St. Marys, Pennsylvania

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Saint Marys, Pennsylvania
Saint Marys City Hall
Saint Marys City Hall
Location in Elk County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Elk County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Elk
Settled 1804
Incorporated (borough) 1848
Incorporated (city) 1992
 • Mayor Bob Howard (R)
 • Total 99.5 sq mi (257.7 km2)
 • Land 99.3 sq mi (257.2 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 1,666 ft (508 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,070
 • Density 131.6/sq mi (51.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC)
Zip code 15857
Area code(s) 814
Website City of St. Marys

St. Marys is a city in Elk County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 13,070 at the 2010 census. Originally a small town inhabited by mostly Bavarian Roman Catholics, it was founded December 8, 1842. It is home to Straub Brewery and the first Benedictine convent in the United States. In 1992, the borough of St. Marys absorbed the surrounding township of Benzinger and incorporated as a city.[1]

St. Marys lies in the center of Pennsylvania's elk country. It is one of the few places east of the Mississippi River that allows hunting of wild elk. The area is known for its access to outdoor activities, including trout streams and state hunting lands inside the city limits.[citation needed]


The town was originally founded as Marienstadt (Mary's City). Many historic structures are located within the boundaries of the St. Marys Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The Decker's Chapel and John E. Weidenboerner House are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]


St. Marys is located at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. (41.437600, -78.542724).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 99.5 square miles (258 km2), of which 99.3 sq mi (257 km2) is land and 0.2 sq mi (0.52 km2) (0.16%) is water. It is at a relatively high elevation of 1,666 ft (508 m) above sea level. The city is bordered by Jones Township to the north, Cameron County to the east, Fox and Jay Townships to the south, and Ridgway Township to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 692
1870 1,084 56.6%
1880 1,501 38.5%
1890 1,745 16.3%
1900 4,295 146.1%
1910 6,346 47.8%
1920 6,967 9.8%
1930 7,423 6.5%
1940 7,653 3.1%
1950 7,846 2.5%
1960 8,065 2.8%
1970 7,470 −7.4%
1980 6,417 −14.1%
1990 5,511 −14.1%
2000 14,502 163.1%
2010 13,070 −9.9%
Est. 2014 12,793 [4] −2.1%

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 13,070 people, 5,579 households, and 3,695 families residing in the city. The population density was 131.6 people per square mile (51.4/km2). There were 6,124 housing units at an average density of 61.7 per square mile (24.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% White, 0.3% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.4% of the population.

There were 5,579 households, out of which 26% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city the population was spread out, with 20.1% under the age of 18, 59.5% from 18 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.6 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,802, and the median income for a family was $55,045. Males had a median income of $41,968 versus $29,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,208. About 7% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.


The city's airport is St. Marys Municipal Airport (IATA: STQ) about 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of the city. Currently, it is a general aviation airport; however, commercial airlines are showing interest because of the new terminal building and equipment upgrades.

The city's main highways are PA 255 and PA 120. Bus service is provided by ATA; a daily Fullington Trailways bus line runs through St. Marys as well.


Public school district

Saint Marys Area School District has three elementary schools, one of which, the South St. Marys Street Elementary School, is located within the city. It houses kindergarten through fifth grade classes for public school students within the city limits; similar services are provided to residents of Fox Township and Jay Township by, respectively, the Fox Township Elementary School in Kersey and the Bennett's Valley Elementary School in Weedville.

The St. Marys Area Middle School and the St. Marys Area High School are located next to each other on a large complex near the edge of the city. Grades 6-8 are taught at the middle school, and grades 9-12 are taught at the high school. Saint Marys Area School District was ranked 165th out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2012.

Catholic school system

St. Marys Catholic Elementary School has one building, which is connected to Queen of the World Church. In 2002, an addition was built, adding four classrooms and a gymnasium. It also recently had a playground added. It houses grades pre-K through 5.

St. Marys Catholic Middle School, is located in the same building as the Elk County Catholic High School. The middle school formally occupied the old Saint Mary's Parochial school building that was built in the early 1950s. Elk County Catholic High School, formally Elk County Christian High School, houses grades 6-12. It was built in 1961.[9]

Until the early 2000s, the Catholic school system's elementary and middle schools, then known respectively as the Queen of the World School and the St. Marys Parochial School, each served all students up through eighth grade who attended their respective Catholic churches, as did the Sacred Heart School. When the school system was reworked into its current format due to declining attendance, the Sacred Heart School was closed.


Decker's Chapel, built by Michael Decker after a back injury, has been called the smallest chapel in America. It is located on South St. Marys Road.

St. Joseph's Monastery, home of the Benedictine Sisters of Elk County, was the oldest Benedictine women's religious order in the United States, founded in 1852. In 2013, the Sisters voted unanimously to dissolve the community. The building remains.

Straub Brewery, was founded in 1831 in the Pittsburgh area and moved to St. Marys in the 1850s. Tours of the brewery include a stop at the "Eternal Tap," at which a person can drink a free glass of Straub beer.

The Bucksgahuda and Western Railroad is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge[10] railroad run by enthusiasts.


  • The Daily Press is St. Mary's daily newspaper.
  • WDDH (FM 97.5) is a country music station based in Ridgway and the most powerful station in the region, being heard as far north as Cattaraugus County, New York.
  • WKBI (AM 1400) operates an adult standards/oldies format. Also heard on 94.5 FM, W233BS.
  • WKBI (FM 93.9) operates an adult contemporary music format. WKBI-AM/FM was sold in early 2013 by longtime owner Cary Simpson to Laurel Media, Inc/WDDH 97.5

WKBI-AM/FM and WDDH 97.5 have studios located in Ridgway.

Notable people


  1. "Saint Marys City Code - History" (PDF). 2007-12-17. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 22, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-22. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. Retrieved 11 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. - Pennsylvania

External links