Ford City, Pennsylvania

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Ford City, Pennsylvania
Official Seal of the Borough of Ford City, Pennsylvania
A Great Place to Work and Live
Location of Ford City in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Ford City in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
Ford City is located in Pennsylvania
Ford City
Ford City
Location of Ford City in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 40°46′17″N 79°31′48″W / 40.77139°N 79.53000°W / 40.77139; -79.53000Coordinates: 40°46′17″N 79°31′48″W / 40.77139°N 79.53000°W / 40.77139; -79.53000
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Mayor
 • MayorJeff Cogley
 • Total0.76 sq mi (1.97 km2)
 • Land0.65 sq mi (1.67 km2)
 • Water0.12 sq mi (0.30 km2)
794 ft (242 m)
 • Total2,991
 • Estimate 
 • Density4,413.95/sq mi (1,705.32/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
Area code(s)724 Exchange: 763
FIPS code42-26512

Ford City is a borough in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, United States, 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Pittsburgh along the east bank of the Allegheny River and 4 miles (6 km) south of Kittanning, the county seat. The population of Ford City at the 2010 census was 2,991.[3]


Ford City was founded in 1887 as a company town by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG Industries) as the site for its Works No. 3 glass factory. The town was named in honor of the company founder, John Baptiste Ford (1811–1903). The factory employed as many as 5,000 workers in its heyday. PPG shut down its Ford City operations in the 1990s. The once largest employer in Armstrong County, Eljer Plumbing, shut down its Ford City plant in 2008.


Ford City is located at 40°46′17″N 79°31′48″W / 40.77139°N 79.53000°W / 40.77139; -79.53000 (40.771410, -79.529906).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), of which 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 15.28%, is water.[3]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20162,847[2]−4.8%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 3,451 people, 1,580 households, and 935 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,864.8 people per square mile (1,876.7/km²). There were 1,713 housing units at an average density of 2,414.8 per square mile (931.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 94.38% White, 3.88% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.

There were 1,580 households, out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.84.

The borough median age of 42 years was more than the county median age of 40 years. The distribution by age group was 21.8% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 25.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $24,457, and the median income for a family was $30,843. Males had a median income of $28,438 versus $21,919 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,318. About 13.5% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Ford City has its own elementary school and in the past had its own high school, Ford City Jr/Sr High School. This, however, had not always been the case. During the early 1990s, Ford City students attended the same school as students from nearby Kittanning. The temporarily consolidated school was called Armstrong Central.

Currently, students in the Ford City area attend Lenape Elementary from kindergarten through sixth grade. The building recently underwent an extensive renovation process. It is located at 2300 Center Avenue, Ford City. According to statistics from, 784 students attended the school in 2007. In honor of the Lenape Native American tribe from the area, the school's mascot is a Native American.

The town's high school, Ford City Jr/Sr High School did not have a separate junior high school. Grades seven through twelve were combined in one building. Unlike the elementary school, the high school was located in Ford City's "downtown" area at 1100 Fourth Avenue, Ford City. According to the Ford City High School Alumni Association [1], FCHS opened its doors in 1909, awarding diplomas to its first graduating class of 4 students on May 10, 1910. The school awarded diplomas to its final graduating class in June 2015. Today, students from Ford City attend Armstrong Jr/Sr High School, a combined 7-12th grade school located at 300 Buffington Drive in Manor Township between Ford City and Kittanning.

Front entrance of the now demolished Ford City High School.

In addition to the town's elementary and high school, two additional schools are located in the area. Students can attend Lenape Vocational Technical School beginning their junior year. It is located just below the elementary school (hence the similar name). Furthermore, the area's only Catholic elementary school, Divine Redeemer, is located on 4th Avenue in downtown Ford City.

Parks & Recreation[edit]

  • Ford City Memorial Park, located on 4th Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets, features an 1891 bronze statue of John B. Ford, by Hartford, Connecticut sculptor Carl Conrads. The park also features a gazebo and a war memorial dedicated to the men and women of Ford City who served in the United States military.
  • 7th Avenue Playground, located at the northern end of 7th Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, was upgraded with new playground equipment in 2017. The playground features a half-court basketball court, a covered pavilion, new playground equipment and a large field equipped with a baseball backstop.
  • Boulder Park, located at the southern end of 6th Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets, was also upgraded with new playground equipment in 2017. The park features a full-court lighted basketball court, a covered pavilion and new playground equipment. It was announced in early 2018 that the basketball court would be completely renovated, allowing for the addition of deck hockey to be played on the court.[8]
  • Armstrong Trail, the 36 mile long Armstrong Trail is located on the former Allegheny Valley Railroad line along the eastern bank of the Allegheny River in Armstrong & Clarion Counties in western PA. The trail links such towns as Ford City, Kittanning & East Brady and is a great place to bicycle, walk, jog, & cross country ski in a safe relaxing environment. 30 miles of the trail, from Rosston to East Brady, is improved trail with several short share-the-road sections. The trail is for non-motorized use only.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The television show American Pickers aired an episode on August 19, 2012 (Season 7, Ep. 2) that consisted of a visit to the Mantini Funeral Home in Ford City as well as several other locations owned by the Mantini brothers.
  • Several scenes of the 2009 horror film My Bloody Valentine 3D were shot in Ford City.
  • The borough was referenced in a scene of the cult classic Night of the Living Dead.
  • Ford City is one setting for the 1983 novel A Country Such as This by James H. Webb, now a former U.S. senator from Virginia.
  • It is used by the writer Frank Brookhouser in his books Request for Sherwood Anderson (1947) and She Made the Big Town (1952).
  • A pictorial history, Around Ford City (2008), was written by William L. Oleksak.
  • Ford City was the setting for a scene in Episode 7 of NBC's apocalyptic television series Revolution, which aired in November 2012. The main characters initially attempt to cross a bridge over the Allegheny River in nearby Freeport, Pennsylvania, but they are ambushed and turned back. The main characters then decide to attempt a bridge crossing in Ford City, but are again unsuccessful.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Ford City borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Gustave Joseph Frerotte". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame::Red Mihalik".
  • Pospishil, Victor J. (Ed.) (1962). Ford City, Pennsylvania 1887–1962: The First Seventy-Five Years of Our Town. Ford City: The Ford City Public Library. ISBN none.

External links[edit]