Ashland, Pennsylvania

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Ashland, Pennsylvania
The Mothers' Memorial in Ashland
The Mothers' Memorial in Ashland
Location of Ashland in Columbia and Schuylkill Counties, Pennsylvania.
Location of Ashland in Columbia and Schuylkill Counties, Pennsylvania.
Ashland is located in Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Ashland is located in the United States
Ashland (the United States)
Ashland is located in North America
Ashland (North America)
Coordinates: 40°46′54″N 76°20′40″W / 40.78167°N 76.34444°W / 40.78167; -76.34444Coordinates: 40°46′54″N 76°20′40″W / 40.78167°N 76.34444°W / 40.78167; -76.34444
CountryUnited States
CountiesSchuylkill / Columbia
Laid out1847
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorRay Walacavage
 • Total1.66 sq mi (4.29 km2)
 • Land1.66 sq mi (4.29 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
980 ft (300 m)
 • Total2,817
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,626.66/sq mi (628.09/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)570 and 272
FIPS code42-03264

Ashland is a borough in Schuylkill County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Pottsville. A small part of the borough also lies in Columbia County, although all of the population resided in the Schuylkill County portion as of the 2010 census. The borough lies in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. Settled in 1850, Ashland was incorporated in 1857, and was named for Henry Clay's estate near Lexington, Kentucky. The population in 1900 was 6,438, and in 1940, 7,045, but had dropped to 2,817 at the 2010 census.[3]

Ashland is part of the Pottsville Micropolitan Statistical Area.

It is the location of Pioneer Tunnel, a tourist attraction featuring a tour of a coal mine on mine cars and a separate 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge steam train ride.[4][5]


For a long time after southern Pennsylvania was settled, the area that is now Ashland was mostly wilderness except for a hotel in the area in 1820. A prominent citizen of the county, Burd S. Patterson, however, predicted that the area would eventually become a prominent mining town. In 1845, John P. Brock and James Hart joined Patterson in buying 800 acres (320 ha) of land in the Ashland area. In 1846, a group of miners led by Patrick Devine developed coal seams in veins in the area. However, the town progressed little over the next three years. By 1857, though, the town had 3,500 people, and Ashland became a borough, detaching itself from Butler Township. The first post office was built in 1853, and the first church was built in 1855.[6]

The "Mothers' Memorial" is located at the junction of Pennsylvania Route 54 and Pennsylvania Route 61. The "Mothers' Memorial" is a bronze reproduction of the famous James Abbott McNeill Whistler artistic painting: "An Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1", commonly known as "Whistler's Mother". The WPA-built "Mothers' Memorial" honors all mothers of the United States and it's the only one of its kind in the world.[7] It was designed by the sculptor Emil Siebern, carried out by Julius C. Loester, commissioned and erected during the misery of the Great Depression in the United States by the Ashland Boys' Association and dedicated on Sunday, September 4, 1938, during Labor Day weekend. President Franklin D. Roosevelt economic recovery plan of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) carried out the stone masonry work.[8]

The Ashland Boys' Association was an inspirational story of former residents of Ashland who had to leave town for work when the anthracite mining failed in the late 1800s. Ashland men returned home every Labor Day weekend for little more than a century to visit the old hometown and march in the grand Ashland Boys' Association Mummers' Parade. This unique show of attachment to family, friends, and comforts of home erected the WPA-built Mothers' Memorial statue that became the Ashland Boys' Association's legacy – an American icon and a symbol of motherhood in the United States. The Ashland Boys' Association was honored with a State Historical Marker (40°47′01″N 76°20′14″W / 40.78368°N 76.33721°W / 40.78368; -76.33721) by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission on August 31, 2013.[9]

View of Ashland looking toward downtown

Goyne Brothers was a family owned firm that came into existence in 1881. Goyne Brothers which later changed the name in 1903 to Goyne Steam Pump Company were manufacturers of general mining machinery, and in 1883, they determined to make the manufacture of mining pumps as a specialty.[10] The Goyne Steam Pump Company in 1911, became known as one of the most substantial exclusive mine pump manufacturing plants in the United States.[10] The importance of coal mining drainage launched out mine pumpers exclusively and the Goyne Steam Pump Company invented, engineered, manufactured, and sold over 250 different mining pump designs and sizes, ranging from single pump up to the largest compound condensing duplex machines practicable for mining purposes throughout the anthracite and bituminous coal regions of Pennsylvania, and the United States.[11][12] The Goyne Steam Pump Company changed the name to Goyne Pump Company in 1955, and the company was purchased in 1979 by Goulds Pumps.

The Ashland Greens were an independent basketball franchise in Ashland. The Ashland Greens played the Boston Celtics in the Ashland High School Gymnasium. The team was owned by Green's Dairy.[citation needed][13]

Pennsylvania Route 61 takes a detour just north of Ashland, where a "Keep Out" sign straddles the original highway that used to lead to the abandoned town of Centralia, where an underground mine fire has been burning since 1962.

Points of Interest[edit]


The former First Presbyterian Church, now known as the Methodist Presbyterian Church

Ashland is located along the northern boundary of Schuylkill County at 40°46′54″N 76°20′40″W / 40.78167°N 76.34444°W / 40.78167; -76.34444 (40.781587, -76.344426).[14] A small portion of the borough, comprising less than 1% of its area, extends north into Columbia County. Butler Township of Schuylkill County borders Ashland to the east, south, and west, while Conyngham Township of Columbia County borders the borough to the north. According to the United States Census Bureau, Ashland has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.3 km2), all land.[3]

Ashland is served by Pennsylvania Route 54 and Pennsylvania Route 61. PA 54 leads east-northeast 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to Girardville and 9 miles (14 km) to Shenandoah, and northwest 16 miles (26 km) to Elysburg. PA 61 leads north 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to Centralia and then west 4 miles (6 km) farther to Mount Carmel, and east 7 miles (11 km) to Frackville. The two highways share Centre Street, the main street through Ashland.

The majority of Ashland is forest, with an urban area in the center. Most of the borough's terrain is steep hills, but the hills are gentler near the center. The southern border of the borough follows the top of Ashland Mountain, which rises 400 to 600 feet (120 to 180 m) above the center of town, except where Mahanoy Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, passes through a water gap in the mountain in the southeast part of the borough.[15]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20182,686[2]−4.7%

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,817 people, 1,301 households, and 776 families living in the borough. There were 1,677 housing units with a vacancy rate of 22.4%. The racial makeup of the borough was 98.2% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 0.2% other. 1.0% were from two or more races, and Hispanic or Latino were 1.0% of any race.

As of the census of 2000,[18] there were 3,283 people, 1,437 households, and 863 families living in the borough. The population density was 1,886 people per square mile (728.5/km²). There were 1,724 housing units at an average density of 990.4 per square mile (382.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.39% White, 0.21% African American, 0.09% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.09% of the population.

Of the 1,437 households 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.00.

21.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.1% from age 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $27,234, and the median income for a family was $34,688. Males had a median income of $30,500 versus $20,920 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,036. About 11.1% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.


All school-age residents of Ashland attend North Schuylkill School, along Pennsylvania Route 61 located at 15 Academy Lane Ashland (physical address) in nearby Butler Township. The school comprises one elementary school building (K-6) and one upper campus high school (7-12). [19]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Ashland borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Surviving Steam Locomotive Search for "Pioneer Tunnel"". Steam Locomotive dot Com. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Pioneer Tunnel". Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Trail. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Ashland Borough, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania 17921". Living Places. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  7. ^ Adams III, Charles J. (May 7, 2009). "A day away: Mom-ument links Schuylkill town to City of Lights". Reading Eagle. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Staff. "Whistler's Mother statue, Ashland, Pennsylvania". Roadside America. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program - Search for Historical Markers". Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Colliery Engineer". 1911. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Transportation". 1906. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Colliery Engineer". 1911. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Pottsville Republican". Pottsville Republican. March 27, 1950. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Ashland, PA". Google Maps.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". U.S. Census Bureau. 4 March 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  17. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. 11 December 2013. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  19. ^ "North Schuylkill School District - Home of the Spartans".
  20. ^ Epler, Eric F. (September 23, 2013). "Major League Baseball scout Tom Burns joins Padres organization". Pennlive. Retrieved March 3, 2018.

External links[edit]