Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

Coordinates: 40°46′58″N 77°47′13″W / 40.78278°N 77.78694°W / 40.78278; -77.78694
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
Downtown Boalsburg
Downtown Boalsburg
Location within Centre County
Location within Centre County
Boalsburg is located in Pennsylvania
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Boalsburg is located in the United States
Boalsburg (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°46′58″N 77°47′13″W / 40.78278°N 77.78694°W / 40.78278; -77.78694
CountryUnited States
TownshipsHarris, College
 • Total5.80 sq mi (15.03 km2)
 • Land5.80 sq mi (15.02 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,105 ft (337 m)
 • Total4,577
 • Density789.55/sq mi (304.82/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code814
FIPS code42-07368

Boalsburg is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Harris Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the State College, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,722 at the 2010 census.[3] The village claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. However, that claim was brought into question by Bellware and Gardiner in their book, The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday in America, in 2014. In their book, Bellware and Gardiner point out that the Boalsburg story was first published in 1904, forty years after the fact with no indication that General Logan drew inspiration from any activities in Boalsburg and no evidence that it started the holiday.[4]


The name "Boalsburg" comes from the Boal family who settled the region after emigrating from County Londonderry, Ireland.[5][6] The fourth generation of the Boal family, Col. Theodore Davis Boal, married Mathilde de Lagarde whose mother's sister Victoria married Diego Santiago Colón, a descendant of Christopher Columbus.[7] Mathilde inherited a portion of her aunt Victoria's estate in 1908 and brought the Columbus Chapel to the Boal Mansion from Spain in 1919[8] This inheritance included an admiral's desk that family tradition says belonged to Columbus himself.[9] The Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum are open to the public. Boalsburg originally was on the main road for travelers from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, with the David Boal tavern that housed travelers still standing today. Boalsburg is home to the Pennsylvania Military Museum, as well as the headquarters of the Civil War reenacting unit, 3rd Pennsylvania Light Artillery Battery B.

The Boalsburg Historic District and Hill House were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The Boal Mansion was added the following year.[10]

The town has a market square design known as 'the Diamond', a common design feature of towns in the northern province of Ulster in Ireland, the style of which was imported by emigrants from Ulster to Pennsylvania.[11]


Boalsburg is located in southern Centre County at 40°46′58″N 77°47′13″W / 40.78278°N 77.78694°W / 40.78278; -77.78694 (40.782670, -77.786899).[12] It occupies the central and northern sections of Harris Township and extends northwest slightly into College Township. It borders Rothrock State Forest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.8 square miles (15.0 km2), all land.[3] It is centered upon Pennsylvania Route 45 and Business U.S. Route 322. 322 begins as the Mount Nittany Expressway in the CDP and travels northwest from Boalsburg, bypassing State College to the east and north, while Business 322 begins as Boal Avenue and proceeds into the center of State College, 4 miles (6 km) northwest of Boalsburg, as Atherton Street. In the other direction US 322 leads east and then south 27 miles (43 km) to Lewistown.

Spring Creek flows northward through Boalsburg towards Bald Eagle Creek, a tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River. The Tussey Mountain Ski Area is located on the eastern edge of Boalsburg.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[13][2]

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 3,722 people, 1,523 households, and 1,076 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 602.5 inhabitants per square mile (232.6/km2). There were 1,613 housing units at an average density of 260.2/sq mi (100.5/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 93.5% White, 2.2% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 1,523 households, out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $62,289, and the median income for a family was $70,612. The per capita income for the CDP was $32,676. About 4.7% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 2.6% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Oct 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Boalsburg CDP, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Bellware, Daniel and Richard Gardiner, PhD. (2014). The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday in America. Columbus, GA: Columbus State University. pp. 112–115. ISBN 978-0-692-29225-9.
  5. ^ "An American Village - Boalsburg Village Conservancy".
  6. ^[bare URL plain text file]
  7. ^ Garner, Richard L. and Donald C. Henderson (1974). Columbus and Related Family Papers 1451-1902, An Inventory of the Boal Collection. Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 1. ISBN 9780271011745.
  8. ^ Garner, Richard L. and Donald C. Henderson (1974). Columbus and Related Family Papers 1451 - 1902, An inventory of the Boal Collection. Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780271011745.
  9. ^ Kraft, Randy (September 20, 1992). "The Cross And The Sea Chest Columbus, Christian Relics In Historic Boalsburg". The Morning Call. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  11. ^ Gilmore, Peter. "From Rostrevor to Raphoe: An Overview of Ulster Place-Names in Pennsylvania, 1700-1820".
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2019-05-27.

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