Open main menu

Castle Shannon is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 8,316 at the 2010 census.[4]

Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania
Willow Avenue and Poplar Street
Willow Avenue and Poplar Street
Etymology: Local farm named "Castle Shanahan"
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Coordinates: 40°21′57″N 80°1′11″W / 40.36583°N 80.01972°W / 40.36583; -80.01972Coordinates: 40°21′57″N 80°1′11″W / 40.36583°N 80.01972°W / 40.36583; -80.01972
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedDecember 20, 1919
 • MayorDonald J. Baumgarten (D)[1]
 • Total1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
 • Land1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,040 ft (320 m)
 • Total8,316
 • Estimate 
 • Density5,117.72/sq mi (1,976.18/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)412
FIPS code42-11680
School DistrictKeystone Oaks



According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land. Its average elevation is 1,040 feet (320 m) above sea level.[5]

Surrounding communitiesEdit

Castle Shannon has five borders, including Baldwin Township to the north, the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Overbrook to the northeast, Whitehall to the east and southeast, Bethel Park to the south and southwest, and Mt. Lebanon to the west and northwest.


The first families settled Castle Shannon in 1786 in pursuit of farmland and timber. The most prominent farm was owned by David Strawbridge, who named it Castle Shanahan. Over time, the farm would lend its name to the area, as "Shanahan" would evolve into "Shannon". In 1872, the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad line was completed, providing a direct link from Pittsburgh to the then-village of Castle Shannon. Development was stimulated by two years of free transportation and lumber transport given to anybody building a home.[6]

In 1877, a second railroad was built from Finleyville through Castle Shannon to the West End neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1909, the right of way through the valley containing Castle Shannon was purchased by the Pittsburgh Railroad. This helped lead to Castle Shannon becoming a center for coal mining, with eight mines in operation in 1904. The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad, still active today, came shortly afterward.

The First National Bank in Castle Shannon was the site of a much publicized bank robbery in 1917. $18,500 was taken in the robbery, of which $10,500 was immediately recovered from one man shot during the escape. The full sum was never recovered. A group of men gathered to chase down the robber to no avail. From that group, Elmet J Zeiler, a WWI Medal of Valor winner from the USA and France, and a double Purple Heart recipient, was named the first Chief of Police in Castle Shannon when the police department was formed.

Castle Shannon was incorporated as a borough in 1919, formed from parts of Baldwin Township, Mt. Lebanon, and Bethel Township.

Government and PoliticsEdit

Presidential Elections Results[7][8]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 42% 1,823 53% 2,292 4% 188
2012 44% 1,738 55% 2,180 1% 37


Census Pop.
Est. 20188,255[3]−0.7%

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 8,556 people, 3,859 households, and 2,288 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,259.8 people per square mile (2,026.7/km²). There were 4,037 housing units at an average density of 2,481.8 per square mile (956.3/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.91% White, 1.34% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.

There were 3,859 households, out of which 23.2% had children under age 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years old or older. The average household size was 2.20 persons, and the average family size was 2.88 persons. In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.7% under age 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24 years old, 32.9% from 25 to 44 years old, 21.4% from 45 to 64 years old, and 18.7% who were 65 years old or older. The median age was 39. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males. The median income for a household in the borough was $38,040; and, the median income for a family was $48,586. Males had a median income of $33,013, versus $27,907 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,518. About 5.0% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.


Castle Shannon’s school system, Keystone Oaks School District, is a "jointure"[clarification needed] with the boroughs of Dormont and Green Tree, comprising Keystone Oaks Middle and High Schools, Myrtle Elementary School (Castle Shannon), Dormont Elementary School (Dormont), and Aiken Elementary School (Greentree). Located within Castle Shannon is Saint Anne School, a Catholic private elementary school.

Notable peopleEdit

  • Lee Hartman, animator[16]
  • Dennis Miller, comedian, grew up in Castle Shannon, and attended St. Anne Elementary School and Keystone Oaks High School
  • Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Archbishop of Houston Galveston, Texas, spent his childhood years in Castle Shannon and attended St Annés elementary school there.
  • Elmer J Zeiler - First Chief of Police, A WWI recipient of 2 Purple Hearts, Metal of Valor, Croix De Guerre Medal (Highest medal of Valor from France). Founder of the VFW in Castle Shannon which was located on 88 across from Chevy Dealership. Received US Presidents Medal in 1964. Castle Shannon named a day of honor and had parade celebrating Elmer J Zeiler's accomplishments. Mr Zeiler was also the first to receive a phone in his home when he became Chief of Police. Unfortunately many of the town residents came to his home and used the phone causing a $400 phone bill. As acting Chief of Police, he refused to allow the corrupt coal mine owners to evict their employees from company houses in the middle of winter.


  1. ^ Donald J. Baumgarten profile,; accessed May 15, 2016.
  2. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 24, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Castle Shannon borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  6. ^ Allegheny County Municipalities, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; retrieved May 15, 2016.
  7. ^ EL. "2012 Allegheny County election". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  8. ^ EL. "2016 Pennsylvani general election..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Population of Civil Divisions Less than Counties" (PDF). 1880 United States Census. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Population-Pennsylvania" (PDF). U.S. Census 1910. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Number and Distribution of Inhabitants:Pennsylvania-Tennessee" (PDF). Fifteenth Census. U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 22 November 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  16. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (December 30, 2012). "Obituary: Leland 'Lee' Hartman: Pittsburgh animator who once worked at Disney Feb. 27 1930 - Dec. 24, 2012". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 15, 2016.

External linksEdit