Bristol, Pennsylvania

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This article is about the borough in Bucks County. For Bristol Township, the township in Bucks County, see Bristol Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Borough of Bristol
Delaware River Bristol.JPG
Lions Park on the Delaware River
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Bucks
Elevation 20 ft (6.1 m)
Coordinates 40°06′12″N 74°51′05″W / 40.10333°N 74.85139°W / 40.10333; -74.85139Coordinates: 40°06′12″N 74°51′05″W / 40.10333°N 74.85139°W / 40.10333; -74.85139
Area 1.9 sq mi (4.9 km2)
 - land 1.6 sq mi (4 km2)
 - water 0.2 sq mi (1 km2), 10.53%
Population 9,726 (2010)
Density 6,016.5 / sq mi (2,323 / km2)
Settled 1681
Mayor Patrick Sabatini Sr.
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 19007
Area code 215 Exchanges: 781,785,788,826,874
Location of Bristol in Bucks County
Location of Bristol in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Designated January 13, 1949[1]

Bristol is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of Center City Philadelphia, opposite Burlington, New Jersey on the Delaware River. Bristol was first incorporated in 1720. Although its charter was revised in 1905, the original charter remains in effect, making Bristol one of the older boroughs in Pennsylvania. 7,104 people lived in Bristol in 1900; 9,256 in 1910; 10,273 in 1920; and 11,895 in 1940. The population was 9,726 at the 2010 census. The current Mayor is Patrick Sabatini Sr. The first female Mayor was Margaret Stakenas, elected in 1979.


House on Mill Street constructed in 1781

Bristol was first settled in 1681 as Buckingham (for Buckingham, England). It was originally used as a port and dock. Bristol is rich in history, boasting many historic and restored houses that line the streets of Radcliffe and Mill.

Until 1725 Bristol served as county seat of Bucks County.[2]

From its earliest days Bristol was a center of milling. With the building of the Delaware Canal and the Pennsylvania Railroad it became a center of transportation and an attractive location for industry.[3]

By the 1880s Bristol was home to many factories, including companies manufacturing wall paper and carpet.[3]

In 1917 Averell Harriman organized the Bristol shipyards. The area around the shipyards was named Harriman. In 1922 Harriman was annexed by Bristol.[4]

During World War II the old shipyards were used to build airplanes.[5]

In 1961, Bristol gained national attention when the song "Bristol Stomp", by The Dovells hit #2 on the Billboard pop chart. The song remains a local favorite, and it is often played at ceremonies, parades, and sporting events.

The Bristol Historic District, Bristol Industrial Historic District, Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, Dorrance Mansion, General Stores and Mold Loft Building-Harriman Yard of the Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation, Grundy Mill Complex, Harriman Historic District, Jefferson Avenue School and Jefferson Land Association Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal is also designated a National Historic Landmark District.[6]


The historic King George II Inn, in downtown Bristol
The historic Grundy Mills Complex, a former textile mill in Bristol.

Attractions include the Bristol Riverside Theatre, and the Margaret R. Grundy Library and Museum. In the summer there are many festivals and free concerts. The cultural festivals include: Celtic Day, Puerto-Rican Day, African-American Day, and Italian Day (with a Doo-Wop Concert). There is also an Antique Car Show, Arts & Crafts Festival, and a Fall Auto Show. All held at the Bristol Lions Park, Bristol Wharf and in the Historic Mill Street Shopping District by the Delaware River.

Silver Lake Park and Nature Center provides an area of recreation.


Bristol is located at 40°6′12″N 74°51′5″W / 40.10333°N 74.85139°W / 40.10333; -74.85139 (40.103382, -74.851448).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (10.81%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 511
1810 628 22.9%
1820 908 44.6%
1830 1,262 39.0%
1840 1,438 13.9%
1850 2,570 78.7%
1860 3,314 28.9%
1870 3,269 −1.4%
1880 5,273 61.3%
1890 6,553 24.3%
1900 7,104 8.4%
1910 9,256 30.3%
1920 10,273 11.0%
1930 11,799 14.9%
1940 11,895 0.8%
1950 12,710 6.9%
1960 12,364 −2.7%
1970 12,085 −2.3%
1980 10,867 −10.1%
1990 10,405 −4.3%
2000 9,923 −4.6%
2010 9,726 −2.0%
Est. 2014 9,595 [8] −1.3%

As of the 2010 census, the borough was 81.1 White, 9.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 3.5% were two or more races. 14.2% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.[13] There are 661 veterans living in Bristol Borough.

As of the census[11] of 2010, there were 9,726 people, 4,237 households, and 3,926 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,016.5 people per square mile (2,322.0/km²). There were 4,207 housing units at an average density of 2,550.8 per square mile (984.4/km²).

There were 4,004 households, out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 24.5% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $47,093, and the median income for a family was $44,517. Males had a median income of $35,090 versus $27,836 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $17,198. About 8.2% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.7% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.


The Bristol Borough School District comprises two public schools: Warren Snyder-John Girotti Elementary School (K-8) and Bristol High School (9-12). Other schooling opportunities in Bristol are offered through the Roman Catholic parish school of St. Mark Church (K-8), located in the borough. Conwell-Egan Roman Catholic School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania provides private/parochial schooling for children in grades 9-12. Higher education in Bristol includes Pennco Tech.

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  2. ^ Bristol, Pennsylvania - LoveToKnow 1911
  3. ^ a b "History & Culture". Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Bristol Yard
  5. ^ Bristol, PA: History, Destinations and Activities
  6. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Census 2010: Pennsylvania". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 

External links[edit]