York State Billiards Champion Dave Daya.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,289
1880 2,378 84.5%
1890 8,254 247.1%
1900 13,179 59.7%
1910 17,532 33.0%
1920 17,469 −0.4%
1930 17,967 2.9%
1940 17,780 −1.0%
1950 14,222 −20.0%
1960 10,760 −24.3%
1970 9,317 −13.4%
1980 8,190 −12.1%
1990 7,196 −12.1%
2000 6,390 −11.2%
2010 5,893 −7.8%
Est. 2012 5,850 −0.7%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 6,390 people, 3,035 households, and 1,678 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,655.6 people per square mile (3,738.2/km²). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 5,483.6 per square mile (2,123.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.56% White, 0.06% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 3,035 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 41.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the borough the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $22,168, and the median income for a family was $35,217. Males had a median income of $28,168 versus $20,595 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,858. About 14.2% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.



United States Congress


Pennsylvania General Assembly


Public schools[edit]

Mount Carmel Area School District

  • Mount Carmel Area Elementary School
    • Grades Pre-K through 6th
    • 856 students
  • Mount Carmel Area Junior/Senior High School
    • Grades 7-12
    • 848 students

Private schools[edit]

National Catholic Educational Association (Roman Catholic)

  • Holy Spirit Elementary School (closed 2006)
    • Grades K through 8th
    • 176 students (2005 data)
  • Mt. Carmel Catholic High School (closed)



  • Pennsylvania Route 61, designated from 1963 to the present, previously:
  • Pennsylvania Route 54
    • before 1929: Ashland Road
    • 1929 - 1961: PA 54 via Ashland Road
    • 1961 - 1966: designated as PA 45 via Ashland Road
    • 1966 - 1999: reassigned concurrent with PA 61 east of Mount Carmel
    • 1999–present: route changed to follow SR 2035, PA 901, SR 2042, SR 3002, and SR 4028 to rejoin its former route along PA 61.
  • Pennsylvania Route 901
    • Routed through Mount Carmel Township by 1996


Public Transportation[edit]

The Lower Anthracite Transportation System offers a two-route transit system weekdays and Saturdays from Mount Carmel with buses meeting in Coal Township to Mount Carmel and surrounding communities. A third route, operated seasonally, operates to Knoebel's Amusement Resort.

Town facts[edit]

  • Mount Carmel Tornadoes football team is the winningest team in the state, and 5th winningest in the country,[citation needed] with over 800 wins.
  • Mount Carmel High School has its own student-run television studio WKMC 13. The studio broadcasts a live morning news program and televises other school functions to Mount Carmel and other local communities.
  • The town has two annual block parties hosted by the Divine Redeemer Church and Our Lady's Church respectively.
  • An annual party is thrown in the town park in the summer where game stands, rides, and food stands are set up for the public to enjoy. The day is complete with a band throughout the day.
  • Population dramatically increased in 1984 due to the relocation of residents from Centralia, where an ongoing underground mine fire caused Congress to relocate residents.
  • The old Shamokin Valley and Pottsville Railway, although defunct, still has old bits of track lying behind Seventh Street in Mount Carmel.
  • Mount Carmel was one of the first towns in the country with electric street lamps.[citation needed]
  • Thomas Edison placed one of his first eight generator plants in Mount Carmel.[citation needed]
  • Ellen Albertini Dow, a popular character actress was born in Mount Carmel.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]