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Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Coordinates: 40°12′44″N 77°00′22″W / 40.21222°N 77.00611°W / 40.21222; -77.00611
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Flag of Mechanicsburg
Official seal of Mechanicsburg
"A good place to live since 1828"
Location of Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Mechanicsburg is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania and the United States
Mechanicsburg is located in the United States
Mechanicsburg (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°12′44″N 77°00′22″W / 40.21222°N 77.00611°W / 40.21222; -77.00611
CountryUnited States
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorJack Ritter
 • Council PresidentKyle Miller
 • Council Vice PresidentJohn Anthony
 • Borough ManagerLayne Thompson
 • Borough SolicitorMichael Cassidy
 • Total2.41 sq mi (6.25 km2)
 • Land2.41 sq mi (6.24 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
446 ft (136 m)
 • Total9,311
 • Density3,861.88/sq mi (1,491.39/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
17055, 17050
Area code717
FIPS code42-48376

Mechanicsburg is a borough in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The borough is eight miles (13 km) west of Harrisburg. It is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 8,981.[3] The 2020 census reported the population at 9,311.


Mechanicsburg is located in eastern Cumberland County at 40°12′44″N 77°00′22″W / 40.212089°N 77.006143°W / 40.212089; -77.006143.[4] It is in a rich agricultural region known as the Cumberland Valley, a broad zone between South Mountain and the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians.

Mechanicsburg is bordered by Silver Spring Township to the northwest, Monroe Township to the southwest, Upper Allen Township to the south, Lower Allen Township to the east, and Hampden Township to the northeast. Pennsylvania Route 641 (Trindle Road) is the main east–west street through the borough, leading east 4 miles (6 km) to Camp Hill and west 10 miles (16 km) to Carlisle, the county seat. Pennsylvania Route 114 leads north out of town on York Street and south on Market Street. Interstate 76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, passes just south of Mechanicsburg, with access to the southeast of town via Exit 236 (U.S. Route 15).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.41 square miles (6.25 km2), of which 1.1 acres (4,478 m2), or 0.07%, is water.[3] It has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) and monthly average temperatures range from 29.9 °F (−1.2 °C) in January to 74.8 °F (23.8 °C) in July.[5] The hardiness zone is borderline between 6b and 7a, meaning that the annual average absolute minimum temperature is approximately 0 °F.[6]


In 1900, 3,841 people lived here; in 1910, the population was 4,469, which increased to 5,709 in 1940. As of the 2010 census, the borough population was 8,981.

Historical population

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 9,042 people, 4,023 households, and 2,466 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,494.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,349.3/km2). There were 4,169 housing units at an average density of 1,611.3 units per square mile (622.1 units/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.97% White, 0.43% African American, 0.09% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.

There were 4,024 households, out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. Of all households, 32.8% were made up of individuals, and 10.3% 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 2.85.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 21.5% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $45,200, and the median income for a family was $54,228. Males had a median income of $37,130 versus $27,940 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $22,812. About 2.4% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Mechanicsburg was named after a settlement of mechanics who made and repaired Conestoga wagons in the early 19th century.

In 1837, when the Cumberland Valley Railroad (CVRR) completed its line, Mechanicsburg was designated as a water station, where workers could restock the locomotive with firewood and water. This important function also contributed to the town's growth. The train became the town's link to the world of business and industry. Grain and feed companies, lumber yards and numerous factories were purposely built alongside the railroad tracks. Archives show that, at one time[when?], there were twenty-five trains chugging through the town daily carrying travelers, coal, feathers, fruit, ice, mail and newspapers. During the American Civil War, the railroad was an invaluable method of transporting troops and supplies. Today[when?], approximately six trains travel through Mechanicsburg each day, which has recently[when?] increased due to new operations on the local sub-line owned by Norfolk Southern. Although automotive technology changed the town forever, today's residents cannot dismiss the vital role the railroad played in its development.[10]

Another part of Mechanicsburg's growth occurred when the Naval Support Activity was built on 840 acres (340 ha) of land in Hampden Township, Pennsylvania. NSA Mechanicsburg continues to serve as one of the Defense Department's major logistics sites.

Present-day Mechanicsburg is centered on 100 acres (40 ha) that Leonard Fisher purchased from Joseph Heynes' tract (No. 1442 of an original grant of 267 acres (1.08 km2) from William Penn. Before becoming incorporated on April 12, 1828, the town went by several different names. First, Drytown, because of the extreme scarcity of water during the winter and summer. It was also known as Pinchgut, a German name used as a sign of amusement given to a small village of only a few people. Some also referred to the town as Staufferstown, in honor of Henry Stauffer, the owner of much of the land in the center of town, or briefly as Creekville during the Colonial Era.

On June 28, 1863, Confederate troops led by Brig. Gen. Albert G. Jenkins raided Mechanicsburg, and two days later, met with Union forces in the Skirmish of Sporting Hill, just east of town. Following the Skirmish of Sporting Hill, the Confederate forces retreated south into the little town of Gettysburg where the Battle of Gettysburg would be fought.[10]

The oldest building in Mechanicsburg is the Frankeberger Tavern. One of Mechanicsburg's first residents was George Frankeberger, who in 1801 applied for a license to open his newly built log home for the "convenience" of travelers. In exchange for a small fee, Mr. Frankeberger offered cattle drivers a warm meal and a place to sleep. This proved to be rather lucrative, as many people were making the two-day trek between Harrisburg (the state capital) and Carlisle (Cumberland County's county seat).

Mechanicsburg is home to many historic markers, such as Irving Female College (named for Washington Irving, a trustee), the first women's college in Pennsylvania to grant degrees in arts and sciences.[10] The Mechanicsburg Commercial Historic District, Irving Female College, Cumberland Valley Railroad Station and Station Master's House, Adam Orris House, and Simpson Street School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has its headquarters in Hampden Township, Cumberland County, near Mechanicsburg.[12][13] Mechanicsburg lies in the center of a regional transportation crossroads, with Interstate 81, Interstate 76, Interstate 83, US Route 11, and US Route 15 passing in close proximity to the borough. The Appalachian Trail passes through Pennsylvania a few miles west of Mechanicsburg, in nearby Boiling Springs. The Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg is located off the Carlisle Pike just outside of Mechanicsburg.

Points of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

flag Pennsylvania portal


  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): Mechanicsburg city, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ https://prism.oregonstate.edu/explorer/
  6. ^ https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/InteractiveMap.aspx
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ a b c "Mechanicsburg Museum". Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "Contact Us." Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Retrieved on October 5, 2012. "Central Office: 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050"
  13. ^ "Street Map." (Archive) Hampden Township. Retrieved on October 5, 2012.
  14. ^ Ahearn, Cale (August 28, 2019). "Animal cruelty charges filed against former MLB player after his 14-year-old dog was found decaying inside his Mechanicsburg home". Fox43. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  15. ^ Rodearmel, William (1893). Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894. E.K. Meyers Printing House. p. 164. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  16. ^ Mautner, Chris (September 18, 2013). "Mechanicsburg expat, cartoonist Charles Forsman explores teen-age angst, alienation in 'TEOTFW'". PennLive. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  17. ^ Adams, Sean (February 23, 2024). "How this central Pa. comedian went from fired 'SNL' cast member to host". PennLive. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  18. ^ "Fire destroys Bret Michaels' Pennsylvania childhood home". Las Vegas Sun. January 28, 2016. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  19. ^ Linder, Brian (January 19, 2023). "Cumberland Valley grad 'Scump' Abner, one of the greatest Call of Duty players ever, retires from gaming". PennLive. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  20. ^ Billingsley, Matthew (2007). "Andrew Kevin Walker". Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Retrieved May 14, 2024.

External links[edit]