Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania

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Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
File:Susquehanna County County Seat.jpg
The Susquehanna County courthouse in Montrose
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Susquehanna County
Location in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded October 13, 1812
Named for Susquehanna River
Seat Montrose
Largest borough Forest City
 • Total 832 sq mi (2,155 km2)
 • Land 823 sq mi (2,132 km2)
 • Water 8.7 sq mi (23 km2), 1.0%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 41,920
 • Density 51/sq mi (20/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Susquehanna County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,356.[1] Its county seat is Montrose.[2] The county was created on February 21, 1810, from part of Luzerne County[3] and later organized in 1812.[4] It is named for the Susquehanna River.


Settlement and conflict

The first settlers began to move into the area from Philadelphia and Connecticut in the mid 1700s. At the time, the area was part of Luzerne County. As more and more people from Connecticut moved in, there began to be some conflict. Under Connecticut's land grant, they owned everything from present day Connecticut to the Pacific Ocean. This meant their land grant overlapped with Pennsylvania's land grant. Soon fighting began. In the end, the Connecticut government was asked to surrender their claim on the area, which they did.


In 1810, Susquehanna County was formed out of Luzerne County and later in 1812, Montrose was made the county seat.

Civil War

Susquehanna County was one of the main stops on the underground railway. Although this is not completely backed up by fact, there are many pointers saying this is true. These pointers say Montrose was the main hub. Here slaves would take refuge in the homes of citizens.

Coal and early prosperity

After the civil war coal, started to be mined. Following this, railways and roads were built into the county allowing for more people to come. At one point the county had nearly 50,000 people. Coal became, as with neighboring counties, the back bone of the economy. This boom in coal would allow for an age of prosperity in the county.

Great Depression

When the Great Depression hit, the coal industry suffered horribly. Within months the coal industry was struggling. In World War Two the coal industry picked up again, but only for a short time. Soon after the economy in the county failed. Between the 1950s and 1990s many mines were closed up, railways were torn apart, and the economy took a turn for the worse. Unemployment rose and population decline increased.

Modern day

Today, the county is experiencing a new boom[citation needed]. The population is increasing, roads being repaved, the unemployed being employed, and new businesses are coming to the county. This is due to the discovery of natural gas and the subsequent drilling of. While this is a much needed economic change, it is being contested by environmentalists and conservationists.

Susquehanna County was featured in the 2010 documentary Gasland and the 2013 sequel Gasland Part II, which highlight the severe water contamination caused by Cabot Oil & Gas' fracking operations in Dimock.[5]


Milk Can Corners in Hallstead

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 832 square miles (2,150 km2), of which 823 square miles (2,130 km2) is land and 8.7 square miles (23 km2) (1.0%) is water.[6]

Susquehanna County is very mountainous, with large concentrations of mountains in the east and smaller, more hill-like mountains in the west. The highest mountain in the county is North Knob just west of Union Dale. Most people live in one of the several long and mostly narrow valleys. These valleys are good farming land.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 9,960
1830 16,787 68.5%
1840 21,195 26.3%
1850 28,688 35.4%
1860 36,267 26.4%
1870 37,523 3.5%
1880 40,354 7.5%
1890 40,093 −0.6%
1900 40,043 −0.1%
1910 37,746 −5.7%
1920 34,763 −7.9%
1930 33,806 −2.8%
1940 33,893 0.3%
1950 31,970 −5.7%
1960 33,137 3.7%
1970 34,344 3.6%
1980 37,876 10.3%
1990 40,380 6.6%
2000 42,238 4.6%
2010 43,356 2.6%
Est. 2014 41,920 [7] −3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]
Susquehanna Depot Main Street

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 42,238 people, 16,529 households, and 11,785 families residing in the county. The population density was 51 people per square mile (20/km²). There were 21,829 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.54% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. 0.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26% were of English, 16.1% were of German, 15.1% Irish, 8.6% Italian and 7.7% Polish ancestry according to the 2012 American Community Survey.

There were 16,529 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.


As of November 3, 2015, there are 24,854 registered voters in Susquehanna County.

County Commissioners

  • Alan M. Hall, Chair, Republican (January 2012 to current)
  • Michael J. Giangrieco, Vice-Chair, Republican (January 2008 to current)
  • MaryAnn Warren, Democrat (January 2004 to current)

Row Offices

  • Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Susan Eddleston, Republican
  • Coroner, Tony Conarton, Republican
  • District Attorney, Robert Klein, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills, Michelle Estabrook, Republican
  • Sheriff, Lance Benedict, Republican
  • Treasurer, Jason Miller, Democrat
  • Auditor, George Starzec, Republican
  • Auditor, Susan Jennings, Democrat

State Representatives

  • Tina Pickett, Republican (110th district) - Apolacon, Auburn, Dimock, Forest Lake, Jessup, Middletown, and Rush Townships, and Little Meadows Borough
  • Sandra Major, Republican (111th district) - Ararat, Bridgewater, Brooklyn, Choconut, Clifford, Franklin, Gibson, Great Bend, Harford, Harmony, Herrick, Jackson, Lathrop, Lenox, Liberty, New Milford, Oakland, Silver Lake, Springville, and Thompson Townships, and Friendsville, Great Bend, Hallstead, Hop Bottom, Lanesboro, Montrose, New Milford, Oakland, Susquehanna Depot, Thompson, and Union Dale Boroughs

State Senators

  • Lisa Baker, Republican (20th district) - Ararat, Auburn, Brooklyn, Clifford, Gibson, Great Bend, Harford, Harmony, Herrick, Jackson, Lathrop, Lenox, New Milford, Oakland, Springville, and Thompson Townships, and Forest City, Great Bend, Hallstead, Hop Bottom, Lanesboro, New Milford, Oakland, Susquehanna Depot, Thompson, and Union Dale Boroughs
  • Gene Yaw, Republican (23rd district) - Apolacon, Bridgewater, Choconut, Dimock, Forest Lake, Franklin, Jessup, Liberty, Middletown, Rush and Silver Lake Townships, and Friendsville, Little Meadows, and Montrose Boroughs

US Representative


The economy in the county is mainly made up of natural gas drilling, small businesses, education workers, and government officials. Natural gas in the last few years[when?] has become the largest industry in the county.

Natural gas

Ever since drilling began for natural gas,[when?] the economy has improved. With more jobs the unemployment rate has gone down and the population decline has steadied out. Natural gas has brought a new and reliable industry to the county. With these new workers, small businesses have also prospered.


Susquehanna County's natural beauty, great skiing, and quaint villages make it an ever-growing tourist destination.


File:Map of Susquehanna County Pennsylvania School Districts.png
Map of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public libraries

Public school districts

Vocational schools

  • Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center (Dimock Township)

Intermediate Unit

  • Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18

Private schools

  • Faith Mountain Christian Academy (New Milford)



Susquehanna County is served by an extensive network of rural roads and dirt roads. The only highway is U.S. Interstate 81 that serves the towns of Lenox, Harford, Gibson, New Milford and Montrose, Hallstead, and Great Bend.


Susquehanna County's last mainstream passenger train services ended in the late 1970s. Since then mainly freight trains have used the lines.


Although Susquehanna County boasts several airstrips, they are strictly recreational. The closest main airports are in Binghamton, New York and Scranton, Pennsylvania.


There is one Pennsylvania state park in Susquehanna County:

Susquehanna County is one of the most rural counties in the state,[citation needed] located in the Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.


Political map of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, with townships and boroughs labeled. Townships are colored white and boroughs are colored various shades of orange.
Map of Susquehanna County with municipalities labeled.

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



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. "Township Incorporations, 1790 to 1853". Susquehanna County Historical Society. Retrieved 9 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Pennsylvania: Individual County Chronologies". Pennsylvania Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2015.<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>
  7. "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>
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 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>
  11. "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>
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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