Sullivan County, Pennsylvania

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Sullivan County
Sullivan County Courthouse in Sullivan County, September 2006
Sullivan County Courthouse in Sullivan County, September 2006
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Sullivan County
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°27′N 76°31′W / 41.45°N 76.51°W / 41.45; -76.51
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
FoundedMarch 15, 1847
Named forCharles C. Sullivan
SeatLaporte
Largest boroughDushore
Area
 • Total452 sq mi (1,170 km2)
 • Land450 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Water2.6 sq mi (7 km2)  0.6%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
6,071
 • Density14/sq mi (5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district12th
Websitewww.sullivancounty-pa.us

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 Craven Sullivan, leader of the Pennsylvania Senate at that time.[3]

History[edit]

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.[4] 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).[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

Geography[edit]

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.[7]

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 42, Pennsylvania Route 87, Pennsylvania Route 154, 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.[8]

Sullivan has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb) and average monthly temperatures in Laporte range from 21.8 °F in January to 67.9 °F in July. [1][failed verification]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Geology[edit]

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 mountains within the county are part of the Endless Mountains.

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.[9][10]

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.[11] The fields contain either bituminous or semi-anthracite coal, and all occur within Pennsylvanian strata.

The Haystacks in Loyalsock Creek

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

Ticklish Rock, at ground level

Mountains[edit]

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)

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18503,694
18605,63752.6%
18706,1919.8%
18808,07330.4%
189011,62043.9%
190012,1344.4%
191011,293−6.9%
19209,520−15.7%
19307,499−21.2%
19407,5040.1%
19506,745−10.1%
19606,251−7.3%
19705,961−4.6%
19806,3496.5%
19906,104−3.9%
20006,5567.4%
20106,428−2.0%
20205,840−9.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2017[1] 2010-2020[17]

As of the census[18] 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.

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.

Politics and government[edit]

United States presidential election results for Sullivan County, Pennsylvania[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,619 72.79% 921 25.60% 58 1.61%
2016 2,291 72.68% 750 23.79% 111 3.52%
2012 1,868 63.34% 1,034 35.06% 47 1.59%
2008 1,841 58.89% 1,233 39.44% 52 1.66%
2004 2,056 62.59% 1,213 36.93% 16 0.49%
2000 1,928 62.09% 1,066 34.33% 111 3.57%
1996 1,352 47.31% 1,071 37.47% 435 15.22%
1992 1,340 43.05% 1,030 33.09% 743 23.87%
1988 1,808 61.88% 1,091 37.34% 23 0.79%
1984 1,926 66.67% 952 32.95% 11 0.38%
1980 1,676 57.75% 1,074 37.01% 152 5.24%
1976 1,584 53.68% 1,347 45.65% 20 0.68%
1972 1,886 67.17% 885 31.52% 37 1.32%
1968 1,629 56.76% 1,035 36.06% 206 7.18%
1964 1,344 44.24% 1,690 55.63% 4 0.13%
1960 1,808 55.05% 1,471 44.79% 5 0.15%
1956 2,007 60.87% 1,286 39.01% 4 0.12%
1952 2,011 61.82% 1,239 38.09% 3 0.09%
1948 1,752 61.22% 1,084 37.88% 26 0.91%
1944 1,858 58.15% 1,329 41.60% 8 0.25%
1940 2,059 55.77% 1,626 44.04% 7 0.19%
1936 2,121 54.08% 1,740 44.37% 61 1.56%
1932 1,457 46.77% 1,602 51.43% 56 1.80%
1928 2,044 64.64% 1,101 34.82% 17 0.54%
1924 1,668 59.76% 913 32.71% 210 7.52%
1920 1,620 57.57% 1,061 37.70% 133 4.73%
1916 888 43.96% 1,037 51.34% 95 4.70%
1912 547 26.46% 912 44.12% 608 29.41%
1908 1,119 47.24% 1,076 45.42% 174 7.34%
1904 1,429 52.04% 1,188 43.26% 129 4.70%
1900 1,266 45.46% 1,376 49.41% 143 5.13%
1896 1,215 46.02% 1,300 49.24% 125 4.73%
1892 873 39.08% 1,266 56.67% 95 4.25%
1888 946 40.95% 1,260 54.55% 104 4.50%


As of August 8, 2022, there are 4,369 registered voters in Sullivan County.[20]

County commissioners[edit]

  • Brian Hoffman, Chair, Republican
  • Donna Iannone, Vice-chair, Democrat
  • Darlene Fenton, Republican

Other county offices[edit]

  • District Attorney, Julie Gavitt-Shaffer, Republican
  • Prothonotary, Register of Wills & Recorder of Deeds, Kellie Carpenter, Democrat
  • Sheriff, Robert Montgomery, Republican
  • Treasurer, Katrina Wilkins, Republican
  • Coroner, Wendy Hastings, Republican

State Representative[21][edit]

State Senator[21][edit]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

United States Senator[edit]

Education[edit]

Public school districts[edit]

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. Sullivan County Elementary School is located just behind the high school.

Transportation[edit]

Public transportation is provided by BeST Transit.

Sullivan County is one of only two counties in Pennsylvania with no known active railroad lines of any kind, the other being Fulton County. However, several narrow-gauge logging railroads once served Sullivan County.[22]

Major roads[edit]

Recreation[edit]

Loyalsock State Forest in Hillsgrove Township

There are two Pennsylvania state parks in Sullivan County.

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.

Annual events[edit]

There are several festivities held in the county each year:

  • Dushore Dairy Parade, held in mid-June, features cow milking.
  • Dushore Founder's Day, held in August, features activities such as Outhouse Races, Roll-a-Keg Races, Arts and Crafts, and vendors.
  • Laporte Fireman's Carnival, held in August, features carnival rides and games.
  • Sullivan County Fair, held in late August and early September, features carnival rides and games, exhibitions, competitions, a demolition derby, and vendors.

Communities[edit]

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 boroughs and townships are located in Sullivan County:

Boroughs[edit]

Townships[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Sullivan County.[24]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Dushore Borough 608
2 Laporte Borough 316
3 Forksville Borough 145
4 Eagles Mere Borough 120

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Welcome". sullivancounty-pa.us. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  4. ^ a b 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 August 5, 2007. (Note: ISBN refers to Heritage Books July 1996 reprint. URL is to a scan of the 1892 version with some OCR typos).
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania Local Government" (PDF). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Google Maps".
  9. ^ PA Geologic Survey Map 61, Overton Quadrangle
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/maps/map11.pdf PA Geologic Survey Map 11
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  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.
  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.
  17. ^ "Census 2020".
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  19. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  20. ^ https://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/OtherServicesEvents/VotingElectionStatistics/Documents/currentvotestats.xls PA Department of State
  21. ^ a b Center, Legislativate Data Processing. "Find Your Legislator". The official website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  22. ^ "Penndot Pennsylvania Railroad Map January 2015" (PDF). penndot.gov. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  23. ^ "Sullivan Archives".
  24. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°27′N 76°31′W / 41.45°N 76.51°W / 41.45; -76.51