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Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Seal of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the U.S. highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
Seat Uniontown
Largest city Uniontown
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

798 sq mi (2,067 km²)
790 sq mi (2,046 km²)
8 sq mi (21 km²), 0.98%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

148,644
189/sq mi (73/km²)
Founded September 26, 1783
Fayette County Courthouse, Uniontown.jpg
Fayette County Courthouse
Website www.co.fayette.pa.us

Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2000 census, the population was 148,644. The county is part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Fayette County was created on September 26, 1783, from part of Westmoreland County and named after the Marquis de Lafayette. Its county seat is Uniontown[1].

Contents

History

The first European settlers to Fayette County were western explorers who used an Indian trail that bisected Fayette County as part of their journey across the Appalachian Mountains. When the ownership of the area was still undecided, 22-year-old George Washington fought his first battles against the French at Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity in 1754. British forces under Washington and General Edward Braddock improved roads throughout the region, making the future Fayette County an important supply through route. Despite being originally claimed by Virginia, the region became part of Pennsylvania, eventually becoming its own jurisdiction after seceding from Westmoreland County in 1783. During the American Revolution, Fayette County was hit hard by attacks from British-allied Indian groups and remained an isolated frontier hinterland.

Fayette County settlers provided the first real test for the authority of the more centralized incarnation of the American government after the signing of the Constitution. During the 1793 Whiskey Rebellion, rural farmers took up arms against tax collectors in protest of a new excise on liquor. However, new President Washington called out federal soldiers to quell the uprising. In the early portions of the Nineteenth Century, Fayette County continued to be an important travel point. The National Road provided access for settlers heading west, while the shipyards in Brownsville created vessels that were used for shipping for domestic and international trade.

As Pittsburgh developed as an industrial powerhouse in the mid-1800s, Fayette County transitioned to become a center of the coal mining and coke production. From the 1880s to the 1900s, an explosion in steel production led to area industry becoming extremely profitable and nationally important. Because cheap labor was needed, new immigrant populations arrived to Fayette County en masse. The traditional Scottish and German farming communities soon became dwarfed by Southern and Eastern Europeans. However, the region's wealth remained concentrated in old English families with connections to Pittsburgh.

By the mid-1900s, Fayette County industry had created a new unionized working class that enjoyed increased prosperity. However, by the 1950s, the coal industry fell into decline and in the 1970s, the collapse of American steel brought hard times to Fayette County. Only a few mines remain, but natural resources remain crucial to the local economy. The region continues to struggle but is slowly transitioning toward the service sector, with jobs added in fields such as telemarketing.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 798 square miles (2,067 km²), of which, 790 square miles (2,046 km²) of it is land and 8 square miles (20 km²) of it (0.98%) is water. The western portion of the county contains rolling foothills and two valleys along the Monongahela River and Youghiogheny Rivers. The eastern portion of the county is highly mountainous and forested. Many coal mines are located within the area.[2]

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Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Transportation

While Fayette County is a generally rural area and is not directly tied into the interstate system, it features four-lane access to the city of Pittsburgh and several of its major suburban areas. Future state highway plans call for the establishment of direct freeway connections with Pittsburgh to the north and Morgantown, West Virginia to the south.

U.S. and Pennsylvania Highways

Public Transportation

The primary provider of mass transportation within the region is Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation, which features local bus routes as well as twice-daily commuter service to Pittsburgh. Amtrak rail service along the Chicago-to-Washington-via-Cleveland Capitol Limited route stops at Connellsville Station. General aviation services are also provided at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport.

Government

The County of Fayette is governed by a three-member publicly elected commission. The three commissioners serve in both executive and legislative capacities. By state law, the commission must have a minority party, guaranteeing a political split on the commission. Each term is for four years.

The three current commissioners for Fayette County are Vince Vicities (Democrat), Vince Zapotosky (Democrat), and Angela Zimmerlink (Republican).

Vicities is the son of a former county commissioner, and worked in the office of the state auditor general and as director of Fayette County Waste Management prior to taking office in 1996. Zapotosky formerly worked as an aide to Congressman Frank Mascara and later was an administrator at Douglas Business School. Zimmerlink previously held a career in real estate.

The Fayette County Court of Common Pleas serves as the primary judicial arm in the region. Judges are elected to ten-year terms in accordance with Commonwealth law. Additionally, district judges serve throughout the county for minor offences. Current judges are Gerald R. Solomon, President Judge, John F. Wagner, Jr., Ralph C. Warman, Steve P. Leskinen, and Nancy Vernon, plus Senior Judge Conrad B. Capuzzi.

Other county officials

  • Clerk of Courts, Janice Snyder, Democrat
  • Controller, Sean Lally, Democrat
  • Coroner, Phillip Reilly, Democrat
  • District Attorney, Jack Heneks, Democrat
  • Prothonotary, Lance Winterhalter, Democrat
  • Recorder of Deeds, Dave Malosky, Democrat
  • Register of Wills, Don Redman, Democrat
  • Sheriff, Gary Brownfield, Sr., Democrat
  • Treasurer, Robert Danko, Democrat

Politics

As of November 2008, there are 91,386 registered voters in Fayette County [1].

Fayette County tends to be Democratic-leaning in statewide and national elections. While Democratic politics are entrenched because of a strong union history, the county is generally socially conservative. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore won 57% of the vote and Republican George W. Bush won 40%. In 2004, Democrat John Kerry won 53% of the vote and Republican George W. Bush won 45%. In 2006, Democrats Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. won 59% and 65% of the vote in Fayette County. In 2008, Fayette County trended Republican and went for Republican John McCain 49.62% over Democrat Barack Obama 49.21%, a difference of 215 votes.

State Representatives

State Senator

US Representatives

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 148,644 people, 59,969 households, and 41,198 families residing in the county. The population density was 188 people per square mile (73/km²). There were 66,490 housing units at an average density of 84 per square mile (32/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.30% White, 3.51% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.11% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 0.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.8% were of German, 13.2% Italian, 11.4% Irish, 9.2% American, 8.4% Polish, 7.9% English and 6.6% Slovak ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 59,969 households out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.80% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 18.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.

A study released in 2009 by PathWays PA, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, found that 35% of families in Fayette County were economically distressed, that is, failing to earn a wage that would adequately provide food, shelter, child care, health care, and other basic necessities.[4]

Municipalities

Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Fayette County:

Cities

Boroughs

Townships

Census-designated places

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.

Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Education

Public School Districts

Private High Schools

Fixtures

  • Fort Necessity is a reconstructed historic stockade that was originally built by George Washington to defend against an attack during the French and Indian War. Washington's loss at Fort Necessity was the only blemish on his military record. It is now operated as a national battlefield.[5]
    • General Edward Braddock's Grave is across the highway from Fort Necessity. He was mortally wounded attacking Fort Duquesne (at the "forks of the Ohio River" in Pittsburgh) during the French and Indian War. It is a unit of the national battlefield. Under an agreement with British government, the site of Braddock's grave is considered British soil.
  • The National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road) bisects Fayette County. It was the first long roadway to be paid for by the federal government and went from Baltimore, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. It was once a toll road, but it now exists as US 40.
    • Two historic fixtures from the National Road exist within Fayette County's borders. Searights Toll House is one of few remaining toll collection stops along the old route. The Washington Tavern, a unit of Fort Necessity National Battlefield, is a classic example of an early-19th-century inn along the National Road.
  • The town of Perryopolis was designed by George Washington during his days as a surveyor. It includes a failed grist mill that Washington attempted to operate.
  • Fallingwater, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous home, is located within the county, atop a flowing waterfall. His lesser known but equally impressive Kentuck Knob is also located in the county.[6]
  • Albert Gallatin's home, Friendship Hill, is maintained as a National Historic Site.[7]
  • Fayette County's southern border is adorned with plaques that mark its significance as part of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • A collection of waterfalls surrounding the Youghiogheny River Gorge are protected as part of Ohiopyle State Park.
  • Laurel Ridge State Park contains an extensive hiking trail that traverses much of Pennsylvania's Appalachian foothills.
  • The county contains the largest cave in Pennsylvania, Laurel Caverns, which is popular as both a tour and spelunking destination.
  • A historic trading post that eventually was turned into a spectacular mansion is featured in Nemacolin Castle.
  • Mountainous western Fayette County is home to the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, which is the premier skiing destination for Greater Pittsburgh.

Notable Fayette Countians

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 39°55′N 79°39′W / 39.92°N 79.65°W / 39.92; -79.65


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Seal of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Map
File:Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County.png
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Map of the USA highlighting Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded September 26, 1783
Seat Uniontown
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 0.98%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

148644
Website: www.co.fayette.pa.us

Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2000 census, the population was 148,644. The county is part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Fayette County was created on September 26, 1783 from part of Westmoreland County and named after the Marquis de Lafayette. Its county seat is Uniontown6.

Contents

Historical Facts

  • When the ownership of the area was still undecided, 22-year-old George Washington fought his first battles against the French at Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity in 1754.
  • Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury to Jefferson and Madison built his home at Friendship Hill.
  • Secretary of State and WW II Supreme Commander George C. Marshall of the Marshall Plan was born and educated through High School in the county seat, Uniontown.
  • Prolific architect Frank Lloyd Wright constructed his crowning jewel in the mountains at Ohiopyle - Fallingwater, said to be the most famous home in America was a vacation retreat for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family. Later, he designed Kentuck Knob, a hexagonal Usonian style home, for the Hagan Family, in nearby Stewart Township, adjacent to Ohiopyle State Park. Kentuck Knob was one of the last, if not the last home Wright designed before his death.
  • Two home-improvement families make Fayette County home. Both the Lowe family (of Lowe's) and the Hardy family (of 84 Lumber) reside in the county. The Hardys also maintain a huge resort and golf course.
  • Rock and roller Fabian built and maintains a home in the county.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,067 km² (798 sq mi). 2,046 km² (790 sq mi) of it is land and 20 km² (8 sq mi) of it (0.98%) is water.

Government

Government

The County of Fayette is governed by a three member publicly elected commission. The three commissioners serve in both executive and legislative capacities. By state law, the commission must have a minority party guaranteeing a political split on the commission. Each term is for four years.

The three current commissioners for Washington County are Vince Vicities (Democrat), Vince Zapotosky (Democrat), and Angela Zimmerlink (Republican).

Vicities is the son of a former county commissioner, and worked in the office of the state auditor general and as director of Fayette County Waste Management prior to taking office in 1996. Zapotosky formerly worked as an aide to Congressman Frank Mascara and later was an administrator at Douglas Business School. Zimmerlink previously held a career in real estate.

The Fayette County Court of Common Pleas serves as the primary judicial arm in the region. Judges are elected to ten year terms in accordance with Commonwealth law. Additionally, district judges serve throughout the county for minor offences.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 148,644 people, 59,969 households, and 41,198 families residing in the county. The population density was 73/km² (188/sq mi). There were 66,490 housing units at an average density of 32/km² (84/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 95.30% White, 3.51% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.11% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 0.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 59,969 households out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.80% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 18.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.

Municipalities

Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).

Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Fayette County:

Cities

Boroughs

Townships

Census-designated places

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.

Map of Fayette County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Education

Public School Districts

Fixtures

  • Fort Necessity is a reconstructed historic stockade that was originally built by George Washington to defend against an attack during the French and Indian War. Washington's loss at Fort Necessity was the only blemish on his military record. It is now operated as a national battlefield.[1]
    • General Edward Braddock's Grave is across the highway from Fort Necessity. He was mortally wounded attacking Fort Duquesne (at the "forks of the Ohio River" in Pittsburgh) during the French and Indian War. It is a unit of the national battlefield.
  • The National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road) bisects Fayette County. It was the first long roadway to be paid for by the federal government and went from Baltimore to Vandalia. It was once a toll road, but it now exists as US 40.
    • Two historic fixtures from the National Road exist within Fayette County's borders. Searights Toll House is one of few remaining toll collection stops along the old route. The Washington Tavern is a classic example of an early 19th Century inn along the National Road.
  • The town of Perryopolis was designed by George Washington during his days as a surveyor. It includes a failed grist mill that Washington attempted to operate.
  • Fallingwater, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous home, is located within the county, atop a beautiful waterfall. His lesser known but equally impressive Kentuck Knob is also located in the county.[2]
  • Albert Gallatin's home, called Friendship Hill, is maintained as National Historic Site.[3]
  • Fayette County's southern border is marked with plaques that mark its significance as part of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • Ohiopyle State Park
  • Laurel Ridge State Park

Notable Fayette Countians

External links

References

  1. ^ {{cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/fone/ |title=Fort Necessity National Battlefield |publisher = National Park Service
  2. ^ {{cite web|url= http://www.wpconline.org/fallingwaterhome.htm |title=Fallingwater |publisher=Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  3. ^ {{cite web|url=http://www.nps.gov/frhi/ |title=Friendship Hill National Historic Site (Estate of Albert Gallatin) |publisher = National Park Service

Coordinates: 39°55′N 79°39′W / 39.92, -79.65

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Fayette 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.
Facts about Fayette County, PennsylvaniaRDF feed
County names Fayette County, Pennsylvania  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Pennsylvania  +
Short name Fayette County  +

This article uses material from the "Fayette County, Pennsylvania" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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