Sayre Historical Society Museum
Location of Sayre in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
|• Total||2.04 sq mi (5.27 km2)|
|• Land||2.02 sq mi (5.24 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||771 ft (235 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,687.44/sq mi (1,037.74/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||570 Exchanges: 882,886,887,888|
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.
The Pennsylvania Guide, compiled by the Writers' Program of the Works Progress Administration, described Sayre in 1940 and emphasized the economic and social significance of the railroad, noting that Sayre:
was a small railway settlement until the Lehigh Valley Railroad constructed a roundhouse and shops here in 1871 and named the place for Robert H. Sayre, superintendent of the road. On the left of the railroad tracks, which traverse the eastern section of the town, is a soot-blackened residential district. The triangular business center, though substantial, is also dingy. The Lehigh Valley Railroad Shops ... devoted to maintenance, repairs, and storage, employ more than 1,200 men and completely dominate Sayre's existence. Blue denim overalls and high-crowned railroaders' caps are everywhere in evidence.— Federal Writers'Project, "Part III: Tours", Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State (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.
At the 2010 census there were 5,587 people, 2,479 households, and 1,394 families living 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%.
There were 2,479 households, 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 households were made up of individuals, and 16% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.94.
The age distribution was 22.8% under the age of 18, 60.1% from 18 to 64, and 17.1% 65 or older. The median age was 41 years.
The median household income was $34,221 and the median family income 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.
At the 2000 census there were 5,813 people, 2,529 households, and 1,514 families living 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%.
There were 2,529 households, 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 households were made up of individuals, and 16.2% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.96.
The age distribution was 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% 65 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 household income was $33,338 and the median family income 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
- Peter Cacchione, communist labor leader who served on the New York City Council
- Donnie Guthrie, physician
- George Hennard, perpetrator of the Luby's shooting
- Cabot Lyford, sculptor born in Sayre in 1925
- Red Murray, baseball player
- Erwin Rudolph, billiards player
- Robert S. Smith, priest
- Jeff Terpko, baseball player
- 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)
- WEBO - 105.1 FM (W286CS licensed in Waverly; studios in Owego for the Twin Tiers market)
- WAVR - 102.1 FM (studios in Sayre; licensed in Waverly for the Twin Tiers market)
- WATS - 960 AM (studios in Sayre; licensed in Sayre for the Twin Tiers market)
- WENI-FM - 92.7 FM (in Horseheads, New York; licensed in South Waverly (adjacent to Sayre) for the Twin Tiers market)
- W297BG - 107.3 FM (in Wysox; licensed in Ulster, Athens, and Sayre for 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, BeST Transit. BeST Transit makes numerous stops in Waverly, Sayre, and Athens and provides service to Towanda, Wysox, Troy, Canton, and the Lycoming Mall. 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 Guthrie 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 en 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
- "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 24, 2019.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sayre borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- Federal Writers' Project (1940). Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State (1st ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 517.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "U.S. Census website". 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. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "U.S. Census website". 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.
- "General Public Fixed Route System Map". BeST Transit. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "Sayre Little League homepage".
- "Sayre Area School District – Educating Today's Students for Tomorrow's World".
- Marrs, Jim (2013). Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?. William Morrow. p. 40. ISBN 978-0062130310.
- Lake, Matt (2009). Weird Pennsylvania. Sterling. p. 68. ISBN 978-1402766862.
- DeLoach, Charles (1995). Giants. Scarecrow Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0810829718.
- Steiger, Brad (2010). Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside. Visible Ink Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-1578592203.
- Moorehead, Warren K. (1918). "A Brief Summary of the Archaeology of the Susquehanna". The Second Report of the Historical Commission of Pennsylvania: 117–126.
- Donehoo, George P. (1918). "The Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition". The Second Report of the Historical Commission of Pennsylvania: 126–151.
- Skinner, Alanson (October 1919). "Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition. Second Report of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission (Review)". American Anthropologist. 21 (4): 448–449. doi:10.1525/aa.1919.21.4.02a00120. JSTOR 660573.
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