South Fayette Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
|Official name: Township of South Fayette|
|Named for: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette|
|Motto: A Great Place to Live, Work and Play|
|Area||20.95 sq mi (54 km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code||412, 724|
Thorough its early history, South Fayette has been the cite of numerous conflicts between the earlier Native American residents and arriving settlers, particularly in the northern areas of the township. There are several historical relics found in South Fayette, in particular Native American stone instruments and graves.
Probably one of the first settlers of European descent came to the township sometime before 1768. Little is known of this settler, but he was of English descend and was named Miller, who settled at the mouth of Miller's run, for whom the stream is named. However, before emigrating to Kentucky, Miller sold an expansive tract of land to a land speculator named Campbell for a pair of shoes. The first permanent settler was Christopher Lesnet, a German immigrant who came from Baltimore, Maryland in 1770.
In 1770, George Washington is believed to have acquired 2,813 acres (1,138 ha) of land from his neighbor John Posey in exchange for forgiveness of debt. Washington was an absentee landlord and treated the property as a land investment. Today, this parcel of land includes what is now known as the Hickory Heights community and it is located in the southwest corner of the township.
Originally, South Fayette and North Fayette Township were known as Fayette Township in honor of General Lafayette. However, in 1842, Fayette township was separated into North and South Fayette townships. Following the creation of Collier Township in 1875, South Fayette Township territorial limits as stand today are formed by the Washington County line, Robinson's Run, Coal Run and Chartiers Creek.
Today, South Fayette is a fast-growing community benefiting from its proximity to Downtown Pittsburgh, Southpointe, Pittsburgh International Airport and Robinson commercial district as well as its highly ranked school district. In 2013, South Fayette was nominated as the best Pittsburgh suburb to raise a family in a regional survey.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 20.4 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.95 square miles (54.3 km2) is land and 0.05% is water. The topography is mostly wooded with small hills and floodplains on four streams. It is located 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Pittsburgh.
South Fayette Township is bordered by Bridgeville borough and Upper St. Clair Township to the east, Cecil Township (Washington County) to the south and west, McDonald borough, Oakdale borough and North Fayette Township to the northwest, and Collier Township to the northeast.
Most of South Fayette commercial district is concentrated along Washington Pike. A 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) commercial development is being planned called Newbury Market. Upon completion in 2015, it would consist of a hotel, grocery store, restaurants and mixed office and retail space.
The Original Farmer Markets, Pittsburgh's oldest farmer market is located on Route 50 and is open from May to November.
Communities within South Fayette
Neighborhoods within South Fayette include: The Berkshires, Newbury, and Hickory Heights.
Cities within South Fayette include Morgan and Cuddy.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,271 people, 4,704 households, and 3,085 families residing in the township. The population density was 603.2 people per square mile (232.9/km²). There were 4,924 housing units at an average density of 242.1/sq mi (93.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.93% White, 3.50% African American, 0.02% Native American, 1.59% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.
There were 4,704 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the township the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $53,739, and the median income for a family was $65,473. Males had a median income of $48,750 versus $33,534 for females. The per capita income for the township was $26,082. About 2.9% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.
The South Fayette Township School District provides the educational services to the community. The school district has a single elementary school for grades K-2, a single intermediate school for grades 3-5, a single middle school for grades 6-8 and a single high school for grades 9-12. The school district's mascot is the Lions.
The South Fayette Township Library, in operation since January 10, 1994, is located adjacent to the township municipal building.
The South Fayette Foundation 4 Excellence, is a non-profit community organization that raises funds to support the academic, athletic and arts programs within the school district to supplement the school budget allocated for such purposes.
South Fayette has a Department of Parks and Recreation which maintains municipal parks and organizes recreational events. The township has seven municipal parks: Fairview Park, Morgan Park, Boy's Home Park, El Rancho Park, Sturgeon Park, Koppers Field, and Panhandle Trail. A portion of Fairview Park has been designated as a Dog Run Free Zone allowing dogs to run without leashes.
There are also several athletic associations:
- South Fayette Aqua Club
- South Fayette Baseball and Softball Association
- South Fayette Lady Lions Recreational Basketball
- South Fayette Men's Softball
- South Fayette Soccer Association
- South Fayette Township Youth Cheerleading Association
- South Fayette Township Youth Lacrosse Association
- South Fayette Youth Football Association
The Hickory Heights Golf Club provides an 18-hole golf course.
Notable natives and residents
- Bob Errey, former NHL player with the Pittsburgh Penguins
- Jay Hayes, former USFL player with the Memphis Showboats and current assistant football coach with the Cincinnati Bengals. Hayes' coaching career began at South Fayette High School in 1987.
- Jonathan Hayes, former NFL player with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, currently an assistant football coach with the Cincinnati Bengals
- Jenna Morasca, winner of Survivor: The Amazon
- Tony Neely, former USFL player with the Arizona Wranglers
- Ron Sams, former NFL player with the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings
- Melissa Babish, Miss Teenage America, 1969, also wife of Terry Bradshaw 1972 - 73
- Peter Taglianetti, former NHL player with the Pittsburgh Penguins
- Kurt Angle, Olympic Goal Medalist Wrestler
- Ryall, Kay (02-12-1933). "Indians Waged Warfare Near Oakdale". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Hickory Heights, Pennsylvania
- Warner and Company, A. History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Including its Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time, VOLUME 2 PART 1. Heritage Books. ISBN 0788446142.
- "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". Census of Population and Housing, 1950. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 27 May 2013.