“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Pennsylvania Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 18, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Pennsylvania ranks third among states and provinces with markers in this database. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a state in the United States of America located in the American Northeast. It is also in the Mid-Atlantic region. Pennsylvania is some 46 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 12.8 million people. The state is divided into 67 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Pennsylvania we have discovered historical markers in 989 cities and towns lying in 903 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Pennsylvania? There are least 7,153 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 7,136 historical markers and 671 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 7,725 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 5.6% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 17 historical markers in Pennsylvania that we donít yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Pennsylvania marker in the database, Col. Jacob Stroud, was added November 11, 2005 while the database was being designed and tested (the Historical Marker Database went live January 1, 2006). It was photographed in Stroudsburg in Monroe County and was erected in 1927. The last one added was submitted on February 10, 2020, and titled Defenders of the Flag. It is in York in York County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Pennsylvania was erected in 1817. It was this one: Paoli Massacre Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in Malvern in Chester County on November 9, 2008.

Pennsylvania Historical Categories
1,612 • Civil War
1,294 • Industry and Commerce
863 • Settlements and Settlers
666 • Patriots and Patriotism
657 • Colonial Era
656 • Revolutionary War
622 • Churches and Religion
556 • Education
524 • Notable Buildings
481 • Man-Made Features
    ... and more ...

Pennsylvanians donít want to forget their Civil War history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Pennsylvania about the Civil Waró1,612 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 1,294 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War category was Burning of Chambersburg, added August 22, 2007. It had been erected in 1947 in Chambersburg in Franklin County. The last one submitted was submitted on December 31, 2019, and titled Army. It had been erected in Plumsteadville in Bucks County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War category that we have listed was erected in 1861. It was Crooked Billet, found in Hatboro in Montgomery County on July 2, 2015.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Pennsylvania county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Adams County, with 1298 of them. It is followed by Philadelphia County with 653 markers. The Gettysburg area of Adams County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 1216. In Philadelphia County the area with the most markers, 652, is Philadelphia.

Historical Markers in These
Pennsylvania Counties
1,298 • Adams County
653 • Philadelphia County
384 • Allegheny County
319 • Cumberland County
302 • Lancaster County
277 • Dauphin County
230 • Lackawanna County
222 • Bucks County
220 • Chester County
206 • Montgomery County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Pennsylvania with the most markers we again find Gettysburg at the top of the list with 1216 markers in or near it. And Philadelphia also shows up again in next place, with 652 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 17325 at the top of the list with 1232 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 17325 is assigned to Gettysburg PA including the Bonneauville, Fairplay, Heidlersburg, and Hunterstown delivery areas.) It is followed by ZIP Code 19106 with 257 markers. (19106 is assigned to Philadelphia PA including the William Penn Annex East delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
Pennsylvania Cities and Towns
1,216 • Gettysburg
652 • Philadelphia
242 • Pittsburgh
197 • Carlisle
196 • Harrisburg
157 • Erie
127 • Scranton
121 • Lancaster
81 • State College
76 • West Chester
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Adams County, the first marker added to the database from there, John Studebaker, was added March 19, 2006. It was erected in 1948 near Heidlersburg. The last one submitted was uploaded on December 21, 2019, and is titled The Old Well, in Gettysburg. The earliest marker erected in Adams County that we have listed was erected in 1867. It was First Minnesota Volunteers, found in Gettysburg on March 8, 2009.

Latest entry from Pennsylvania. Click to go there
By William Fischer, Jr., February 9, 2020
Latest Entry from Pennsylvania
“Defenders of the Flag”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Philadelphia. The first: The Johnson House, was added March 2, 2008. It had been erected in 1995. The last: Elfreth's Alley added on January 28, 2020. It had been erected in 2015. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1883: Soldiers Monument at Germantown, added on September 14, 2014.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is currently in charge of official historical markers found all over the state. We have 2,060 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Pennsylvania. Click to go there
By Mike Wintermantel, March 19, 2017
A Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Pennsylvania have been marked with history. Check out Clarion County, Cameron County and Elk County. We've only found, respectively, 9, 8, and 4 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Pennsylvania might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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