History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Pennsylvania
Based on historic migration and settlement patterns in the southern colonies and states, demographers estimated there are more people in Alabama of Scots-Irish origins
than self-reported. Many people in Alabama claim Irish ancestry because of the term Scots-Irish
At its dedication President Teddy Roosevelt described the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, as the most handsome building I have ever seen, The Declaration of U.S.
Independence signing along with the United States Constitution in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, the state has especially earned the Keystone State nickname.
However don’t be deceived by defunct railroad yards or closed steel mills with cities such as Allentown, Pittsburgh, and Erie are continuing to produce products that are
high in demand, and with revenues from tourism confirming its more than just speculation, those relocating to Pennsylvania will discover it continues to be a solid spot
to build their life along with a great place enjoy a genuine Philly cheesesteak!
Relocating to the state will provide you with access to many of the more historically important cities in America, as well as several of the most durable. There is
Philadelphia, the financial center; Pittsburgh, with the Heinz Hall and the Andy Warhol Museum; Harrisburg, which is the state capital; ; and Allentown, the fastest
growing city in the state. Other places for consideration include Erie,, Reading, the hub for agriculture; Altoona, Scranton, Bethlehem and Lancaster. Once you make a
decision on a new town or city to call home, complete an address change form online letting your mail arrive your new place just as quickly as you get settled!
Rich in historic lore, Pennsylvania territory was disputed in the early 1600s among the Dutch, the Swedes, and the English. England acquired the region in 1664 with the
capture of New York, and in 1681 Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn, a Quaker, by King Charles II.
Philadelphia was the seat of the federal government almost continuously from 1776 to 1800; there the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the U.S.
Constitution drawn up in 1787. Valley Forge, of Revolutionary War fame, and Gettysburg, site of the pivotal battle of the Civil War, are both in Pennsylvania. The
Liberty Bell is located in a glass pavilion across from Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania summers are long, bringing hot and humid conditions to the southeast, while in the mountains (central, northeast and west) the days are generally cooler, but still on the humid side.
Fall is pleasant throughout the state, while winter brings snow and much colder temperatures.
January is the coldest month, with average high temperatures in the mid-20s. July is the warmest month, with average highs near 80 degrees.
Summer temperatures in the 90s are not uncommon in the southeast, and in the Pittsburgh area.
Annual rainfall averages near 43 inches in the southeast and western mountains, while lesser amounts are common near the north-central border with New York State and along the western border with Ohio.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is the public university system of the Commonwealth with 14 state schools. The Commonwealth System of Higher
Education is an organizing body of 4 state schools in Pennsylvania. These schools are independent institutions that receive state funding. There are also 15 publicly funded
two-year community colleges and technical schools separate from the PASSHE system. In addition, there are many private two- and four-year technical schools, colleges and
The, Pennsylvania's gross state product gross state product was $408.4 billion
in 2001, the 6th largest among the nation, to which contributions were:
General services $98.6 billion;
Financial services, $79.3 billion;
Manufacturing, $68.3 billion;
Trade, $62.3 billion;
Government, $41.4 billion;
Transportation and Public Utilities, $35 billion,
Construction, $18.5 billion.
The public sector in 2001 constituted 10% of gross state product, below the 12% average for the states.
Flora and Fauna
Maple, walnut, poplar, oak, pine, ash, beech, and linden trees fill Pennsylvania's extensive forests, along with sassafras, sycamore, weeping willow, and balsam fir (Abies fraseri). Red pine and paper birch are found in the north while the sweet gum is dominant in the extreme southwest. Mountain laurel (the state flower), June-berry, dotted hawthorn, New Jersey tea, and various dogwoods are among the shrubs and small trees found in most parts of the state, and dewberry, wintergreen, wild columbine, and wild ginger are also common. In 2003, the small whorled pogonia and Virginia spirea were classified as threatened, with the northeastern bulrush as endangered.
Numerous mammals persist in Pennsylvania, among them the white-tailed deer (the state animal), black bear, red and gray foxes, opossum, raccoon, muskrat, mink, snowshoe hare, common cottontail, and red, gray, fox, and flying squirrels. Native amphibians include the hellbender, Fowler's toad, and the tree, cricket, and true frogs; among reptilian species are the five-lined and black skinks and five varieties of lizard. The ruffed grouse, a common game species, is the official state bird; other game birds are the wood dove, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, and mallard and black ducks. The robin, cardinal, English sparrow, red-eyed vireo, cedar waxwing, tufted titmouse, yellow-shafted flicker, barn swallow, blue jay, and killdeer are common non-game birds. More than 170 types of fish have been identified in Pennsylvania, with brown and brook trout, grass pickerel, bigeye chub, pirate perch, and white bass among the common native varieties.
In 1978, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service signed a cooperative agreement under which the federal government provides two dollars for each dollar spent by the state to determine the status of and improve conditions for threatened or endangered species. On the threatened or endangered list in 2003 were 14 species, including the Indiana bat, bald eagle, orangefoot pimpleback pearly mussel, dwarf wedgemussel, and pink mucket pearlymussel.
The Pennsylvania State Capitol is the seat of government for Pennsylvania and is in downtown Harrisburg. It was designed by architect, Joseph Miller Huston in 1902 and completed 1906 in a Beaux-Arts style with decorative Renaissance themes throughout. The capitol houses the legislative chambers for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the Harrisburg chambers for the Supreme and Superior Courts of Pennsylvania, as well as the offices of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. It is also the main building of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.
As head of the executive branch and chief executive officer of the state, the governor of Pennsylvania has the power to appoint heads of administrative
departments, boards, and commissions, to approve or veto legislation, to grant pardons, and to command the state's military forces. The governor, who may serve
no more than two four-year terms in succession, must be a US citizen, be at least 30 years old, and have been a Pennsylvania resident for at least seven
years before election. Elected with the governor is the lieutenant governor, who serves as president of the senate and chairman of the board of pardons, and
assumes the powers of the governor if the governor becomes unable to continue in that office.
Other state elected officials are the auditor general, who oversees all state financial transactions; the state treasurer, who receives and keeps records of all state funds; and the attorney general, who heads the Department of Justice. All other department heads, or secretaries, are appointed by the governor and confirmed by a majority of the senate.
To vote in state elections a person must be a US citizen for at least one month before the next election, at least 18 years old, and a resident of Pennsylvania and of the district for at least 30 days preceding the election. Restrictions apply to convicted felons.
Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State for its role in building the foundations of the United States of America - it is here that the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address were written. Tourists will find an abundance of historic landmarks and attractions, from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the Valley Forge and Gettysburg battle sites. It is also known as the Quaker State for the religion of the state's namesake, William Penn. Pennsylvania Dutch country is home to the unique culture of the Amish, whose dedication to simplicity and tradition continues to draw visitors who are looking for a peaceful weekend getaway.
The city of Pittsburgh is known for its industrial roots and the cultural legacy of the Carnegie family, while the capital city of Harrisburg is loved for its small-town feel and historic buildings. Other Pennsylvania towns have earned their fame for less serious reasons, like Hershey, which is known for its chocolate manufacturer and Punxsutawney for its weather-predicting groundhog. From the urban attractions of historic Philadelphia to the numerous parks and open country, there is something for everyone here
Camelback Mountain Resort is a ski and snowboard resort located in the Pocono Mountains region in Pocono Township and Jackson Township, Monroe County, adjacent to, and partially within Big Pocono State Park. In the 1950s when developers were working to expand the original solitary ski run, they negotiated with the then PA DER for permission to use a small portion of the state park for the ski area in exchange for $1 a year and the obligation to maintain the entire park.
Conneaut Lake Park is a summer resort and amusement park, located in Conneaut Lake,. It has long served as a regional tourist destination, and is noted by roller coaster enthusiasts for its classic Blue Streak coaster, which was recently classified as "historic" by the American Coaster Enthusiasts group. Conneaut Lake is Pennsylvania's largest natural (glacier) lake and is a popular summer resort for recreational boaters due to there being no horsepower limit on the lake.
DelGrosso's Park is a family-oriented amusement park located in Tipton, a northern suburb of Altoona, Pennsylvania. The park was purchased by the DelGrosso family in 1946 and was named "Bland's Park" until 2000. In 2000, the DelGrosso family decided to change its name to "DelGrosso's Amusement Park." The park is known for its family-friendly ride line-up, food, and games as well as free parking. The park hosts picnics and special music events in its pavilion/picnic area.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is an amusement and water park owned and operated by Cedar Fair and located in between Allentown, Pennsylvania and Emmaus, Pennsylvania. The park features seven roller coasters, other adult and children's rides, and a waterpark, Wildwater Kingdom.
It features some of the world's most prominent roller coasters, including Steel Force, the ninth longest steel roller coaster in the world and the second longest on the East Coast.
Dutch Wonderland is a 48-acre amusement park just east of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in East Lampeter Township, appealing primarily to families with small children. The park's theme is a "Kingdom for Kids." The entrance to the park has a stone imitation castle façade.
The park has 32 rides, plus a tropical-themed interactive water play area called Duke's Lagoon. The park also has an extended season, open for "Happy Hauntings" and "Dutch Winter Wonderland" events for Halloween and Christmas.
Hersheypark is a family theme park in Hershey, Pennsylvania,about 15 miles of Harrisburg, and 95 miles
west of Philadelphia. It is wholly and privately owned by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company as of 2016. It has won several awards, including the IAAPA Applause Award.
The park opened its first roller coaster in 1923, the Wild Cat, an early Philadelphia Toboggan Company coaster.
The 1970s brought SooperDooperLooper an early complete-circuit looping roller coaster, as well as a 330-foot-tall observation tower, the Kissing Tower. Between 1991 and 2008,
the park added eight roller coasters and the Boardwalk at Hersheypark water park.
Its area covers over 110 acres, with 70 rides and attractions, as well as a zoo called ZooAmerica – North American Wildlife Park. Adjacent is Hershey's Chocolate World, a visitors' center that is open to the public and that contains shops, restaurants, and a chocolate factory-themed tour ride.
Idlewild and Soak Zone, most often called as Idlewild Park or simply Idlewild, is a children's amusement park situated in the Laurel Highlands near Ligonier, Pennsylvania, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, along US Route 30. Founded in 1878 as a campground along the Ligonier Valley Railroad by Thomas Mellon, Idlewild is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and the third oldest operating amusement park in the
nation behind Lake Compounce and Cedar Point. The park has won several awards, including from industry publication Amusement Today as the best children's park in the world.
Kennywood is an amusement park located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. The amusement park features various structures and rides dating back to the early 1900s. Along with Rye Playland Park, it is one of only two amusement parks designated a National Historic Landmark for its history and historic rides, and is one of only thirteen trolley parks still operating in the United States.
Knoebels Amusement Resort is a family-owned and operated amusement park, picnic grove, and campground in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. It is and has been America's largest free-admission park for 91 years of operation. Opened in 1926, the park has more than 60 rides, three wooden roller coasters, one steel roller coaster, a 1913 carousel, and a haunted house dark ride. The park and its rides have won awards from organizations such as Amusement Today, American Coaster Enthusiasts, and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
Lakemont Park, located in Altoona, Pennsylvania, houses the world's oldest-surviving roller coaster, the Leap-The-Dips.
In 1996, the roller coaster was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks
by the National Park Service. The park opened in 1894 as a trolley park and
became an amusement park in the summer of 1899. It is one of only thirteen
trolley parks still operating, and the 8th oldest amusement park in the United
Sesame Place is a children's theme park, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia in Langhorne.
Based on the Sesame Street television program. It includes a variety of rides, shows, and water attractions suited to young children. It is one of 12 parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment with a license from Sesame Workshop (formerly known as Children's Television Workshop).
Waldameer Park and Water World is an amusement / water park in Erie, Pennsylvania located at the base of Presque Isle. The park is admission-free, with a midway, and covered picnic facilities. The roller coasters and other major rides require either the display of a paid wristband scanned upon riding, or the use of "Wally Points" on their "Wally Card" system. A gift shop is located in the park selling Waldameer souvenirs. The water park operates an assortment of water slides and raft rides and is admission by fee only. The name "Waldameer" can be translated literally as "Woods by the Sea" in German. Waldameer's operating season runs from May through September.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!
NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.
Paddlers slip down the river between low forested mountains; anglers wade the trout streams; hikers scan the valley from the ridge or peer into the 1000-foot-deep Water Gap. The valley has known human hand and voice for 10,000 years. Floodplains nourished the Native farmer; waterfalls drew the Victorian vacationer. Today, a 70,000-acre park welcomes those who seek the outdoors close to home.
Famous as the First State to ratify the Constitution, Delaware was born out of a conflict among three world powers for dominance of the Delaware Valley. From this beginning, the region developed a distinct character that tolerated diversity in religion and national origin and valued independence.
The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion", Gettysburg was the Civil War's bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address".
Goods, ideas, and people intermingled in early Philadelphia. In this diverse city, a new republic was born. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed inside Independence Hall. Nearby sits the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of liberty.
The largest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, the Delaware River runs past forests, farmlands, and villages, and it also links some of the most densely populated regions in America. In 2000, the National Wild and Scenic River System incorporated key segments of the lower Delaware River to form this unit of the National Park System.
Linking the tidal Potomac and upper Youghiogheny river basins, the evolving Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail network lies within a corridor rich in historic pathways and waterways. You can travel this historic corridor today—on foot, bicycle and horse and by boat—exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Plateau.
Situated in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area reveals how one region, in a sustained and thunderous blast of innovation, ambition and fire, forever changed America and its place in the world. It is the story of the industrialists and the workers who pushed an infant industry to it ultimate limits and in doing so pushed the world into the Age of Steel.
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is the birthplace of the movements that shaped the nation, fueled its growth, and reclaimed its future. It was along the banks of this river and its tributaries that the American, Industrial, and Environmental Revolutions were born. Explore the stories, visit the places, and experience the region’s vitality by visiting the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army. The 3,500-acres of monuments, meadows, and woodlands commemorate the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation. The park honors and celebrates the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.
Pennsylvania's only National Forest includes Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir on the Allegheny Plateau in the northwestern part of the state. The forest contains the largest tract of remaining old-growth forest in Pennsylvania at Tionesta Scenic and Research Natural Areas and 10 miles of the North Country Trail
Pennsylvania is home to many major league professional sports teams; the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia
Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins of
the National Hockey League, and the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. Among them, these teams have accumulated 7 World Series Championships
Gas tax: 59.3 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and 74.7 cents per gallon of diesel
Philadelphia International Airport Photo by Envision Consultants
There are 139 airports in Pennsylvania that the public can use. The airports in Pennsylvania have world-class standards. The airports in Pennsylvania provide one of the best
experiences in flying.
The international airports in Pennsylvania are Lehigh International Airport at Allentown, Erie International Airport at Erie, Harrisburg International Airport at Harrisburg, Philadelphia International Airport at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh International Airport at Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport at Wilkes-Barre.
The Pittsburgh International Airport has been ranked as being amongst the top three airports in the world in terms of its excellent customer oriented services. It receives more than ten million passengers annually. The airport has many retail stores selling various goods. There are also numerous eateries, news and gifts shops, ATMs and foreign currency exchange. The airport is also disabled-friendly. To make traveling from one concourse to another easy, the airport has a train facility too.
Pennsylvania contributes its far-reaching infrastructure in its robust port system, composed of the Ports of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie, each contributing unique advantages both to in-state and global companies. The state ranks 9th in the country for volume of goods moved through its ports with over 100 million tons of goods. These three ports provide an economic benefit of nearly $50 billion to Pennsylvania.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is the sixth-largest transit agency in the United States and operates the commuter, heavy and light rail transit, and transit bus service in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The Port Authority of Allegheny County is the 25th-largest transit agency and provides transit bus and light rail service in and around Pittsburgh.
Intercity passenger rail transit is provided by Amtrak, with the majority of traffic occurring on the Keystone Service in the high-speed Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia's 30th Street Station before heading north to New York City, as well as the Northeast Regional providing frequent high speed service up and down the Northeast Corridor. the Pennsylvanian follows the same route from New York City to Harrisburg, but extends out to Pittsburgh. The Capitol Limited also passes through Pittsburgh, as well as Connellsville, on its way from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Traveling between Chicago and New York City, the Lake Shore Limited passes through Erie once in each direction.
There are 67 short-line, freight railroads operating in Pennsylvania, the highest number in
the nation. In 2018, OurBus began offering service from West Chester, PA – Malvern, PA – King of Prussia, PA – Fort Washington, PA – New York, NY.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, abbreviated as PennDOT, owns 39,861 miles of the 121,770 miles of roads in the state, making it the fifth-largest state highway system in the
nation. The Pennsylvania Turnpike system is 535 miles long, with the mainline portion stretching from Ohio to Philadelphia and New Jersey. It is overseen by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Another major east–west route is Interstate 80, which runs primarily in the northern tier of the state from Ohio to New Jersey at the Delaware Water Gap. Interstate 90 travels the relatively short distance between Ohio and New York through Erie County, in the extreme northwestern part of the state.
There are 57 counties, 57
cities (Cities may theoretically be first-class, second-class, second-class A,
or third-class (of which there are 54), and 939 incorporated boroughs in
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The largest populated city is Philadelphia with 1,567,448 residents. The smallest incorporated city is Bristol with 9,631 residents.