is a borough
In the U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a borough is a self-governing municipal entity that is usually smaller than a city. There are 958 boroughs in Pennsylvania. All municipalities in Pennsylvania are classified as either cities, boroughs, or townships...
in and the county seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....
of Elk County
Elk County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 31,946.Elk County was created on April 18, 1843, from parts of Jefferson, Clearfield and McKean Counties, and is named for the Eastern elk that historically inhabited the region. Its county...
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...
, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Ridgway was founded by Philadelphian shipping merchant Jacob Ridgway and James Gillis. Jacob Ridgway earned substantial wealth both in Philadelphia and abroad in London. He constantly sent sums of money back to be invested in property. In the early 19th century as part of a larger land purchase, Ridgway acquired 40000 acres (161.9 km²) that became Elk County. One of Jacob Ridgway's nephews, James Gillis, convinced Ridgway that the area could become a very lucrative spot for a lumber camp due to the proximity of Elk Creek and the Clarion River. Ridgway is 119 miles (191.5 km) east by south of Erie
Erie is a city located in northwestern Pennsylvania in the United States. Named for the lake and the Native American tribe that resided along its southern shore, Erie is the state's fourth-largest city , with a population of 102,000...
on the Clarion River
The Clarion River is a tributary of the Allegheny River, approximately 110 mi long, in west central Pennsylvania in the United States...
. Coal and natural gas abound in the district. In the past, the industrial interests were manufacturing leather, iron, clay, and lumber products, silk goods, railroad snow plows, dynamos, and machine tools. In 1900, the people living here numbered 3,515; in 1910, 5,408; and in 1940, 6,253. The population was 4,591 at the 2000 census.
Many historic structures are located within the boundaries of the Ridgway Historic District
Ridgway Historic District is a national historic district located at Ridgway in Elk County, Pennsylvania. It includes 726 contributing buildings, one contributing structure, and two contributing objects. It encompasses the historic central business district and surrounding residential neighborhoods...
, added to the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
in 2003. The O.B. Grant House
O.B. Grant House is a historic home located at Ridgway in Elk County, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1870 in the Italianate style. It is a two story, balloon frame dwelling resting on a stone foundation and capped by an intersecting gable roof....
and Ridgway Armory
Ridgway Armory is a historic National Guard armory located at Ridgway, Elk County, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1904, and is a 2 1/2 story, rectangular brick building in the Romanesque Revival style. The drill hall is located on the second floor, above the administration area.It was added to the...
are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The lumber industry continued to flourish in Ridgway, to the degree that at the turn of the century, the town claimed it had more millionaires per capita than any other town in the U.S.
Art and culture
Ridgway is home to the Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous, the largest chainsaw carving gathering of its kind. More information on the Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous can be found at http://www.chainsawrendezvous.org
The main newspaper in town is The Ridgway Record. An online condensed version can be found at http://www.ridgwayrecord.com
Ridgway houses two school systems in the borough and township. The Ridgway Area School District and St. Leo's Catholic School make up Ridgway's school systems.
Ridgway Area School District
Ridgway Area School District
The Ridgway Area School District is a public school district serving parts of Elk County, Pennsylvania. It encompasses the communities of Ridgway, Ridgway Township, Spring Creek Township, and Horton Township. Students in grades K-5 attend the elementary school, those in grades 6-8 attend the middle...
(RASD), has two buildings used to educate. There is an elementary and a middle/high school building.
The Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School is located on Boot Jack Hill in Ridgway Township. IU9 preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade are the grade levels available for students.
The Ridgway Area Middle/High School is located at 1403 Hill Street in Ridgway. Although one building, the middle school and high school students are separated by two floors. Students at the middle school level, grades six through eight, are on the bottom floor, while students at the high school level, grades nine to twelve, are on the upper floor.
The athletic team is known as the Elkers, in reference to Ridgway being the county seat for Elk County.
St. Leo's Catholic School
The St. Leo's Catholic School has two buildings, a building for kindergarten students, and a main building, for children in grades 1-8. The kindergarten building is located just to the right of the main building. There used to be a preschool building to the left, but it is no longer there.
The main building at St. Leo's educates children from grades 1-8. After completing 8th grade, students have the choice to transfer to public school (see above) or to transfer to Elk County Catholic, in St. Marys
St. Marys is a city in Elk County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 14,502 at the 2000 census. Originally a small, Bavarian Catholic town, St. Marys was founded December 8, 1842. It is home to Straub Brewery and the first Benedictine convent in the United States. In 1992, the...
Ridgway is located at 41°25′29"N 78°43′47"W (41.424739, -78.729733).
According to the United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...
, the borough has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7 km²), all of it land.
As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...
of 2000, there were 4,591 people, 1,927 households, and 1,233 families residing in the borough. The population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...
was 1,722.7 people per square mile (663.9/km²). There were 2,089 housing units at an average density of 783.8 per square mile (302.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.54% White, 0.17% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.17% from other races
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...
, and 0.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.
There were 1,927 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...
living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $33,141, and the median income for a family was $45,224. Males had a median income of $31,855 versus $21,296 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...
for the borough was $17,157. About 4.9% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.9% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.