Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
City of Beaver Falls
View of Beaver Falls from across the Beaver River.
View of Beaver Falls from across the Beaver River.
Nicknames: 
BF, Birthplace of College Basketball
Location in Beaver County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Beaver County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 40°45′32″N 80°19′11″W / 40.75889°N 80.31972°W / 40.75889; -80.31972Coordinates: 40°45′32″N 80°19′11″W / 40.75889°N 80.31972°W / 40.75889; -80.31972
CountryUnited States
StatePennsylvania
CountyBeaver
IncorporatedNovember 9, 1868 (borough)
December 3, 1928 (city)
Government
 • TypeHome rule charter
 • MayorDr. Kenya Johns
 • City managerCharles Jones Jr.
Area
 • Total2.35 sq mi (6.09 km2)
 • Land2.13 sq mi (5.51 km2)
 • Water0.22 sq mi (0.58 km2)
Population
 • Total9,005
 • Density3,831.91/sq mi (1,478.65/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
15010
FIPS code42-04792
WebsiteCity website

Beaver Falls is a city in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 9,005 at the 2020 census.[2] Located 31 miles (50 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, the city lies along the Beaver River, six miles (9 km) north of its confluence with the Ohio River. It is a part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

History

Industrial buildings at the Keystone Cold Drawn Products complex.
Industrial buildings at the Keystone Cold Drawn Products complex.

The area of present-day Beaver Falls was first mentioned in 1770 in the journals of David Zeisberger, a Moravian Church missionary who eventually settled in present-day Lawrence County. A Lenape chief named Pakanke took Zeisberger to the valley surrounding the Beaver River, where the Lenape owned a large tract of open land which Zeisberger was given access to.[3] In April 1770, Zeisberger and his followers set out in 16 canoes down the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, reaching the mouth of the Beaver three days later. They made their way up to what was called the “Falls of the Beaver," where they encamped.[3] Early settlers included Dr. Samuel and Milo Adams around the upper falls, whilst David Hoopes and Isaac Wilson developed the middle falls. The town originally formed around the middle falls area was named Brighton after Brighton, England, which was the hometown of the area's surveyors.[3]

Despite early promise through the canal business on the falls, the town fell behind neighboring New Brighton after repeated poor economic periods. The earlier proprietors sold the land to the Harmony Society in 1859.[3] The Harmonists immediately brought in surveyors to re-plan Brighton, laying out a town twice the size of the original, paving several main streets with brick and officially changing the name of the community to Beaver Falls.[3] The rapid revitalization of the community allowed it to gain borough status on November 9, 1868. In the 1870s, Beaver Falls was home to a Chinatown and had up to 225 Chinese residents, brought in to work at Beaver Falls Cutlery Company moved in to the borough by the Harmonists.[4][5]

On May 31, 1985, an F3 tornado hit just north of the city as it went across northern portions of Beaver County, as part of the 1985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak.[6]

The population declined nearly 50% between 1940 and 2000, which is attributed mostly to its central location in the Rust Belt.[7][8][9]

Geography

Beaver Falls is located at 40°45′32″N 80°19′11″W / 40.75889°N 80.31972°W / 40.75889; -80.31972 (40.758865, -80.319737).[10]

Climate

Beaver Falls experiences a humid continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. The hottest month is July with a mean temperature of 72.1 °F (22.3 °C) and the coldest month is January with a mean temperature of 27.6 °F (−2.4 °C).

Climate data for Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (Beaver Falls 1NE) 1991-2020 Normals (Records 2011-Present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
(19)
76
(24)
77
(25)
86
(30)
94
(34)
92
(33)
97
(36)
92
(33)
95
(35)
89
(32)
78
(26)
69
(21)
97
(36)
Average high °F (°C) 35.9
(2.2)
39.0
(3.9)
48.3
(9.1)
61.6
(16.4)
71.5
(21.9)
78.9
(26.1)
83.1
(28.4)
82.2
(27.9)
75.6
(24.2)
63.8
(17.7)
51.0
(10.6)
40.3
(4.6)
60.9
(16.1)
Daily mean °F (°C) 27.6
(−2.4)
29.1
(−1.6)
37.6
(3.1)
49.1
(9.5)
59.7
(15.4)
67.7
(19.8)
72.1
(22.3)
70.9
(21.6)
64.3
(17.9)
52.8
(11.6)
41.3
(5.2)
32.4
(0.2)
50.4
(10.2)
Average low °F (°C) 19.2
(−7.1)
19.1
(−7.2)
26.8
(−2.9)
36.6
(2.6)
47.8
(8.8)
56.4
(13.6)
61.1
(16.2)
59.5
(15.3)
52.9
(11.6)
41.8
(5.4)
31.5
(−0.3)
24.5
(−4.2)
39.8
(4.3)
Record low °F (°C) −9
(−23)
−12
(−24)
−1
(−18)
18
(−8)
28
(−2)
40
(4)
49
(9)
49
(9)
36
(2)
29
(−2)
13
(−11)
0
(−18)
−12
(−24)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.14
(80)
2.40
(61)
3.07
(78)
3.65
(93)
3.84
(98)
4.26
(108)
4.82
(122)
3.50
(89)
3.62
(92)
3.06
(78)
2.95
(75)
3.01
(76)
40.32
(1,024)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 14 11 12 14 14 12 11 10 10 12 12 13 144
Source: NOAA[11]

Demographics

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2022)
Historical population
Census Pop.
18703,112
18805,10464.0%
18909,73590.7%
190010,0543.3%
191012,19121.3%
192012,8025.0%
193017,14733.9%
194017,098−0.3%
195017,3751.6%
196016,240−6.5%
197014,635−9.9%
198012,525−14.4%
199010,687−14.7%
20009,920−7.2%
20108,987−9.4%
20209,0050.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 9,920 people, 3,798 households, and 2,259 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,681.6 people per square mile (1,806.7/km2). There were 4,380 housing units at an average density of 2,067.1 per square mile (797.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.82% White, 17.53% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 2.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population.

Government

Beaver Falls City Hall.
Beaver Falls City Hall.

Beaver Falls had been a third class city under the Pennsylvania local government structure until a home rule charter went into effect on January 3, 2022.[14] The city's charter maintains a commissioned mayor-council form of government; a mayor and four city council members constitute the commission and serve as the governing body of the city. As of the 2021 election cycle, the mayor is Dr. Kenya Johns, and the council members Leonard Chiappetta, Peggy Evans, Vanessa Ford-Taylor, and John Kirkland.[14]

A city manager is employed to oversee day to day operations and oversight of the city’s main departments: Administration, Department of Finance & Taxation, Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department, and Community Development. The current city manager is Charles Jones Jr.[14]

Transportation

The closest airport to the city is Beaver County Airport. Though located in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh International Airport is within close proximity of Beaver Falls, and is easily accessible by way of I-376 (former PA 60).[15]

The following highways pass through Beaver Falls:

Education

The Carnegie Free Library in downtown Beaver Falls.
The Carnegie Free Library in downtown Beaver Falls.

Children in Beaver Falls are served by the Big Beaver Falls Area School District.[16] The current schools serving Beaver Falls are:

The city has a public library, the Carnegie Free Library of Beaver Falls, which was the first dedicated library building in Beaver County. It was a financed Carnegie library, opening in 1899.[17]: 5 

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "QuickFacts: Beaver Falls city, Pennsylvania". census.gov. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jeffrey Snedden. "Histories & Mysteries: Stories from the 'Falls of the Beaver'". Beaver County Times. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  4. ^ "Chinese Workers In Beaver Falls". Archived from the original on 2011-06-09.
  5. ^ Anon (1993). "Gone but not forgotten: the Beaver Falls Cutlery Company". Industrious Beaver Falls. Darlington, Pennsylvania: Beaver County Industrial Museum. This is based on Anon (1992). "The history and lore of Beaver Co.: the Chinese in Beaver Falls 1872". The Beaver Countian Vol III no.1. Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. pp. 1–3.
  6. ^ Britten, Kenneth, Beaver Falls Gem of Beaver County, Arcadia Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-7385-2382-8.
  7. ^ "1940 Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on 2010-03-27. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  8. ^ "1960 Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  9. ^ https://www.census.gov/prod/cen1990/cph2/cph-2-1-1.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ a b c "Council & Administration - The City of Beaver Falls". City of Beaver Falls. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  15. ^ Highway now I-376 from Monroeville to Mercer
  16. ^ "District Directory Information - Big Beaver Falls Area". US NCES. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  17. ^ National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Carnegie Free Library, Beaver Falls. National Park Service, n.d.
  18. ^ Wilson, Earl (Nov 27, 1969). "Small Towns Have Produced Many Big Stars". The Milwaukee Sentinel. pp. A33. Retrieved 22 May 2015.