Penbrook, Pennsylvania

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Penbrook, Pennsylvania
Penbrook Park in winter
Penbrook Park in winter
Official seal of Penbrook, Pennsylvania
Location in Dauphin County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Dauphin County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Penbrook is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania and the United States
Penbrook is located in the United States
Penbrook (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°16′42″N 76°50′51″W / 40.27833°N 76.84750°W / 40.27833; -76.84750Coordinates: 40°16′42″N 76°50′51″W / 40.27833°N 76.84750°W / 40.27833; -76.84750
CountryUnited States
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorJohn McDonald (2019-Present)
 • Former MayorPeggyanne Miller (2017-2019)
 • Former MayorKenneth J. Cramer (2010-2017)
 • Former MayorRichard Stottlemeyer (1992-2010)
 • Total0.45 sq mi (1.16 km2)
 • Land0.45 sq mi (1.16 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
490 ft (150 m)
 • Total3,008
 • Estimate 
 • Density6,692.83/sq mi (2,582.18/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)717
FIPS code42-58712

Penbrook is a borough in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States, founded in 1861 and incorporated July 10, 1894. Penbrook was once named East Harrisburg and still maintains a Harrisburg postal ZIP code. The population was 3,008 at the 2010 census.[3]

Penbrook is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Penbrook is located in southern Dauphin County at 40°16′42″N 76°50′51″W / 40.27833°N 76.84750°W / 40.27833; -76.84750 (40.278445, -76.847463).[4] It is bordered to the south by the city of Harrisburg.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.45 square miles (1.16 km2), all of it land.[3]


Penbrook Park is an 8.5-acre (3.4 ha) recreational area in the southeast corner of the borough and contains ball fields, a large wooden play structure, basketball courts, concession stand, and a picnic pavilion. It was also the home of the former Penbrook Swim Club. The park is connected to the Capital Area Greenbelt, a 20-mile (32 km) link to Riverfront Park and other regional parks.

Little Valley Park with 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) was given to the community in 1960 by S. Merl Mosby, who reclaimed a Depression-era landfill with more than 2,000 loads of dirt from nearby Edgemont. It contains a ball field, a play structure with a large purple dinosaur, baseball field and basketball courts and is located near East Harrisburg Cemetery and the St. Margaret Mary school.

Reservoir Park, with 85 acres (34 ha), is adjacent to the southwest border of the borough, with Levitt Performing Arts Pavilion and the National Civil War Museum.

Since 1952, the Penbrook Athletic Association has led the community's recreational programs.[5][6]

Government and politics[edit]

There are four voting precincts, one for each ward, though all four polling stations are located in the same room in the Community Building.[7]

The mayor is Peggyanne Miller.

Borough council[edit]

Two council members are elected from each of the borough's four wards.

1st Ward 2nd Ward 3rd Ward 4th Ward
Tammy Sweger David Deardorff2 Nathaniel Shaw James Armbruster
Phillip Copley John McDonald Sandra L. Matio Kevin M. Ramper1

1 Council President, 2 Council Vice President

Council meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at 7:30 pm at the Borough Building.[8]

Caucus meetings are held on the third Monday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Borough Building.[8]


  • State Representative Sue Helm, Republican, 104th district
  • State Senator John DiSanto, Republican, 15th district
  • US Representative Scott Perry, Republican, 10th district

In 2009, a Penbrook couple were threatened with a federal lawsuit by their local government because of their "You're In Steelers Country" sign on their porch.[9] Government officials in Penbrook sent the homeowner a letter reading "The 'Steeler Country' banner must be removed immediately" and ordered them to purchase a $40 permit for the sign in order to comply with the borough's ordinance.[10] The homeowner protested, citing her First Amendment free speech rights, and contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, who negotiated an agreement with the zoning officials to allow the sign to remain.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)2,985[2]−0.8%

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 3,044 people, 1,307 households, and 764 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,636.1 people per square mile (2,555.0/km²). There were 1,398 housing units at an average density of 3,047.7 per square mile (1,173.4/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 77.33% White, 15.24% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.61% Asian, 1.87% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.60% of the population.

There were 1,307 households, out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.5% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 26.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 33.8% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $35,341, and the median income for a family was $44,375. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $26,061 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,274. About 4.4% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.


Opening in 1901, and with additions in the 1930s and 1950s, the Penbrook School initially educated the students through 12 years, but later only educated children through 10th grade. Older students transferred to John Harris HS or Susquehanna Township HS. In 1955, the school became part of the new Central Dauphin School District. The building served as an elementary school until 1982 and now serves as the home to Infinity Charter School. A reunion is held for former students in even-numbered years.[6][15]

St. Margaret Mary Parish School of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg was established in March 1948, with the School Sisters of Notre Dame teaching. Additions were made to the building in 1958, 1985, 2000 and 2011. In 2009 both 3-year-old and Pre-K programs were added. After the completion of a new church off campus, the original church was turned into a gym and multi-purpose area for the school and parish community.[16] [17]


  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. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Penbrook borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "Penbrook Borough Athletic Association". Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b Penbrook Centennial Committee (1994). Penbrook Centennial Celebration 1894-1994.
  7. ^ "Dauphin County polling locations". Dauphin County. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Penbrook Borough Website". Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Penbrook orders football fan to remove 'Steelers Country' sign or buy a permit". Associated Press. Patriot-News. December 10, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-12-13.
  10. ^ Courogen, Chris (December 11, 2009). "Penbrook couple say fight over Steelers banner is about everyone's constitutional rights". Patriot-News. Archived from the original on 2009-12-14.
  11. ^ Reed Ward, Paula (December 10, 2009). "Penbrook residents face ultimatum over Steelers sign". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  13. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "Infinity Charter School". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  16. ^ "About St Margret Marys". Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  17. ^ Echoes of 1922 Published by The Senior Class of Penbrook High School

External links[edit]