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Pike County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Pike County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Founded March 8, 1814
Seat Milford
Largest city Matamoras
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

567 sq mi (1,469 km²)
547 sq mi (1,417 km²)
20 sq mi (52 km²), 3.50%
 - (2010)
 - Density

105/sq mi (40.4/km²)

Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, the population was 57,369. Its county seat is Milford.[1] Pike County is considered the most western edge of the Greater New York area surrounding New York City. As of 2006, Pike County was the fastest-growing county in the state of Pennsylvania.[2] It is also the only Pennsylvania county in the Greater New York City Combined Statistical Area.


Pike County was named for General Zebulon Pike. It was created on March 26, 1814 from part of Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

The original inhabitants were the Lenape, later known as the Delaware Indians. In 1694 Governor Benjamin Fletcher of the colony of New York sent Captain Arent Schuyler to investigate claims that the French were recruiting Indian allies for use against the English. In 1696, governor Fletcher authorized purchases of Indian land near the New York border by a number of citizens of Ulster County; their descendants became the first European settlers of Pike County.

Nicholas Depui was the first to settle in the area, in 1725. Thomas Quick moved to the area that would become Milford in 1733. Andrew Dingman, settled on the Delaware River at the future site of Dingmans Ferry in 1735. The early settlers got along well with the Indians; however, as settlement increased, land disputes arose. The infamous Walking Purchase of 1737 swindled the Indians out of more than half of present day Pike County, leading to violence.

Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct

Early in the next century, coal was discovered nearby in the area that would become Carbondale. This became especially significant when the British restricted export of British coal after the War of 1812, creating a fuel shortage in rapidly expanding New York City. To get the coal to New York, a gravity railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale was proposed, along with a canal from Honesdale to the Hudson River at Kingston. The canal proposal was approved by the state of New York in 1823. Work on the 108-mile (174 km) Delaware and Hudson Canal began in 1825 and was completed in 1828. The canal system which, terminated at the Hudson River near present day Kingston, New York, proved profitable. However, the barges had to cross the Delaware via a rope ferry across a "slackwater dam" that created bottlenecks in the canal traffic, and added greatly to the cost of transportation. John Roebling proposed continuing the canal over the river on a suspension bridge/aqueduct. Built in 1848, his innovative design required only three piers, where five would ordinarily have been required; this allowed ice floes and timber rafts to pass under with less damage to the bridge. Three other suspension aqueducts would subsequently be built for the canal. Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct is still standing, possibly the oldest suspension bridge in America; it has been named a National Historic Landmark.

For fifty-one years, coal flowed to New York City via the canal. But the development of railroads, which were faster, cheaper, and operated even when the canals were frozen, brought the end of the canal era. The New York and Erie Railroad supplanted the canal, and in 1898 it was abandoned.

In 1926, a hydroelectric plant was built by the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company on Wallenpaupack creek at the former village of Wilsonville, which now lies under Lake Wallenpaupack. A crew of 2,700 men worked for two years to complete the dam for the project at a cost of $1,026,000. This required the acquisition of nearly a hundred properties, and a number of farms, barns, and homes were razed or moved; 17 miles (27 km) of roads and telephone lines were relocated, and a cemetery was moved to make way for the project.

Between 1990 and 2000, Pike County was the fastest-growing county in Pennsylvania, growing by 65.2%; it grew an additional 16.9% between 2000 and 2004. The area has relatively low state and county taxes, affordable housing, and Interstate 80 and Interstate 84 provides rapid transportation to New York City's northern suburbs.

Famous residents[]

  • Gifford Pinchot (1865–1946) was the first Chief of the United States Forest Service (1905–1910) and the Governor of Pennsylvania (1923–1927, 1931–1935).
  • Count Andrew Mospak (1970–) Grand Master, Holy Orthodox Order of St. Anna


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 567 square miles (1,468 km²), of which 547 square miles (1,416 km²) is land and 20 square miles (51 km²) (3.50%) is water.

The terrain rises rapidly from the river valley in the east to the rolling foothills of the Poconos in the west. The highest point is one of two unnamed hills in Greene Township that top out at approximately 2,110 feet (643 m) above sea level.[3] The lowest elevation is approximately 340 feet (103.6 m), at the confluence of the Bushkill and the Delaware.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (part)
  • Middle Delaware National Scenic River (part)
  • Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (part)

State protected area[]

  • Delaware State Forest (part)
  • Promised Land State Park


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 2,894
1830 4,843 67.3%
1840 3,832 −20.9%
1850 5,881 53.5%
1860 7,155 21.7%
1870 8,436 17.9%
1880 9,663 14.5%
1890 9,412 −2.6%
1900 8,766 −6.9%
1910 8,033 −8.4%
1920 6,818 −15.1%
1930 7,483 9.8%
1940 7,452 −0.4%
1950 8,425 13.1%
1960 9,158 8.7%
1970 11,818 29.0%
1980 18,271 54.6%
1990 27,966 53.1%
2000 46,306 65.6%
2010 57,369 23.9%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 46,302 people, 17,433 households, and 13,022 families residing in the county. The population density was 85 people per square mile (33/km²). There were 34,681 housing units at an average density of 63 per square mile (24/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.10% White, 3.27% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.30% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. 5.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.9% were of German, 18.6% Irish, 18.5% Italian, 6.2% English and 5.3% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 17,433 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.50% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.30% were non-families. 20.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 5.30% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 25.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.30 males.


As of November 2008, there are 45,753 registered voters in Pike County.[7]

  • Republican: 20,087 (43.90%)
  • Democratic: 16,967 (37.08%)
  • Other Parties: 8,699 (19.01%)

The Republican Party has been historically dominant in county-level politics, and on the statewide and national levels Pike County leans toward the Republican Party. In 2000 Republican George W. Bush won 53% to Democrat Al Gore's 42%. In 2004 Republican George W. Bush won 58% to Democrat John Kerry's 40%. In 2008 Republican John McCain won 51% to Democrat Barack Obama's 47%. Due to population growth Pike County is trending more Democratic as Democratic Governor Ed Rendell won Pike in 2006 with 53%. Of the four statewide Democratic candidates in the 2008 election, the only to carry Pike was Jack Wagner.

County Commissioners[]

  • Richard Caridi, Chairman, Republican
  • Harry Forbes, Vice-Chairman, Republican
  • Karl A. Wagner, Jr., Democrat

Other county offices[]

  • Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary, Denise Fitzpatrick, Republican
  • Coroner, Kevin Stroyan, Republican
  • District Attorney, Raymond Tonkin, Republican
  • Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills, Sharon Schroeder, Republican
  • Sheriff, Phillip Bueki, Republican
  • Treasurer, John Gilpin, Republican

State Representatives[]

  • Michael Peifer, Republican, 139th district
  • Rosemary Brown, Republican, 189th district

State Senator[]

  • Lisa Baker, Republican, 20th district

US Representative[]

  • Tom Marino, Republican, 10th district


Map of Pike 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 Pike County:


  • Matamoras
  • Milford


  • Blooming Grove Township
  • Delaware Township
  • Dingman Township
  • Greene Township
  • Lackawaxen Township
  • Lehman Township
  • Milford Township
  • Palmyra Township
  • Porter Township
  • Shohola Township
  • Westfall Township


Public School Districts[]

Map of Pike County, Pennsylvania School Districts

  • Delaware Valley School District
  • East Stroudsburg Area School District (also in Monroe County)
  • Wallenpaupack Area School District

See also[]

  • List of municipal authorities in Pike County, Pennsylvania
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Pike County, Pennsylvania



External links[]

Coordinates: 41°20′N 75°02′W / 41.33, -75.03

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Pike County, Pennsylvania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.