Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania

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Pen Argyl
Borough of Pen Argyl
Pen Argyl
Pen Argyl
Etymology: Pen, Cornish for "head;" or "end," Argyl, for "clay" (or slate)
Location of Pen Argyl in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Pen Argyl in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
Pen Argyl is located in Pennsylvania
Pen Argyl
Pen Argyl
Location of Pen Argyl in Pennsylvania
Pen Argyl is located in the United States
Pen Argyl
Pen Argyl
Pen Argyl (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°52′08″N 75°15′20″W / 40.86889°N 75.25556°W / 40.86889; -75.25556Coordinates: 40°52′08″N 75°15′20″W / 40.86889°N 75.25556°W / 40.86889; -75.25556
CountryUnited States
 • Total1.39 sq mi (3.61 km2)
 • Land1.34 sq mi (3.48 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
781 ft (238 m)
 • Total3,595
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,649.78/sq mi (1,022.81/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)610 and 484
FIPS code42-58696
School DistrictPen Argyl Area School District

Pen Argyl (/pɛn ɑːrɪl/; Pennsylvania Dutch: Kleiberg) is a borough in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, 26 miles (42 km) north of Allentown, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. It is part of Pennsylvania's Slate Belt.[3]


In 1853, Joseph Kellow discovered slate in the surrounding area, coining what is now known as the Slate Belt community. The name Pen Argyl originated from the Cornish name meaning "head" and the Anglo-Saxon name of Slate Rock, meaning "argylite". With the surge of quarrymen from Cornwall and England, the town expanded. Today, there is still one slate quarry in operation.[4] Pen Argyl was once home to Lehigh & New England Railroad’s main freight yard and maintenance complex. The railroad’s roundhouse and shop building still stand just west of town along Pennsylvania Ave.


In 1900, 2,784 people lived in Pen Argyl, and in 1910, 3,967 people lived here. The population was 3,595 at the 2010 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), of which 0.71% is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)3,556[2]−1.1%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 3,615 people, 1,427 households, and 1,003 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,603.9 people per square mile (1,004.1/km2). There were 1,506 housing units at an average density of 1,084.8 per square mile (418.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.81% White, 0.07% African American, 0.01% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.05% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.22% of the population.

There were 1,427 households, out of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 26.7% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $40,066, and the median income for a family was $47,935. Males had a median income of $32,596 versus $23,239 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,145. About 4.3% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.

Public education[edit]

The borough is served by the Pen Argyl Area School District.

Notable locations and events[edit]

Pen Argyl is the burial place of actress Jayne Mansfield, whose family requested to have her body buried in Fairview Cemetery, located on the borough's outskirts. Her heart-shaped gravestone is visible from the road.

Pen Argyl is also home to the Weona Park Dentzel carousel, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

Pen Argyl's Fire Company, Lookout Fire Company #1, also holds an annual Labor Day parade and carnival.[9]

Pen Argyl is also home to Real English Foods, Inc, the company behind Mr. Pastie.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "About Slate Belt Chamber of Commerce". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  4. ^ "Pen Argyl Borough". Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. 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 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Lookout Fire Company parade marches through a sea of flags: In Pen Argyl, the Labor Day event is as big as any holiday celebration. - Morning Call (Allentown, PA)

External links[edit]