|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Official name: Borough of Wyomissing|
|Elevation||338 ft (103 m)|
|Area||3.8 sq mi (10 km2)|
|- land||3.8 sq mi (10 km2)|
|- water||0.04 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Density||2,752.9 / sq mi (1,062.9 / km2)|
|Incorporated||July 2, 1907|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Wyomissing is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States, established on July 2, 1906. The population was 8,587 at the 2000 census, but after the January, 2002 merger with neighboring Wyomissing Hills, the combined 2000 Census estimate was 11,155 making it the most populous borough in Berks County. The borough is recognized as a Tree City USA and selected as a "Contender" for the best places to live in Pennsylvania by Money magazine.
Wyomissing is located at (40.332742, -75.964603).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), of which, 3.76 square miles (9.7 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (1.05%) is water.
1685 to 1906
The original inhabitants of Wyomissing were Lenape (Delaware) Native Americans who lived along the banks of the Wyomissing Creek. The name "Wyomissing" is from the Delaware language, meaning "the land of flats". 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 six hundred acres. 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
Between 1906 and the 1940s, several additional tracts of land were annexed to the Borough from both 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.
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., Carpenter Technology Corp.. UGI Corp. and VF Corp. have major operations in the borough. Sovereign Bank was previously headquartered here. Wyomissing continues to outpace 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 Eastern Coast of the U.S.
As of the census 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.
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. The Berkshire Heights portion of the Borough is served by the Wilson School District.
There are several Catholic Schools that serve students in and around Wyomissing. 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.
- Douglas Carter Beane, playwright
- Megan Gallagher, actress
- Jillian Murray, actress
- Taylor Swift, country music singer-songwriter, 7-time Grammy Awards winner
- Katrina Szish, Television host and Feature's Contributor for CBS "The Early Show"
- Chad Henne, professional football player
- Matt Lytle, professional football player
- Ross Tucker, professional football player
- Randy Cohen, former syndicated NY Times columnist, writer
- Berks County Data Book Chapter 1
- Tree City USA (PA)
- Money magazine's Best Places Wyomissing Profile
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 576
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Schools of the Wyomissing Area School District
- Schools of the Wilson School District
- Edmonds, George H. (2006). Wyomissing -- An American Dream: Enterprise Shaping Community. GHE Books. ISBN 1-4276-0102-X.