Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 40°05′00″N 75°20′59″W / 40.08333°N 75.34972°W / 40.08333; -75.34972
Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Upper Merion Township
Township
Country  United States of America
State  Pennsylvania
County Montgomery
Elevation 171 ft (52.1 m)
Coordinates 40°05′00″N 75°20′59″W / 40.08333°N 75.34972°W / 40.08333; -75.34972
Area 17.2 sq mi (44.5 km2)
 - land 16.9 sq mi (44 km2)
 - water 0.4 sq mi (1 km2), 2.33%
Population 28,395 (2010)
Density 1,593.3 / sq mi (615.2 / km2)
Incorporated 1713
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code 610
Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County
Location of Upper Merion Township in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: http://www.umtownship.org

Upper Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 28,395 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Located 16 miles (26 km) from Philadelphia, it consists of the villages of King of Prussia, Swedeland, Swedesburg, Gulph Mills, and Wayne.

The westernmost part of the township is the site of Valley Forge, as well as comprising the largest part of Valley Forge National Historical Park. The township is the home of the King of Prussia Mall as well as the 1,300-acre (5 km2) Valley Forge National Park. King of Prussia is also a major office park hosting firms such as Lockheed Martin and GlaxoSmithKline.

The name Merion originates with the county of Merioneth in north Wales. Merioneth is an English-language translation of the Welsh Meirionnydd.

History[edit]

The Township's incorporation dates to 1713 when the King of Prussia Inn, the Bird-In-Hand Inn in Gulph Mills, and later the Swedes Ford Inn were required to pay 6 shillings to the Legislature for licenses. The King of Prussia Inn, built in 1719, captures the historical flavor of the township. It was named by a Prussian immigrant in honor of Frederick the Great, but became known during the Revolutionary War as a center of food and drink. An alternate story says the Inn, first called Berry’s Tavern, got its name to lure in Prussian mercenaries who spent freely.

Upper Merion Township is a township of the second class under Pennsylvania state statutes. A five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for staggered six-year terms, governs it. The Board passes legislation and sets overall policy for the Township. A professional township manager runs the day-to-day operations overseeing the activities of 250 full and part-time employees.

In the late 1970s, Upper Merion was also listed as the number one drug school in the magazine "High Times".[citation needed]

Hanging Rock and Poplar Lane are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 17.2 square miles (44.7 km²), of which, 16.9 square miles (43.7 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (2.20%) is water.

Notable sights[edit]

Old Swedes Church (Christ Church) Upper Merion, Swedesburg, PA

Old Swedes Church (Christ Church) was dedicated June 25, 1760 in Swedesburg, replacing a simple log cabin dating to 1735. The original church had served as both a church and school until Christ Church was built. The stained glass windows tell the story of the history of the Swedish colony of New Sweden.

After crossing the Schuylkill River at Swedesford on December 13, 1777, General George Washington and his troops visited Old Swedes Church and encamped there before going on to Valley Forge.[2]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 5,889
1940 6,143 4.3%
1950 6,404 4.2%
1960 17,096 167.0%
1970 23,743 38.9%
1980 26,138 10.1%
1990 25,722 −1.6%
2000 26,863 4.4%
2010 28,395 5.7%
[3]

As of the 2010 census, the township was 76.0% White, 5.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 14.7% Asian, and 2.1% were two or more races. 3.9% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry [2].

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 26,863 people, 11,575 households, and 7,141 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,593.3 people per square mile (615.2/km²). There were 12,151 housing units at an average density of 720.7/sq mi (278.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 84.75% White, 4.63% African American, 0.13% Native American, 8.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.79% of the population.

There were 11,575 households out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.3% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the township the population was spread out with 18.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $65,636, and the median income for a family was $78,690. Males had a median income of $51,247 versus $38,166 for females. The per capita income for the township was $34,961. About 1.3% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

Township Mission Statement[edit]

"To promote community vitality, economic prosperity and cultural harmony, Upper Merion Township will provide services which are responsive to the health, safety and general welfare needs of the community."

"The township government is dedicated to providing these services through the efficient and effective use of the community's available resources in an honest, open and caring manner."

Government and politics[edit]

Upper Merion Township is run by an elected five person Board of Supervisors, each of whom serve staggered six year terms. The current supervisors are Chairperson Greg Waks (D), Vice Chairperson Erika Spott (D), William Jenaway (R), Carole Kenney (D) and Greg Philips (D). All township meetings are televised by Upper Merion Government Access Television (UMGA-TV.)

The Tax Collector is Rose Hykel (R).

The elected Board of Auditors are Van Weiss (R), George Shoffner (R) and Lynn Cosentino (R).

The Supervisors hire a township manager to run the operations of the township. The current township manager is David G. Kraynik.

The township is part of the Thirteenth Congressional District (represented by Rep. Allyson Schwartz), the Seventh Congressional District (represented by Rep. Pat Meehan), the 149th State House District (represented by Rep. Tim Briggs) and the 17th State Senate District (represented by Sen. Daylin Leach).

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2008 40.1% 5,694 59.1% 8,791
2004 43.1% 6,380 56.5% 8,375
2000 43.5% 5,455 54.2% 6,801
1996 40.8% 4,231 48.8% 5,062
1992 32.3% 5,099 42.6% 5,528

Economy[edit]

Top employers[edit]

According to Upper Merion Township's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[5] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees Community
1 Lockheed Martin 3,568 King of Prussia
2 GlaxoSmithKline 2,732 King of Prussia
3 GSI Commerce 991 King of Prussia
4 Pershing 853 King of Prussia
5 Upper Merion Area School District 691 King of Prussia
6 United States Liability Insurance Group 655 Wayne
7 Yellowbook 648 King of Prussia
8 Shellville Services 530 King of Prussia
9 Nordstrom 486 King of Prussia
10 Broadview Networks 469 King of Prussia

Education[edit]

Public school students in Upper Merion Township attend schools in the Upper Merion Area School District.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]