Wyomissing, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 40°19′58″N 75°57′53″W / 40.33278°N 75.96472°W / 40.33278; -75.96472
Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Borough
Official name: Borough of Wyomissing
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Berks
Elevation 338 ft (103 m)
Coordinates 40°19′58″N 75°57′53″W / 40.33278°N 75.96472°W / 40.33278; -75.96472
Area 11.65 km2 (4 sq mi)
 - land 11.60 km2 (4 sq mi)
 - water 0.05 km2 (0 sq mi)
Population 10,461 (2010)
Density 902.0 / km2 (2,336.2 / sq mi)
Incorporated July 2, 1907
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19610
Area code 610
Location of Wyomissing in Berks County
Location of Wyomissing in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: www.co.berks.pa.us/Muni/Wyomissing

Wyomissing is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States, established on July 2, 1906. As of the 2010 census the population was 10,461,[1] compared to 8,587 at the 2000 census. The population growth of the borough was largely due to its merger in January 2002 with neighboring Wyomissing Hills.[2] Wyomissing is the most populous borough in Berks County.[3] The borough is recognized as a Tree City USA[4] and selected as a "Contender" for the best places to live in Pennsylvania by Money magazine.[5]

Geography[edit]

Wyomissing is located central Berks County at 40°19′58″N 75°57′53″W / 40.33278°N 75.96472°W / 40.33278; -75.96472 (40.332742, -75.964603).[6] It is bordered by the city of Reading to the northeast and southeast, by West Reading directly to the east, by the borough of Shillington and Cumru Township to the south, by Spring Township to the west and northwest, and by Bern Township to the north. From south to north, the west side of Wyomissing is bordered by the unincorporated communities of Montrose Manor, Lincoln Park, West Wyomissing, West Lawn, Whitfield, and Colony Park. Directly to the north, in Bern Township, is the unincorporated community of Greenfields.

The northeast boundary of Wyomissing with Reading is formed by Tulpehocken Creek and a small portion of the Schuylkill River. Wyomissing Creek flows from southwest to northeast towards the Schuylkill through the southern part of the borough.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 4.50 square miles (11.65 km2), of which 4.48 square miles (11.60 km2) is land and 0.019 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.47%, is water.[1]

History[edit]

1685 to 1906[edit]

The original inhabitants of Wyomissing were Lenape (Delaware) Native Americans who lived along the banks of Wyomissing Creek. The name Wyomissing is from the Delaware language, meaning "the land of flats".[7] Much of Berks County was transferred from the Native Americans to William Penn in 1685. Title to the land that much of Wyomissing is built upon was in two parcels, an eastern tract and a western tract, which were divided by a northwesterly line in the vicinity of Lake Avenue. One of the earliest industries in the area was the Evans Grist Mill. This building still stands at the corner of Old Mill Road and Old Wyomissing Road.

In 1896 present-day Wyomissing began to take form when Thomas P. Merritt (a Reading lumber dealer) acquired 600 acres (240 ha). Albert Thalheimer, David H. Keiser, Marthias Mengel, and Levi Walter Mengel joined Thomas R. Merrit in organizing the Reading Suburban Real Estate Company. Shortly afterwards Wyomissing Industries, manufacturer of textile machinery, was established by the firm of Thun & Janssen along the Reading Railroad just west of Van Reed Road (today named Park Road). This spurred development, and soon there were many developers working to build Wyomissing.

In 1904 and 1905, Thun and Janssen called town meetings to discuss setting up a borough government. Eventually petitions were filed with the courts for the establishment of a borough, signed by 61 resident property owners and 39 non-resident property owners.

On July 2, 1906, the court issued the final decree of the incorporation of the Borough of Wyomissing.

1907 to present[edit]

Between 1906 and the 1940s, several additional tracts of land were annexed to the borough from Spring and Cumru townships. However, 1949-1950 saw the largest annexation, in the addition of the area north of the railroad tracts known as Berkshire Heights. This drastically changed the borough map.

From that point forward, the borough has changed from farmland to a large residential and commercial community. The last farmland worked in the borough was part of the Hartman Farm at the intersection of Woodland and Papermill roads. This land was sold into commercial development in the early 1990s. This includes the area now called "Woodmill Commons", where Toys R Us, Old Navy and other businesses now are located.

In 2002, Wyomissing merged with its smaller neighbor, Wyomissing Hills.

Economy[edit]

Wyomissing is a thriving commercial office and retail center, in large part due to its proximity to Reading. The Berkshire Mall is located in Wyomissing along with several other large shopping centers with their retail giants and restaurants. As crime soared in Reading throughout the 1990s, companies and corporations relocated from the city to newer, Class A office space in the borough. In addition to a suburban layout, the greater Wyomissing area is at the crossroads of U.S. Routes 422 and 222, providing immediate highway access to the rest of the greater Philadelphia and Berks County region. Several large corporations are headquartered in Wyomissing, including Penn National Gaming, the second largest gaming company in the U.S., Boscov's Inc., currently the largest family-owned department store chain in the U.S., and Carpenter Technology Corporation. UGI and VF Corporation have major operations in the borough. Sovereign Bank was previously headquartered here. Wyomissing has outpaced the rest of the Southeastern Pennsylvania region in job growth, registering an average job growth of 13.3% per year from 2000 to 2006. Financial giants Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Citibank are developing data backup centers using the region's close proximity to major fiber optic lines running down the East Coast.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 985
1920 2,062 109.3%
1930 3,111 50.9%
1940 3,320 6.7%
1950 4,187 26.1%
1960 5,044 20.5%
1970 7,136 41.5%
1980 6,551 −8.2%
1990 7,332 11.9%
2000 8,587 17.1%
2010 10,461 21.8%
Est. 2012 10,476 0.1%
Sources:[8][9][10]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 8,587 people, 3,359 households, and 2,096 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,246.0 people per square mile (867.9/km²). There were 3,539 housing units at an average density of 925.7 per square mile (357.7/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 94.76% White, 1.50% African American, 0.07% Native American, 1.90% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.83% of the population.

There were 3,359 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the borough the population was spread out with 18.2% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 17.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 28.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $54,681, and the median income for a family was $78,112. Males had a median income of $54,167 versus $34,815 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $37,313. About 1.4% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Public education[edit]

The borough is served by the Wyomissing Area School District, which includes Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center, serving grades K-4, West Reading Elementary Center, serving grades 5-6, and Wyomissing Area Jr. and Sr. High School, serving grades 7-12.[11] The Berkshire Heights portion of the borough is served by the Wilson School District.[12]

Private schools[edit]

There are several Catholic schools just outside of Wyomissing that serve area students. Among them are St. Ignatius Loyola (K-8) in Spring Township and Sacred Heart (K-8) in West Reading. As of the fall of 2011, the newly formed Berks Catholic High School at 955 E Wyomissing Blvd in Reading (formerly Holy Name High School) serves students in grades 9-12.

Notable people[edit]

Entertainers

Athletes

Writers

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Wyomissing borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ Berks County Data Book Chapter 1
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): All county subdivisions in Berks County, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ Tree City USA (PA)
  5. ^ Money magazine's Best Places Wyomissing Profile
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 576
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ Schools of the Wyomissing Area School District
  12. ^ Schools of the Wilson School District

Further reading[edit]

  • Edmonds, George H. (2006). Wyomissing -- An American Dream: Enterprise Shaping Community. GHE Books. ISBN 1-4276-0102-X.

External links[edit]