Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania

Mount Carmel is a borough in Northumberland County, located in the Coal Heritage Region of Central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River Valley in the United States. The population was 5,725 at the 2020 census. It is located 88 miles (141 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 71 miles (114 km) northeast of Harrisburg, in the Anthracite Coal Region. It is completely encompassed by Mount Carmel Township.

Borough of Mount Carmel
View of Mount Carmel from the northeast
View of Mount Carmel from the northeast
Official seal of Borough of Mount Carmel
Location of Mount Carmel in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Mount Carmel in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Mount Carmel is located in Pennsylvania
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Location of Mount Carmel in Pennsylvania
Mount Carmel is located in the United States
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°47′47″N 76°24′44″W / 40.79639°N 76.41222°W / 40.79639; -76.41222Coordinates: 40°47′47″N 76°24′44″W / 40.79639°N 76.41222°W / 40.79639; -76.41222
CountryUnited States
Incorporated, TownshipNovember 14, 1854
Incorporated, BoroughNovember 3, 1862
 • MayorPhillip "Bing" Cimino (D)
 • Chief of PoliceChristopher J. Buhay
 • Total0.66 sq mi (1.70 km2)
 • Land0.66 sq mi (1.70 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
[2] (center of borough)
1,100 ft (300 m)
Highest elevation
[2] (southeastern boundary of borough)
1,300 ft (400 m)
Lowest elevation
[2] (Shamokin Creek on western borough boundary)
1,035 ft (315 m)
 • Total5,725
 • Density8,712.33/sq mi (3,365.90/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)570 and 272 (570 Exchange: 339)
FIPS code42-51496


Sawmill operator, Albert Bradford, gave Mount Carmel its name because of its elevation and beautiful setting in the mountains. He decided that it deserved a special name and named it after the holy mountain in Israel. Mount Carmel began as a logging town. Coal wasn't discovered until 1790 by Isaac Tomlinson. It took twenty-four years until the first shipment of anthracite was shipped from the borough. Mount Carmel Inn was opened in 1812 by Richard Yarnall and was strategically located on the Centre Turnpike (also known as the Reading-Sunbury Road or Old Reading Road) halfway between Pottsville and Danville. During the latter part of 1854 the Philadelphia and Sunbury Railroad was completed from Shamokin to Mt. Carmel, which led to the opening and development of a number of collieries in the region. During the same year, the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company commenced making extensive openings and improvements upon their valuable coal lands in the vicinity of Mt. Carmel, building coal breakers for two collieries – the Coal Ridge and Locust Mountain collieries.[3] The township was erected in 1854, formed from part of Coal Township; by 1862 the borough was incorporated within the township.

Mount Carmel was among the first towns in the country to have its streets lit by electricity. Thomas Edison placed one of his first generators plants here in 1883. The Edison Plant in Mount Carmel was the 7th in the world.

In the past, there were extensive anthracite mining interests here and in the vicinity. In earlier years, the borough had manufactories of miners' caps, cement blocks, cigars, shirts, stockings, etc., and large silk and planing mills, foundry and machine shops, a knitting mill, lumber yards, a packing plant, and wagon works. Currently that area supports light manufacturing in paper and plastics.


  • 1681 March 4 – Charles II of England grants a land charter to William Penn to repay a debt of £20,000 owed to his father, creating the Province of Pennsylvania
  • 1682 August 24 – Penn divided the Province into three counties, Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester; The last comprised all lands west and south of the Delaware and the Schuylkill; therefore the site of Mount Carmel was originally in an area claimed by Chester County
  • 1729 May 10 – Lancaster County created out of part of Chester County
  • 1749 August 22 – Land comprising Mount Carmel part of a tract purchased from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederation
  • 1752 March 11 – Berks County created out of part of Lancaster County
  • before 1770 – Area inhabited by Native Americans (possibly Lenape, Iroquois, and/or Saponi)
  • 1770 – Europeans first settled in the area
  • 1772 March 21 – Northumberland County formed, area that would become Mt. Carmel located in what was then Augusta Township
  • 1783 September 3 – Treaty of Paris signed, formally recognizing Pennsylvania's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain
  • 1785 – Catawissa Township formed from part of Augusta township
  • 1788 – Ralpho Township formed from part of Catawissa township
  • 1789 – Ralpho township renamed to Shamokin township
  • 1790 – Anthracite coal discovered by Isaac Tomlinson on nearby Broad Mountain
  • 1805 March 25 – Centre Turnpike Company incorporated
  • 1808 – Centre Turnpike opens
  • ~1811 – Centre Turnpike completed
  • 1812 – Mt. Carmel Inn opens, located on the Centre Turnpike in (then) Shamokin township
  • ~1830s – coal mining begins
  • 1837 – Coal Township formed from parts of Little Mahanoy and Shamokin townships
  • 1846 – first Post Office opens
  • 1847 – land now comprising Mount Carmel Borough purchased by speculators
  • 1853 – town plot finalized
  • 1854 November 14 – Mount Carmel Township incorporated, from part of Coal Township
  • 1855 – Evangelical Grace Church, the town's first church, opens at Third & Market Streets
  • 1855 – Centre Turnpike decommissioned
  • 1862 November 3 – Mount Carmel Borough incorporated
  • 1869 – Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church is built
  • 1877 December – Mt. Carmel Progress, the pioneer newspaper, was established
  • 1883 November 17 – Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Mount Carmel founded
  • 1888 – St. Matthew's Lutheran Church is built
  • 1894 November – Shamokin-Mount Carmel Electric Railway (trolley line) connecting Shamokin with Mount Carmel completed
  • 1896 – Reliance Colliery is started by Thomas Baumgardner
  • 1897 – Anthracite Brewing Company, later Mt. Carmel Brewery, founded
  • 1900 – Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church is Built
  • 1906 – Divine Redeemer Church is built
  • 1906 April – 'Miners Dispute' striking miners are shot by 21 troopers of the State Constabulary – ten men were injured, but all survived
  • 1914 – Sts. Peter and Paul Byzantine-Ukrainian Catholic Church is built (it later burned in a fire and was rededicated in 1994)
  • 1930 – The first viaduct was constructed to eliminate crossing two railroad tracks to enter town
  • 1931 – Mount Carmel High School football stadium or "Silver Bowl" is opened being one of the first high school stadiums to have lighting for night games
  • 1934 – Mattucci's Willow Cafe' opens
  • 1948 June 17 – United Airlines Flight 624 crashes near Midvalley Colliery No. 2; killing all 4 crew members and 39 passengers on board
  • 1950 – the coal mining 'boom' begins its decline
  • 1951 – Mt. Carmel Brewery closes
  • 1969 - WMIM Radio- AM 1590 signs-on. Signed-off 1999.
  • 2003 – Original viaduct is removed and a reconstructed version is built by the Department of Transportation even though the railroads are no longer there


Buildings in Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel is located at 40°47′47″N 76°24′44″W / 40.79639°N 76.41222°W / 40.79639; -76.41222 (40.796447, −76.412231)[4] in the ridge-and-valley zone of the central Appalachian Mountains. It is drained by the Shamokin Creek and is part of the Lower Susquehanna watershed.[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km2), all of it land.

Mount Carmel's terrain is mostly flat. The borough's land is mostly urban. Mount Carmel is served by Pennsylvania Route 61.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 6,390 people, 3,035 households, and 1,678 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,655.6 people per square mile (3,738.2/km2). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 5,483.6 per square mile (2,123.0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.56% White, 0.06% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 3,035 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 41.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 24.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $22,168, and the median income for a family was $35,217. Males had a median income of $28,168 versus $20,595 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,858. About 14.2% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.



United States Congress


Pennsylvania General Assembly


Map of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Public schoolsEdit

Residents of Mount Carmel may attend the local, public schools operated by Mount Carmel Area School District which provides taxpayer funded preschool and full day kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2014, the District's enrollment declined to 1,583 students. In 2014, Mount Carmel Area School District ranked 380th out of 496 public schools for academic achievement of its pupils, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. In 2013, the District ranked 323rd.[10]

Mount Carmel Area School District operates three schools: Mount Carmel Area Elementary School Grades Pre-K through 6th, Mount Carmel Area Junior High School and Mount Carmel Area High School. The district spends just $8,600 per student per year on school operations, the lowest figure in the state.[11]

Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program In April 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying one Mount Carmel Area School District school as among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in 2013.[12] Mount Carmel Area High School was among the 15% lowest achieving schools in the Commonwealth. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012.[13][14] The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district.[15] Fifty-three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2012–13 school year, eight public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list including: Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District, William Penn School District and Steelton-Highspire School District.[16] Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating.

AYP history

In 2012, Mount Carmel Area School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging student achievement.[17] In 2011, Mount Carmel Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

In 2014, Mount Carmel Area School District's graduation rate was 88%.[18] In 2013, Mount Carmel Area School District's graduation rate was 87.93%.[19] Mount Carmel high school aged students may choose to attend Northumberland County Career Technology Center for training in the trades.

Mount Carmel residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 14 public cyber charter schools (in 2013) at no additional cost to the parents. Locally, SusQ Cyber Charter School operates in Bloomsburg. The resident's public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools.[20][21] By Commonwealth law, if the District provides transportation for its own students, then the District must provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles of its borders. Residents may also seek admission for their school aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2012, the tuition fees for Mount Carmel Area School District were: Elementary School – $6,811, High School – $8,189.[22]

Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit #16 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Mount Carmel Area School District. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy and many other services like driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements.



  • Pennsylvania Route 61, designated from 1963 to the present, previously:
  • Pennsylvania Route 54
    • before 1929: Ashland Road
    • 1929 – 1961: PA 54 via Ashland Road
    • 1961 – 1966: designated as PA 45 via Ashland Road
    • 1966 – 1999: reassigned concurrent with PA 61 east of Mount Carmel
    • 1999–present: route changed to follow SR 2035, PA 901, SR 2042, SR 3002, and SR 4028 to rejoin its former route along PA 61.
  • Pennsylvania Route 901
    • Routed through Mount Carmel Township by 1996


Philadelphia and Reading RR Station in Mt Carmel, c.1917

Public transportationEdit

The Lower Anthracite Transportation System offers a two-route transit system weekdays and Saturdays from Mount Carmel with buses meeting in Coal Township to Mount Carmel and surrounding communities. A third route, operated seasonally, operates to Knoebel's Amusement Resort.

Notable residentsEdit

  • Ellen Dow – actress[23]
  • Lieutenant General James M. Gavin (1907–1990), United States Army – aka "The Jumping General", he was the third Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II.
  • Henry Hynoski Sr. – NFL football player (running back) for the Cleveland Browns in 1975.
  • Vaughn Nark – jazz musician (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone). Still touring in 2018.
  • Edward Pinkowski – journalist and historian of Polish Americans[24]
  • Marie Powers – opera contralto singer who performed throughout Europe from the 1920s to the 1940s and then established herself on Broadway through the 1960s.
  • James M. Quigley – politician and lawyer
  • Brett Veach – General Manager of the NFL football franchise Kansas City Chiefs beginning in 2017.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Green Ridge Topo Map, Northumberland County PA (Mount Carmel Area)". TopoZone. Locality, LLC. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  3. ^ Bell, Herbert (1891). History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania (TXT). Brown, Runk, & Co., Publishers. Archived from the original on 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ US EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency (2017-01-19). "Surf Your Watershed | Water Data and Tools | US EPA". Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  6. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "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 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  10. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 5, 2013). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide ranking 2013".
  11. ^ Brow, Emma (23 April 2015). "Pa. schools are the nation's most inequitable. The new governor wants to fix that". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 2014). "2014–15 List of Low Achieving Schools".
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2013). "Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program".
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of community and Economic Development (2014). "Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program FAQ".
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2012). "Tuition rate Fiscal Year 2011–2012".
  16. ^ Olsen, Laura, State list of failing schools has 53 in county, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, July 26, 2012
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 21, 2012). "Mount Carmel Area School District AYP Overview 2012". Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mount Carmel Area School District Fast Facts 2014, November 6, 2014
  19. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mount Carmel Area School District Fast Facts 2013, October 4, 2013
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "Charter Schools".
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2013). "What is a Charter School?".
  22. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (May 2013). "Pennsylvania Public School District Tuition Rates".
  23. ^ "Ellen Albertini Dow (Obituary)". New York Times. 6 May 2015.
  24. ^ Edward Pinkowski – Poles in America Foundation

External linksEdit