Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

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Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
Sullivan County Courthouse.jpg
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Sullivan County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 15, 1847
Seat Laporte
Largest borough Dushore
 • Total 452 sq mi (1,171 km2)
 • Land 450 sq mi (1,165 km2)
 • Water 2.6 sq mi (7 km2), 0.6%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 6,339
 • Density 14/sq mi (5/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Sullivan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,428,[1] making it the second-least populous county in Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Laporte.[2] The county was created on March 15, 1847, from part of Lycoming County and named for Charles C. Sullivan, leader of the Pennsylvania Senate at that time.


The land which became Sullivan County was originally purchased from the Iroquois by the Province of Pennsylvania in 1768, as part of the first Treaty of Fort Stanwix. It was then part of Northumberland County, then became part of Lycoming County when it was formed in 1795.[3] Sullivan County itself was formed from the northeastern part of Lycoming County on March 15, 1847. It was the thirteenth and last county formed at least partly from Lycoming County (and the fifth entirely formed from it).[3]

According to the official state publication Pennsylvania Local Government, Sullivan County was named for Pennsylvania state senator Charles C. Sullivan, who "took an active part in procuring passage of the bill" establishing the county.[4] However, according to Frederic A. Godcharles (1933), the county is named for General John Sullivan, who led the Sullivan Expedition against the Iroquois in 1779.[5]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 452 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2) (0.6%) is water.[6]

Elevation ranges from 2593 ft at North Mountain in Davidson Township to 779 ft on Loyalsock Creek at the Lycoming County line. The county is served by Pennsylvania Route 87, Pennsylvania Route 487, and U.S. Route 220. The major rivers in the county are Loyalsock Creek, Little Loyalsock Creek, Muncy Creek, and Fishing Creek. The majority of the land in Sullivan County is forest, but there is some farmland, especially in the northern part of the county. There are numerous river valleys in the southern and western parts of Sullivan County.[7]

Adjacent counties


Sullivan County lies predominantly within the Appalachian Plateau physiographic province, which is characterized by gently folded and faulted sedimentary rocks of middle to late Paleozoic age. The southern border of the county is approximately at the Allegheny Front, a geological boundary between the Ridge and Valley province and the plateau. (PA Geologic Survey Map 13)

The stratigraphic record of sedimentary rocks within the county spans from the Devonian Lock Haven Formation (exposed only in Lick Creek valley) to the coal-bearing Pennsylvanian Allegheny Formation. Generally, the Catskill Formation underlies most of the lowlands, and sandstones of the Huntley Mountain, Burgoon, Mauch Chunk, or Pottsville Formations cap the mountains. No igneous or metamorphic rocks exist within the county, other than possible glacial erratics.

Structurally, the bedrock of Sullivan County is gently folded, with the axes of two major anticlines (including the Wilmot Anticline) and two major synclines (Bernice-Mehoopany Syncline and Noxen Syncline) each trending roughly east-west. There are three mapped faults in the Allegheny Formation between the towns of Murray and Ringdale.[8][9]

Nearly all of Sullivan County was glaciated several times in the past, during the Pleistocene epoch, or "Ice Age." (PA Geologic Survey Map 59). Most of the county is covered by glacial till of Late Wisconsinan age. Late Illinoian Stage deposits may underlie the Late Wisconsinan deposits, and these are exposed in the south central part of the county (roughly western Davidson Township).

The major rivers in Sullivan County are Loyalsock Creek and Muncy Creek. Both flow into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Some streams along the eastern border of the county flow into the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. All of Sullivan county is thus within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Several small coal fields exist within Sullivan County.[10] The fields contain either bituminous coal or semi-anthracite, and all occur within Pennsylvanian strata.

File:Haystacks1 Loyalsock Creek Sullivan Co PA.jpg
The Haystacks in Loyalsock Creek

Notable geologic features within Sullivan County include some of the following:

File:Ticklish Rock.jpg
Ticklish Rock, at ground level


Name Height
Huckleberry Mountain 2,496 ft. (762 meters)
Roundtop 2,484 ft. (758 meters)
Prospect Hill 2,140 ft. (653 meters)
Tomkins Corners Vista 2,110 ft. (644 meters)
High Knob 2,025 ft. (618 meters)
Bear Mountain 1,995 ft. (609 meters)
Lovers Rock 1,995 ft. (609 meters)
Gooseberry Hill 1,940 ft. (592 meters)
Middle Hill 1,927 ft. (588 meters)
Camp Mountain 1,920 ft. (586 meters)
Hogback Hill 1,923 ft. (587 meters)
Pole Hill 1,917 ft. (585 meters)
Big Hill 1,897 ft. (579 meters)
Browns Vista 1,819 ft. (554 meters)
Lambert Hill 1,743 (532 meters)
Warburton Hill 1,743 ft. (532 meters)
Molyneux Hill 1,740 ft. (531 meters)
Wright Hill 1,717 ft. (524 meters)
Shrimp Hill 1,661 ft. (507 meters)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,694
1860 5,637 52.6%
1870 6,191 9.8%
1880 8,073 30.4%
1890 11,620 43.9%
1900 12,134 4.4%
1910 11,293 −6.9%
1920 9,520 −15.7%
1930 7,499 −21.2%
1940 7,504 0.1%
1950 6,745 −10.1%
1960 6,251 −7.3%
1970 5,961 −4.6%
1980 6,349 6.5%
1990 6,104 −3.9%
2000 6,556 7.4%
2010 6,428 −2.0%
Est. 2014 6,339 [12] −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 6,556 people, 2,660 households, and 1,752 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 6,017 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.58% White, 2.20% Black or African American, 0.76% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.46% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 33.8% were of German, 14.7% Irish, 9.5% English, 7.5% American, 5.9% Polish and 5.6% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 2,660 households out of which 24.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.70% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.10% were non-families. 29.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.80% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 24.10% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 21.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 102.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.40 males.

County poverty demographics

According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, which is a legislative Agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Sullivan County was 14.4% in 2014.[18] The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by school district was: Area School District - % living at 185% or below than the Federal Poverty Level and Area School District - .[19]

Sullivan County's live birth rate was 55 births in 1990. The County's live birth rate in 2000 was 49 births, while in 2011 it was 55 babies.[20] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Politics and government

As of October 2012, there are 4,243 registered voters in Sullivan County.[21]

County commissioners

  • Darla Bortz, Chairperson, Republican
  • Wylie Norton, Vice-chairman, Republican
  • Robert Getz, Democrat

Other county offices

  • District Attorney, Leonard Simpson, Republican
  • Prothonotary, Register of Wills & Recorder of Deeds, Kellie Carpenter, Democrat
  • Acting Sheriff, Thomas Mumford, Republican[22]
  • Treasurer, Kathy Robbins, Democrat
  • Coroner, Wendy Hastings, Republican

State Representative

State Senator

United States House of Representatives

United States Senator


Public school districts

Sullivan County School District has one high school, grades 7-12, and one elementary school, grades K-6. Sullivan County High School is located in Laporte, PA. Sullivan County Elementary School is located just behind the high school.


Public transportation is provided by Endless Mountains Transportation Authority.


File:Loyalsock State Forest.jpg
Loyalsock State Forest in Hillsgrove Township

There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Sullivan County.

There are several festivities held in the county each year. Dushore Founder's Day- Held in August. Activities such as Outhouse Races, Roll-a-Keg Races, Arts and Crafts, and vendors. Dushore Dairy Parade- Held in Mid-June. Activities such as Milking a Cow. Laporte Fireman's Carnival- Held in August. Carnival rides and games. Sullivan County Fair- Held in Late August and Early September. Carnival rides and games, exhibitions, competitions, Demolition Derby, and vendors.

Sullivan County is also home to a large, private hunting club, Painter Den, Inc.[23] This vast property is situated in Davidson, Laporte and Colley townships. Painter Den pond is also on the property and is stocked with Perch and Pike.


File:Map of Sullivan County Pennsylvania with Municipal and Township Labels.png
Map of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Boroughs (red) and Townships (white).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Sullivan County:



Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Meginness, John Franklin (1892). History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania: including its aboriginal history; the colonial and revolutionary periods; early settlement and subsequent growth; organization and civil administration; the legal and medical professions; internal improvement; past and present history of Williamsport; manufacturing and lumber interests; religious, educational, and social development; geology and agriculture; military record; sketches of boroughs, townships, and villages; portraits and biographies of pioneers and representative citizens, etc. etc (1st ed.). Chicago, IL: Brown, Runk & Co. ISBN 0-7884-0428-8. Retrieved 2007-08-05. (Note: ISBN refers to Heritage Books July 1996 reprint. URL is to a scan of the 1892 version with some OCR typos).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Pennsylvania Local Government" (PDF). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2008-02-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Godcharles, Frederic A. (1933). Pennsylvania: Political, Governmental, Military and Civil: Political and Civil History Volume (First ed.). New York, New York: The American Historical Society.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. PA Geologic Survey Map 61, Overton Quadrangle
  9. Berg, T.M., Edmunds, W.E., Geyer, A.R. and others, compilers, (1980). Geologic Map of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Geologic Survey, Map 1, scale 1:250,000.
  10. PA Geologic Survey Map 11
  11. The Haystacks, "Ricketts Folly," and The End of the World: Geology of the Glaciated Allegheny High Plateau, Sullivan, Luzerne, and Columbia Counties, Pennsylvania, 71st Annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists (field trip guide book), J. D. Inners, G. M. Fleeger, eds., 2006
  12. "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>
  13. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. US Census Bureau (2015). "Poverty Rates by County Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (2012). "Student Poverty Concentration 2012".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Pennsylvania Department of Health, Birth Age County Reports 1990 and 2011, 2011
  21. Department of State

External links

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