Sayre Historical Society Museum
Map of Bradford County with Sayre highlighted
|• Total||2.03 sq mi (5.27 km2)|
|• Land||2.02 sq mi (5.24 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||771 ft (235 m)|
|• Density||2,764/sq mi (1,067.0/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||overlay area code will be 272)|
Sayre is the largest borough in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Elmira, New York. In the past, various iron products were made there. In 1900, 5,243 people lived there; in 1910, 6,426 people lived there, and in 1940, 7,569 persons made their homes in Sayre. The population was 5,587 at the 2010 census.
Sayre is part of the Penn-York Valley ("The Valley"), a group of four contiguous communities in New York and Pennsylvania: Waverly, New York; South Waverly, Pennsylvania; Sayre; Athens, Pennsylvania, and smaller surrounding communities with a combined population near 35,000. Sayre is the principal city of the Sayre, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area.
In May 1870, a Waverly banker named Howard Elmer, along with Charles Anthony and James Fritcher, bought the Pine Plains area between Waverly and Athens. Elmer convinced Asa Packer to locate a new railroad repair facility on the Pine Plains for the expanding Lehigh Valley Railroad, which was making a push north to connect to the Erie Railroad at Waverly. Robert Heysham Sayre, president of the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad, helped cement the deal. The town was named in his honor. Sayre was incorporated on January 27, 1891.
In 1904 when the locomotive shops were built at Sayre, the main shop building was believed to be the largest structure in the world under one roof, but held that title for only a brief time. The railroad operated from 1870 until 1976, but maintenance facilities were shifted away before that. With the decline of industry, population has declined since 1940.
Sayre is located at  in a river valley in the Allegheny Plateau just north of the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chemung River, along with Athens, Pennsylvania, South Waverly, Pennsylvania, and Waverly, New York. Together, these small towns make up the greater area known as the Penn-York Valley, or just "the Valley". The New York / Pennsylvania border cuts through the valley. There is no physical border between the towns, as the grid of streets and avenues blend seamlessly from one town to another. Sayre is bounded on the east and west by Athens Township, on the south by the borough of Athens, on the northwest by South Waverly, and on the north by Waverly, New York.(41.983567, -76.520845)
Pennsylvania Route 199 passes through the borough as Keystone Avenue, Mohawk Street, and Spring Street, ending at Interstate 86 just over the state line in Waverly, New York. Via I-86 it is 17 miles (27 km) northwest to Elmira, New York, and by New York State Route 17 (future I-86) it is 38 miles (61 km) east to Binghamton, New York.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.03 square miles (5.27 km2). 2.02 square miles (5.24 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.67%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,587 people, 2,479 households, and 1,394 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,793.5 people per square mile (1,091.2/km²). There were 2,693 housing units at an average density of 1,346.5 per square mile (526/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96% White, 0.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
There were 2,479 households, out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16% 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 2.94.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 60.1% from 18 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years.
The median income for a household in the borough was $34,221, and the median income for a family was $57,256. Males had a median income of $41,895 versus $27,816 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,956. About 6.6% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.9% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,813 people, 2,529 households, and 1,514 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,866.8 people per square mile (1,105.6/km²). There were 2,722 housing units at an average density of 1,342.4 per square mile (517.7/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.92% White, 0.62% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.26% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71% of the population.
There were 2,529 households, out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.0 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $33,338, and the median income for a family was $40,571. Males had a median income of $30,685 versus $24,837 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,549. About 7.1% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
- Arcesia (John Anthony Arcesi), jazz singer
- Chuck Ciprich, race car driver
- Colleen Dominguez, ESPN reporter
- Donnie Guthrie, physician
- George Hennard, perpetrator of the Luby's shooting
- Cabot Lyford, sculptor born in Sayre in 1925
- Red Murray, baseball player
- Charles C. Pixley, doctor
- Jane Roberts, author
- Erwin Rudolph, billiards player
- Robert S. Smith, priest
- Jeff Terpko, baseball player
- Elishama Tozer, Revolutionary War politician
- The Morning Times: formerly called The Evening Times (based in Sayre; serves Waverly, Sayre, Athens and surrounding communities)
- Star-Gazette (based in Elmira; serves Tioga, Chemung and Steuben counties in New York and Bradford County in Pennsylvania)
- The Daily Review (based in Towanda; serves Bradford County and surrounding areas)
- WAVR - 102.1 FM (based in Sayre; licensed in Waverly for FM broadcasting to the Twin Tiers market)
- WATS - 960 AM (based in Sayre; licensed in Sayre for AM broadcasting to the Twin Tiers market)
- WPHD - 96.1 FM (based in Horseheads, New York; licensed in South Waverly (adjacent to Sayre) for FM broadcasting to the Twin Tiers market)
- W297BG - 107.3 FM (based in Wysox; licensed in Ulster, Athens, and Sayre for FM broadcasting to the Twin Tiers market
- Binghamton: WBNG CBS; WIVT ABC; WBGH NBC; WICZ Fox; and WSKG Public Television
- Elmira: WETM NBC; WENY ABC & CBS; and WYDC Fox
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton: WOLF (W52CE-TV Sayre) Fox; WNEP ABC; and WYOU CBS
Sayre has one bus service, the Endless Mountains Transportation Authority. The EMTA's Blue Bus makes numerous stops in Waverly, Sayre, and Athens. Sayre and The Valley also have taxi service available through Valley Taxi.
Children residing in the borough are assigned to attend the Sayre Area School District.
Sayre is home to the Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic.
- Sayre Little League
- Sayre Recreation Program
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters
- Community Service Club
- Sayre Library
The "horned giants" of Sayre is an urban legend concerning a series of skeletons that included a horned skull reportedly discovered during the 1880s by the then-state historian, Dr. G.P. Donehoo, and two visiting professors, A.B. Skinner and W.K. Moorehead while excavating a burial mound. The skeletons were reported to be at or above 7 feet (2.1 m) in height, possessing skulls that had horn-like protuberances just above the eyebrows, but were claimed to have been lost, misplaced, or stolen while in route to the American Investigation Museum. Neither Donehoo, Skinner, nor Moorehead described the discovery of any human skeletons at Sayre exhibiting gigantism or horned protrusions in their official excavation reports
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sayre borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "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.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Keyes, Bob (2016-01-23). "Maine sculptor Cabot Lyford dies at 90". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
- Marrs, Jim (2013). Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?. William Morrow. p. 40. ISBN 0062130315.
- Lake, Matt (2009). Weird Pennsylvania. Sterling. p. 68. ISBN 1402766866.
- DeLoach, Charles (1995). Giants. Scarecrow Press. p. 146. ISBN 0810829711.
- Steiger, Brad (2010). Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside. Visible Ink Press. p. 85. ISBN 1578592208.
- Moorehead, Warren K. (1918). "A Brief Summary of the Archaeology of the Susquehanna". The Second Report of the Historical Commission of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Historical Commission): 117–126.
- Donehoo, George P. (1918). "The Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition". The Second Report of the Historical Commission of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Historical Commission): 126–151.
- Skinner, Alanson (October 1919). "Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition. Second Report of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission (Review)". American Anthropologist (Wiley) 21 (4): 448–449. doi:10.1525/aa.1919.21.4.02a00120.
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