Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

name = Tamaqua
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category = Borough
etymology_type =
etymology = Native American world meaning "Land of the Beaver"
etymology_note =
official_name = Borough of Tamaqua
nickname =
motto =

image_size =
image_caption =

flag_size =
symbol =
symbol_type =
symbol_size =
country = United States

state = Pennsylvania

region = Schuylkill
region_type = County
district =
district_type =
landmark =
river =
location =
lat_d = 40
lat_m = 47
lat_s = 55
lat_NS = N
long_d = 75
long_m = 57
long_s = 59
long_EW = W
elevation_imperial = 870
elevation_round = 1
area_imperial = 10.0
area_land_imperial = 9.8
area_water_imperial = 0.1
area_water_percentage = auto
area_percentage_round = 2
area_round = 1
population_as_of = 2000
population = 7174
population_density_imperial = 729.9
population_density_round = 1
established_type = Incorporated
established = 1832
established_note = cite web| url =http://www.rootsweb.com/~paschuyl/HSSC/boroughs.htm | title = "Incorporation Dates of Boroughs of Schuylkill County, Pa" | accessdate = 2008-03-14| language = English]

mayor =
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
postal_code = 18252
postal_code_type = ZIP code
area_code = 570
area_code_type =
code2_type =
code2 =
free_type = School District
free = Tamaqua Area School District

map_caption = Location of Tamaqua in Schuylkill County
map1 = Pennsylvania Locator Map.png map1_caption = Location of Tamaqua in Pennsylvania
map1_locator = Pennsylvania
map2 = Map of USA PA.svg
map2_caption = Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
website =

Tamaqua is a borough in eastern Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is located in Pennsylvania's Coal Region.

The name Tamaqua is a Native American word that means "Land of the Beaver". It is the only community in the world to have this name.Fact|date=May 2007


Tamaqua is located at coor dms|40|47|55|N|75|57|59|W|city (40.798600, -75.966498)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 10.0 square miles (25.8 km²), of which, 9.8 square miles (25.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.31%) is water.

Tamaqua is situated within the Pennsylvania Coal Region section of the Appalachian Mountains. In the Tamaqua area, coal mining was an extremely vital economic activity throughout the 20th century but has since experienced a decline. The town also gained recognition as a railroad center. In addition, the 1885 Edison Electric Illuminating Co. of Tamaqua is said to have furnished the town with the nation's third incandescent municipal lighting system, a feat accomplished through the involvement of Thomas Edison.

Three streams pass through Tamaqua. The Little Schuylkill River runs through the town from the North through a gap in Nesquehoning Mountain. Panther Creek, flowing southwest at the foot of the mountain, joins the Little Schuykill in Tamaqua, and the Wabash Creek joins the Little Schuykill from the West.

Tamaqua is located convert|12|mi|km south of Hazleton, convert|5|mi|km southwest of Lansford and approximately convert|35|mi|km northwest of Allentown.

Tamaqua's average elevation is convert|870|ft|m above sea level. Elevations can reach up to convert|1000|ft|m above sea level.

Since 1965 Tamaqua has had its own FM station, WMGH Magic 105.5. The studios have moved to Nesquehoning with co-owned WLSH AM 1410. The Bill Angst Little League Field sits on the site of the former studios and transmitting tower in the Dutch Hill section of the borough.

Gateway to the Poconos

It can also be considered as a gateway town to The Poconos, the Anthracite Region and major cities and communities in the area. Both U. S. Route 209 and Pennsylvania Route 309 pass directly through the center of Tamaqua. Route 309 North goes to Hazleton and into Wilkes-Barre, while Route 309 South leads to Allentown and on to Philadelphia.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 7,174 people, 3,179 households, and 1,901 families residing in the borough. The population density was 729.9 people per square mile (281.8/km²). There were 3,602 housing units at an average density of 366.5/sq mi (141.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.69% White, 0.18% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.25% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.

There were 3,179 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.93.

The borough's population consisted of 21.8% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $27,899, and the median income for a family was $36,406. Males had a median income of $29,970 versus $20,637 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,752. About 11.1% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.


Tamaqua was founded in 1799 by German immigrant Burkhardt Moser. Originally to be named Tuscarora, the name Tamaqua was chosen after it was realized that there already was a community named Tuscarora about four miles (6 km) to the west. Roughly half of Moser's original log cabin is still intact and visible behind a house on the east side of Broad Street.The discovery of anthracite coal in the region in the early 1800s led to the town's rise as a coal producing community. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1832 [http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/counties/pdfs/Schuylkill.pdf] . German, Irish, and Welsh immigrants came to the borough in the 1840's and 1850's, followed by a large influx of Italians, Lithuanians, and Poles in the 1890's and early 1900's. During the 1860s and 1870s, Tamaqua was the geographic center hub for the Molly Maguires. One murder commonly attributed to the Mollies was that of town policeman Benjamin Yost, who was shot to death early one morning while extinguishing a gas lamp at the corner of West Broad and Lehigh Streets [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D0CEEDA143FE63BBC4F53DFB366838D669FDE] .

In 1874 the town's train station was constructed. Arguably Tamaqua's most famous landmark, it has remained standing despite standing idle from the mid 80s through the late 90s after passenger railroad service to the town was discontinued. Initially planned to be demolished in the late 1980s, the non-profit group Save Our Station (S.O.S.) eventually managed to raise enough money to have it refurbished at a cost of $1.5 million. The station reopened in August 2004, now home to a full-service restaurant and gift shop. Rail excursions leave from there during the Tamaqua Historical Society's annual Heritage Festival on the second Sunday in October.

It was Tamaqua resident Chris Fulmer who, while playing for the minor league Baltimore Orioles in 1888, invented baseball's catcher's mitt.

Tamaqua remained a thriving community throughout the heyday of coal production in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It began declining, along with many other anthracite communities, in the 1950s as coal mines began tapering off. Hurricane Diane caused tremendous damage to Tamaqua's railroad yards to the extent that they never fully recovered. In 1971 the borough annexed neighboring Rahn Township and its Owl Creek section, home to the world's first fish hatchery.

In the late 1940s John E. Morgan established a kintwear manufacturing industry in Tamaqua. The company, Morgan Kintting Mills, Inc, grew into one of the largest employers in the area, second only to the Atlas Powder Company. In the mid 1950s, Morgan, working from a design developed by his wife (Anna Hoban Morgan) patented the widely known Thermal Underwear product lines. It is sadly ironic that after Anna H Morgan's death in 1970, her husband forgot her contributions to the town and to the clothing industry. Morgan quickly re-married. Since Morgan's death in 2000, the Morgan Trust has donated money to various worthwhile causes in Tamaqua. The Morgan Trust also established the John & Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center at the Lehigh Valley Hospital.

In the fiction of John O'Hara, a product of nearby Pottsville, Tamaqua appears as "Taqua."

Legal precedent

The borough of Tamaqua passed an unprecedented law giving ecosystems legal rights. The ordinance establishes that the municipal government or any Tamaqua resident can file a lawsuit on behalf of the local ecosystem. [http://www.forbes.com/2007/05/24/thomas-linzey-law-tech-cx_07rev_ee_0524linzey.html?boxes=custom] Other townships, such as Rush, followed suit and passed their own laws. [http://www.celdf.org/PressReleases/RushTownshipStripsSludgeCorporationRights/tabid/369/Default.aspx]


Students in Tamaqua attend schools in the Tamaqua Area School District. The district's high school is Tamaqua Area High School.


External links

* [http://www.rootsweb.com/~paschuyl/HSSC/indian.html Schuylkill County history at rootsweb.com]

*List of officials and their contact information [http://www.co.schuylkill.pa.us/info/Towns/Info.csp#Here]
* [http://www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us Tamaqua Area School District Official Web Site]
*Dates of incorporation of Schuylkill County Boroughs [http://www.rootsweb.com/~paschuyl/HSSC/boroughs.htm]

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