Sewickley, Pennsylvania

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Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Sewickley in March 2016
Sewickley in March 2016
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Sewickley, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Sewickley, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°32′11″N 80°11′04″W / 40.53639°N 80.18444°W / 40.53639; -80.18444Coordinates: 40°32′11″N 80°11′04″W / 40.53639°N 80.18444°W / 40.53639; -80.18444
CountryUnited States
 • TypeMayor-council government
 • MayorGeorge Shannon[1]
 • ManagerMarla P. Marcinko
 • Total1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2)
 • Land1.00 sq mi (2.59 km2)
 • Water0.12 sq mi (0.31 km2)
741 ft (226 m)
 • Total3,907
 • Density3,793.3/sq mi (1,464.62/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code412
FIPS code42-69376
GNIS feature ID1187277

Sewickley is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, 12 miles (19 km) west northwest of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. It is a residential suburb of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The population was 3,907 at the 2020 census.[3] The Sewickley Bridge crosses the Ohio River from Sewickley to Moon Township.


Historian Charles A. Hanna suggested "Sewickley" came from Creek words for "raccoon" (sawi) and "town" (ukli).[4] According to Hanna, the Asswikale branch of the Shawnee probably borrowed their name from the neighboring Sawokli Muscogee before the former's migration from present-day South Carolina to Pennsylvania. Contemporary accounts from noted anthropologist Frederick Webb Hodge[5] and the Sewickley Presbyterian Church,[6] as well as the current Sewickley Valley Historical Society[7] concur to varying degrees with Hanna's etymology. Some locals alternatively consider Sewickley to be a Native American word meaning "sweet water."[8]


Old Sewickley Train Station (1887)

The valley surrounding the Big Sewickley Creek was surveyed in 1785 and sold to American Revolutionary War veterans. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, settlers began to trickle in to the area, with flatboats, keelboats, and steamboats forming an industry along the Ohio River.[9]

In 1837, the Edgeworth Female Seminary was moved from Pittsburgh to what was then called Sewickley Bottom.[9] The following year, Sewickley Academy was founded. Becoming a small center for education, by 1840 the community was formally established as Sewickleyville.[9] The borough was incorporated as simply Sewickley on July 6, 1853, after growth continued as the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway was built through the area.[9]

In 1911, the Sewickley Bridge was completed, bringing an end to the ferry industry.[9] Ohio River Boulevard, later designated a part of Pennsylvania Route 65, was completed in 1934.[10]


Sewickley is located at 40°32.25′N 80°10.5′W (40.5390, -80.1807). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), of which 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (11.11%) is water.

Surrounding and adjacent neighborhoods[edit]

Sewickley has four land borders with Edgeworth to the northwest, Glen Osborne to the southwest, Sewickley Heights to the northeast, and Aleppo Township to the east. Across the Ohio River, Sewickley runs adjacent with Moon Township and Coraopolis with the Sewickley Bridge as the direct link to the former.

Along with the four land borders, plus Bell Acres, Glenfield, Haysville, Leetsdale, Leet Township, and Sewickley Hills, Sewickley is located in the Quaker Valley School District. Together, these boroughs and townships constitute a loosely defined region in northwestern Allegheny County. Most of these municipalities – not including Leetsdale and parts of Leet Township – share the Sewickley post office and its 15143 zip code.


Historical population
Census Pop.

The population of Sewickley peaked in the 1960 census, with over 6,000 residents. As of the 2010 census, there were 3,827 people with 1,765 households and 950 families residing in the borough's 1,965 housing units. The racial makeup of the borough was 88.8% White, 7.3% African American, with the remainder of other races or multi-racial. No other single race represented more than 2% of the population. Hispanics represented less than 2% of the population.[18]

According to the 2011–15 American Community Survey, the median household income in the borough was about $91,735 and the median family income was $118,507. The per capita income for the borough was about $54,149.[18]

Government and politics[edit]

Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020[19] 38% (938) 60% (1,514) 2% (54)
2016[20] 40% (819) 58% (1,192) 2% (27)
2012[21] 51% (1,081) 48% (1,004) 1% (21)

Sewickley is divided into wards and is governed by a mayor and a nine-member borough council composed of three members from each ward. Members are elected to four-year terms. The current mayor of Sewickley is George Shannon.[1][22] The current members of council are Jeff Neff (President), Todd Renner (Vice President), Sean Figley (President Pro Tempore), Christine Allen, Julie Barnes, Ed Green, Cynthia Mullins, Larry Rice, and Thomas Rostek.


There are several private schools in the area, including Sewickley Academy, St. James Catholic School, Eden Christian Academy, and Montessori Children's Community. The public school system, Quaker Valley School District, is renowned for an innovative laptop-technology grant received in 2000 from former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge. Quaker Valley School District is often regarded as one of the best and academically top-ranked school districts in the nation. In the spring of 2006, U.S. News & World Report ranked Quaker Valley High School among the top 2% of high schools nationwide. The Sewickley Public Library of the Quaker Valley School District is a Library Journal Star Library for the third year in a row [23] and is continuously one of the top 25 largest libraries in the Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.[24]

Health care[edit]

Sewickley is home to Sewickley Valley Hospital, which is part of the Heritage Valley Health System. Heritage Valley Sewickley provides comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio and the panhandle of West Virginia.

Heritage Valley offers medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its hospitals, community satellite facilities and in physician offices.  Heritage Valley Health System's affiliated physician groups include Heritage Valley Medical Group, Tri-State Obstetrics and Gynecology and Heritage Valley Pediatrics.

Sewickley Cemetery[edit]

In 1860 Sewickley Cemetery was opened. The cemetery is now the resting place of more than 12,000 people. There are also two war memorials located on the burial grounds.[25]

Civil War Memorial[edit]

There is a monument celebrating the local Civil War veterans - it is 20 feet tall and was installed in 2005. There was an 1866 statue which depicted a soldier on bended knee; but that statue was damaged from many years of weather.[25]

Tuskegee Airmen Memorial[edit]

The Tuskegee Airmen have been memorialized in the cemetery with two large black granite blocks. the blocks are inscribed with the names of Western Pennsylvania veterans. Another block shows a depiction of two planes engaged in aerial combat.[26][27]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1995, the movie Roommates was filmed in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania including Sewickley. Roommates starred Peter Falk, D. B. Sweeney, and Julianne Moore, and was directed by Peter Yates. The same year, parts of the movie Houseguest was filmed in Sewickley including Sewickley's main streets, Broad Street and Beaver Street. The Bruegger's Bagels on Beaver Street was temporarily transformed into an operating McDonald's during shooting of Houseguest. In 2002, parts of The Mothman Prophecies were filmed in the Sewickley area. Scenes from the Netflix show Sweet Magnolias was also filmed at the intersection of Broad Street and Beaver Street. Scenes from Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise, and The Lifeguard, starring Kristen Bell, were filmed in the town near the Sewickley Manor apartments and condominiums.[32] Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum, began filming in the Sewickley area in October 2012.[33]

The fictional 1/24 scale town of Elgin Park, by artist and photographer Michael Paul Smith, was loosely based on Sewickley.[34][35]

Sid Lang, a primary character in Wallace Stegner's 1987 novel Crossing to Safety, grew up in Sewickley.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Divittorio, Michael (January 12, 2021). "Sewickley has a new mayor, George Shannon". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Sewickley borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  4. ^ Charles Augustus Hanna (1911). "The Traders at Allegheny on the Main Path; With Some Annals of Kittanning and Chartier's Town". The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and Adventures of the Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path. Vol. 1. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 298. ISBN 9780598504005. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology (1907). Frederick Webb Hodge (ed.). Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico: A-M. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 536. Retrieved December 6, 2016. sewickley.
  6. ^ Presbyterian Church (Sewickley, Pa.) (1914). A history of the Presbyterian Church of Sewickley, Pennsylvania: consisting of certain addresses, delivered February 16-19, 1913, on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the permanent organization of the church ... New York: Knickerbocker Press. pp. 80–. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "The Origin of the Name "Sewickley"". Sewickley Valley Historical Society. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  8. ^ History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. A. Warner & Co. 1889. p. 196. ISBN 9780788446146. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Sewickley History: The Sewickley Valley". Sewickley Valley Historical Society. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  10. ^ Prince, Adam (August 29, 2004). "History of the Ohio River Boulevard". SWPA Roads Project. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  11. ^ "Population of Civil Divisions Less than Counties" (PDF). 1880 United States Census. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "Population-Pennsylvania" (PDF). U.S. Census 1910. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Number and Distribution of Inhabitants:Pennsylvania-Tennessee" (PDF). Fifteenth Census. U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  19. ^ "Primary and General Election Results". Allegheny County. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  20. ^ EL. "2016 Pennsylvania general election results". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  21. ^ EL. "2012 Allegheny County election". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  22. ^ Borough Council & Mayor
  23. ^ Ray Lyons and Keith Curry Lance. "America's Star Libraries, 2011: Top-Rated Libraries". Library Journal.
  24. ^ "Book of Lists". Pittsburgh Business Times. 2012. ISSN 1097-1394.
  25. ^ a b Wills, Rick (June 3, 2010). "Sewickley cemetery 'centerpiece' of town's history". Trib Total Media, LLC. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  26. ^ Isenberg, Robert (September 9, 2011). "Tuskegee Airmen Honored at Sewickley Cemetery". Neighbor News. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  27. ^ "Sewickley Cemetery now home to Tuskegee Airmen Memorial". Hearst Television Inc. Action News Pittsburgh. September 15, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  28. ^ Anderson, Shelly; Molinari, Dave (May 13, 2010). "Penguins Notebook: Crosby buys house not far from Lemieux's". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on May 16, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  29. ^ Bombulie, Jonathan (July 24, 2018). "Penguins owner Mario Lemieux lists Quebec castle for $21,999,066". Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  30. ^ Persak, Mike (January 11, 2021). "Sewickley-born Bianca Smith finally gets chance to focus on baseball alone with Red Sox". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 19, 2021. Smith was born in Sewickley, but most of her upbringing took place in Grapevine, Texas.
  31. ^ Ove, Torsten (February 4, 2012). "Star Sewickley athlete, first black Marine from area". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. A-11. Retrieved August 17, 2021 – via
  32. ^ Tady, Scott (July 10, 2012). "'Lifeguard' movie shoots in Sewickley". Beaver County Times. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  33. ^ Serafini, Kristina (October 17, 2012). "Film crews back in Sewickley area". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  34. ^ "Michael Paul Smith's Elgin Park at Sewickley Public Library | Explore Sewickley". Archived from the original on December 29, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  35. ^ "American Life: Michael Paul Smith's Elgin Park". June 27, 2013.
  36. ^ Stegner, Wallace (1987). Crossing to Safety. New York: Random House. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-375-75931-4.

External links[edit]