- Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Infobox U.S. County
county = Somerset County
state = Pennsylvania
map size = 225
founded = April 17, 1795
seat = Somerset | largest city = Somerset
area percentage = 0.60%
census yr = 2000
pop = 80023
web = www.co.somerset.pa.us
Somerset County is a
countylocated in the state of Pennsylvania. As of 2000, the population was 80,023. Somerset County was created on April 17, 1795 from part of Bedford County and named for Somerset, United Kingdom. Its county seatis SomersetGR|6. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,081
square miles (2,800 km²), of which, 1,075 square miles (2,783 km²) of it is land and 7 square miles (17 km²) of it (0.60%) is water.
Somerset County is one of the snowiest inhabited locations in the United States, with parts of the county averaging 200+ inches of snow each winter. The county's elevation above sea level relative to surrounding areas causes snow from both Atlantic Ocean Nor'easters and Great Lakes lake effect to fall from October through early April. Snow has been recorded in Somerset County in every month except July, although local lore has it that even July saw snow in 1816, "the year without a summer."
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 80,023 people, 31,222 households, and 22,042 families residing in the county. The population densitywas 74 people per square mile (29/km²). There were 37,163 housing units at an average density of 35 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.39% White, 1.59% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.40% from two or more races. 0.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 41.5% were of German, 10.4% American, 7.4% Italian, 6.4% Irish, 6.4% Polish and 5.8% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 31,222 households out of which 29.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.30% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.90 males.
Somerset County gained worldwide attention in 2001 when a hijacked airliner,
United Airlines Flight 93, crashed near the town of Shanksville in the September 11 Terrorist Attacks. (See USS "Somerset", a U.S. Navywarship which is to be named in commemoration of the Flight 93 tragedy).
In July 2002, Somerset County again made worldwide news when nine
coalminers were rescued from several hundred feet underground from the Quecreek mineafter an intense multi-day struggle.
Somerset County in Arts and Literature
Nineteenth century poet
James Whitcomb Riley, the "Hoosier Poet", immortalized Somerset County and its bucolic countryside in his poem "'Mongst the Hills of Somerset". The poem's opening line is the unforgettable "'Mongst the hills of Somerset, I wish I were a'roamin' yet."
The Mountain Playhouse in
Jennerstown, Pennsylvaniawas one of the nation's first "summer-stock" theatres. The Mountain Playhouse has maintained a full schedule of live theatre productions nightly from May through October each year for the last sixty years.
*Route 30 (
Pennsylvania Turnpike(runs together with two interstates listed below):
*U.S. Route 219 (the southern portion as the Mason-Dixon Highway)
* (1928-1946) now Buena Road
Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data. They are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.
Other Unincorporated Communities
Public School Districts
Berlin Brothersvalley School District
Conemaugh Township Area School District
Meyersdale Area School District
North Star School District
Rockwood Area School District
Salisbury-Elk Lick School District
Shade-Central City School District
Shanksville-Stonycreek School District
Somerset Area School District
Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District
Windber Area School District
There are 4 Pennsylvania state parks in Somerset County.
Kooser State Park
Laurel Hill State Park
Laurel Mountain State Park
Laurel Ridge State Park
* [http://www.co.somerset.pa.us/ Somerset County government]
* [http://www.somersetcountychamber.com/ Somerset County Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://somersetcountypalibraries.org/ Somerset County Federated Library System]
* [http://www.somersethistoricalcenter.org/ Somerset Historical Center]
* [http://www.laurelhighlands.org/ Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.laurelarts.org/ Laurel Arts/Philip Dressler Center for the Arts] "'Community Festivals"'
* [http://www.pamaplefestival.com/ Pennsylvania Maple Festival, Meyersdale, March]
* [http://www.ncrvfc.com/jubilee.html/ Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee, Rockwood, September]
* [http://www.springspa.org/ Springs Folk Festival, Springs, October]
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