Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Pottsville skyline in May 2019
Pottsville skyline in May 2019
Official seal of Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Location of Pottsville in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Location of Pottsville in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Pottsville is located in Pennsylvania
Location of Pottsville in Pennsylvania
Pottsville is located in the United States
Pottsville (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°41′6″N 76°12′10″W / 40.68500°N 76.20278°W / 40.68500; -76.20278Coordinates: 40°41′6″N 76°12′10″W / 40.68500°N 76.20278°W / 40.68500; -76.20278
CountryUnited States
MayorCarson Baucum
Incorporated as a BoroughFebruary 19, 1828
Chartered as a CityMarch 22, 1911
 • Total4.17 sq mi (10.79 km2)
 • Land4.17 sq mi (10.79 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
659 ft (200.9 m)
 • Total13,346
 • Density3,203.55/sq mi (1,237.01/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)570 and 272
FIPS code42-62432

Pottsville is the county seat of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, United States.[3] The population was 13,346 at the 2020 census, and is the principal city of the Pottsville, PA Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies along the west bank of the Schuylkill River, 52 miles (84 km) south of Wilkes-Barre. It is located in Pennsylvania's Coal Region.

Pottsville is located 47.4 miles (76.3 km) west of Allentown, 96.6 miles (155.5 km) northwest of Philadelphia, and 135 miles (217 km) west of New York City.


Early settlement

King Charles II granted the land that would eventually become Pottsville to William Penn. This grant comprised all lands west and south of the Delaware River and the Schuylkill; the site of Pottsville was originally in Chester County. When the legislative Council, on May 10, 1729, enacted the law erecting Lancaster County, which included all the lands of the Province lying westward of a straight line drawn northeasterly from the headwaters of Octoraro Creek (near the southern borders) marked with blazed trees, to the Schuylkill River, then this placed Pottsville in Lancaster County. By enactment of the same Council, approved on March 11, 1752, Berks County was erected; this placed Pottsville within the limits of that county.

Pottsville's anthracite coal history began in 1790 when a coal seam was discovered by hunter Necho Allen. Legend has it that Allen fell asleep at the base of the Broad Mountain and woke to the sight of a large fire; his campfire had ignited an outcropping of coal. By 1795 an anthracite-fired finery forge was established on the Schuylkill River.[citation needed]

19th century

Pottsville in 1854
Pottsville in 1854
1833 painting of Pottsville by John Rowson Smith
1833 painting of Pottsville by John Rowson Smith

In 1806, John Pott, the founder of Pottsville, purchased the forge. By an act of Assembly of the Commonwealth approved March 1, 1811, the County of Schuylkill was erected out of portions of Berks and Northampton; this placed the site of Pottsville in Schuylkill County. The town was formally laid out in 1816 by a local surveyor, Henry Donnell. Pottsville was established as a village in Norwegian Township in 1819 and incorporated as a borough on February 19, 1828.

In 1829, D.G. Yuengling & Son established what is now the oldest brewery in the United States. In 1851 Pottsville became the county seat, the original county seat being Orwigsburg.[4]

The Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, which has its roots in the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company, the remnants of which were acquired in the late 20th century by the Reading Anthracite Company, acquired extensive coal lands and would become one of the most notable of the coal companies operating in Pennsylvania until the demise of the anthracite industry after World War II.

Because of its location along the Schuylkill River, Pottsville developed a small textile industry. Out of this industry grew the Phillips Van Heusen company which was founded in 1881. Moses Phillips and his wife Endel began sewing shirts by hand and selling them from pushcarts to the local coal miners. Van Heusen and other textile companies left the region starting in the late 1970s, mainly as a result of foreign competition. Another element of the textile industry was the Tilt Silk Mill on Twelfth Street, which produced silk from silk worms imported from China which fed on mulberry trees in the building's solarium. The silk business eventually was eclipsed by the development of nylon stockings. The building still stands and is presently the headquarters of a storage and vehicle rental business.

20th century

During the Prohibition period in the United States, under the 18th Amendment, Yuengling all but stopped making beer and moved to production of "near beer". The three brews produced in this time were the Yuengling Special (the most popular brand), Yuengling Por-Tor (a version of their "celebrated Pottsville Porter"), and finally, the Yuengling Juvo, which was a cereal beverage. They were allowed a limited production of porter on the grounds that it had medicinal qualities. Then-owner Frank Yuengling also opened the Yuengling Dairy, which produced ice cream and other dairy products for the local area. These ventures helped to keep the company afloat during that period.

When the 18th Amendment was repealed, Yuengling stopped production of "near beer" and resumed making alcoholic beverages. The brewery famously sent a truckload of its Winner Beer to the White House in 1933 as thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the repeal of Prohibition. Yuengling still continues its family-owned business today and is the second largest American-owned brewery. The Yuengling Dairy was operated by a different branch of the family from the Brewery. Business declined and the dairy folded as of 1985. Attempted buyouts by large conglomerate breweries have all been unsuccessful.

Pottsville was chartered as a third-class city on March 22, 1911.

Pottsville was host to a National Football League franchise from 1925 to 1928. The Pottsville Maroons played in Sportsman's Park (or Minersville Park) in nearby Minersville, now the site of King's Village shopping plaza. The Maroons posted some of the best records in the NFL during the 1925 and 1926 seasons. The Maroons had a claim to the 1925 NFL championship, but because of a controversial decision by NFL President Joe Carr, the title was instead awarded to the Chicago Cardinals. The Maroons suffered two more losing seasons before relocating to Boston and becoming the Boston Bulldogs. The Bulldogs folded in 1929.

Until the middle of the 20th century, Pottsville was a popular destination for many traveling acts and vaudeville performers. The 1929 film Berth Marks stars the comedy legends Laurel and Hardy as they attempt to reach Pottsville by train for one of their booked performances. Pearl Bailey had once resided in Pottsville during the early part of her entertaining career.[citation needed] Soldiers in training at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap were prohibited from visiting Pottsville during most of World War II due to the large numbers of illicit venues and activities present during the time.[citation needed]

21st century

The Patterson Building served as the Pottsville Area High School from 1916 to 1933.[5]
The Patterson Building served as the Pottsville Area High School from 1916 to 1933.[5]
Cloud Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city completed a streetscaping project in 2007 on Centre Street. In June 2011, the City of Pottsville became the county's transportation hub for STS (Schuylkill Transportation System) bus service throughout the county with the $16.1 million Union Station Intermodal Transit Center at 300 South Centre Street.[6] It also accommodates Trailways and Greyhound bus services.

The Pottsville Downtown Historic District, Cloud Home, John O'Hara House, Burd Patterson House, Pottsville Armory, D.G. Yuengling and Son Brewing Complex, and Frank D. Yuengling Mansion are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]



Pottsville is located at 40°41′06″N 76°12′10″W / 40.685058°N 76.202747°W / 40.685058; -76.202747 (40.685058, −76.202747).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.20 square miles (10.9 km2), all land. Although there are no lakes within the city there are several water courses which flow through the city. The Schuylkill River flows through the extreme southern part of the city near Mount Carbon. The West Branch of the Schuylkill River makes up most of the western border of the city. Within the city itself, the West Branch of Norwegian Creek flows through the Fishbach section of the city and the East Branch of Norwegian Creek flows through the Jalappa section of the city. Joining together near Progress Avenue and Terry Reiley Way they form Norwegian Creek, which flows underground through the heart of the city. The creek empties into the Schuylkill River at Mauch Chunk Street.

Like ancient Rome, Pottsville sits on seven hills: Lawton's Hill, Greenwood Hill, Bunker Hill (Sharp Mountain), Guinea Hill, Forest Hills, Cottage Hill, and Mount Hope.

The Pottsville Formation is named after the town; it is a geologic complex including coal, sandstone, and coarse conglomerate that runs along the Appalachian Mountains from Alabama to New York. Its type section is on a cut for the Pennsylvania Railroad through Sharp Mountain south of the city.[9]


Pottsville experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) according to the Köppen climate classification system if the 26.6 °F (−3.0 °C) isotherm is used, or a humid continental climate (Dfa) if the 32 °F (0 °C) isotherm is used. The record high was 104 °F (40 °C) in 2011, and the record low was −19 °F (−28 °C) in 1994.[10] Average monthly temperatures range from 27.3 °F in January to 72.3 °F in July. [2] The hardiness zone is 6b bordering on 6a and the average annual absolute minimum temperature downtown is -4.6 °F. [3] Archived July 4, 2019, at the Wayback Machine

Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source:The Weather Channel[10]
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm


Historical population

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 15,549 people, 6,399 households, and 3,877 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,697.4 people per square mile (1,426.0/km2). There were 7,343 housing units at an average density of 1,746.1 per square mile (673.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.73% White, 2.26% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.22% of the population.

There were 6,399 households, out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.2% 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 2.97.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,137, and the median income for a family was $41,124. Males had a median income of $31,510 versus $21,433 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,165. About 10.1% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


The designation of North, South, East, and West is found at the intersection of Norwegian and Centre Streets. This means that Norwegian Street divides North and South and Centre Street divides east and west. Pottsville's numbered routes are 209, 61, and 901. Interestingly the stretch of 209 on Centre Street is signed in the opposite direction of the compass. [14]


Parks and recreation areas

Points of interest

Yuengling Brewery as seen from Mahantongo Street in 2016
Yuengling Brewery as seen from Mahantongo Street in 2016

Pottsville has several points of interest, including:


Pottsville fielded a team in the National Football League between 1925 and 1929 called the Pottsville Maroons.

Pottsville also has two leagues associated with Little League Baseball: Pottsville (Rotary) Little League, and Railway Park Little League. Railway Park was the U.S. Eastern Regional representative in the 1997 Little League World Series.

The Pottsville Crimson Tide football team is one of the oldest prep football programs in the country[citation needed]. At the end of the 2007 football season, Pottsville had played 1137 games, which tied them for first in the nation among prep games played.[citation needed]

Pottsville once played a game in New York against the New York Giants.[15]


The Republican & Herald is the only local daily newspaper serving Pottsville. There are also two radio stations broadcasting from Pottsville.

The area is also served by local television stations from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. They include WNEP-TV 16 (ABC), WYOU-TV 22 (CBS), WBRE-TV 28 (NBC), WVIA-TV 44 (PBS) and WOLF-TV 56 (FOX).


Dial telephone service came to Pottsville on August 30, 1956, with Mayor George Heffner making the first call on the new MArket 2 exchange, which still exists. Since then five exchanges have been added to serve the city.


Further information: SEPTA diesel service

Map of the Eastern Pennsylvania Railways Company c 1912
Map of the Eastern Pennsylvania Railways Company c 1912
Union Station Intermodal Transit Center
Union Station Intermodal Transit Center

Pottsville is served by a small general aviation airport, Schuylkill County Airport (ZER). Since 2011 Intercity public bus service has been provided at the Union Station Intermodal Transit Center at 300 South Centre Street. Mass transit for the greater Pottsville area is provided by Schuylkill Transportation System, which operates inter-city bus services throughout the county. The Union Station Intermodal Transit Center also accommodates Greyhound and Trailways. Two major highways converge on Pottsville, Pennsylvania Route 61 and U.S. Route 209.

Passenger train service between Pottsville, Reading and Philadelphia[16] was operated by Conrail under the auspices of SEPTA until July 29, 1981. The station site has since been demolished and replaced with a parking lot.


The Lehigh Valley Hospital–Schuylkill is an affiliation between two community hospitals formerly known as Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and The Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic, both of which are located in Pottsville. On August 1, 2008, Schuylkill Health became the new parent organization for both facilities and their related health systems.[17] The medical center is designated a Level III Trauma center by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation.[18] On September 16, 2016, Schuylkill Health became part of Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Notable people

Pottsville Area High School in 1932 after completion on the current site
Pottsville Area High School in 1932 after completion on the current site
St. John the Baptist Church in Pottsville

Public and private education

Colleges and universities

Religious facilities

Main article: List of churches in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Cultural References

John O'Hara's 1934 novel Appointment in Samarra is set in a fictionalized version of Pottsville (called "Gibbsville").

See also


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ DC Henning, Esq., Early Annals of Pottsville, September 28, 1906.
  5. ^ Pottsville High School Centennial: 1853–1953, page 8
  6. ^ Pytak, Stephen J. 'Union Station, Kohl's among business spurs in 2011.' The Pottsville Republican and Evening Herald. http://republicanherald.com/news/union-station-kohl-s-among-business-spurs-in-2011-1.1251565 Accessed January 30, 2012
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "GeoLex: Geologic Unit: Pottsville". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Pottsville, PA Monthly Weather Forecast - weather.com".
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  14. ^ google earth
  15. ^ "GIANTS WIN, 13-7, FROM POTTSVILLE; Haines and Eckhardt Show Way to Victory Before 20,000 at Polo Grounds. EACH SCORES TOUCHDOWN Visiting Eleven Averts a Shut-Out by a Driving Attack in the Final Period. Wilson Makes a Gain. Giants Repel Onslaught. (Published 1928)". The New York Times. November 7, 1928. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  16. ^ [1] Archived March 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ About Schuylkill Health System Archived June 1, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Schuylkill Regional Medical Center, accessed February 4, 2010.
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Trauma Centers Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, accessed February 4, 2010.