Adams County, Pennsylvania

Adams County is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 101,407.[2] Its county seat is Gettysburg.[3] The county was created on January 22, 1800, from part of York County, and was named for the second President of the United States, John Adams. On July 1–3, 1863, the area around Gettysburg was the site of the pivotal battle of the American Civil War, and as a result is a center for Civil War tourism.

Adams County comprises the Gettysburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area.

Adams County, Pennsylvania
Adams PA Courthouse 1
Seal of Adams County, Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Adams County

Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Map of the United States highlighting Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's location within the U.S.
FoundedJanuary 22, 1800
Named forJohn Adams
Largest boroughGettysburg
 • Total522 sq mi (1,352 km2)
 • Land519 sq mi (1,344 km2)
 • Water3.1 sq mi (8 km2), 0.6%
Population (est.)
 • (2018)102,811
 • Density197/sq mi (76/km2)
Congressional district13th
Time zoneEastern: UTC−5/−4
DesignatedNovember 6, 1982[1]


Gettysburg ELPMemorial
Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg Battlefield

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 522 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 519 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) (0.6%) is water.[4] The Borough of Gettysburg is located at the center of Adams County. This county seat community is surrounded on three sides by the Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP). The Eisenhower National Historic Site adjoins GNMP on its southwest edge. Most of Adams County's rural landscapes and its mid-19th century roadway pattern remain intact today. Thirteen historic roadways converge at or near Gettysburg Borough. Two circular rings of towns surround Gettysburg; the first is typically found at a distance of about 7 miles (11 km) from Gettysburg. The second ring is found at a distance of 12 to 15 miles (24 km) from the County Seat. This "spokes and wheel" pattern is one of the few examples of Central Place Theory in the Eastern United States.

The county is in the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay and is drained by the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas



Adams County is administered by a three-person Board of Commissioners, who serve four-year terms. Elections occur in the odd-numbered years that precede U.S. Presidential elections, with the next election falling in 2019. All three Commissioners are chosen in the same election, and voters may vote for no more than two of the candidates. The Commissioners are responsible for the management of the fiscal and administrative functions of the county.

Official Party Term ends
Randy Phiel Republican 2019
Jim Martin Republican 2019
Marty Qually Democratic 2019

Elected County Officials

As of the November 2017 election:[5]

Office Official Party Term ends
Clerk of Courts Kelly A. Lawver Republican 2019
Controller Steve Renner Republican 2019
Coroner Patricia Felix Republican 2019
Treasurer Chrissy Redding Republican 2021
District Attorney Brian Sinnett Republican 2019
Prothonotary Beverly Boyd Republican 2019
Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills Karen Heflin Republican 2019
Sheriff James W. Muller Republican 2021


Presidential politics

Adams County is a generally Republican County. In 2016 Donald Trump carried the county with 66.3% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 29.9%.[6] No Democratic presidential candidate has won Adams County since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide.[7]

Adams County is staunchly Republican; the last Democratic Presidential candidate to carry the county was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, and it has gone blue only three times in the last 100 years.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Adams County consists of two Pennsylvania House Districts. The 91st district is exclusively in Adams County, comprising the southern and middle parts of the county, including Gettysburg. The 193rd District spans into Cumberland County to the north.

District Representative Party
91 Dan Moul Republican
193 Torren Ecker Republican

Pennsylvania Senate

Adams County is entirely contained within the 33rd Senatorial District, which also includes parts of York and Franklin Counties.

District Representative Party
33 Richard Alloway Republican

United States House of Representatives

From 2012 until 2018, Adams County was part of the 4th Congressional District until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the Commonwealth's Congressional Districts constituted an illegal partisan Gerrymander.[9] As a result, Adams County was moved from the 4th District to the 13th Congressional District and elected a new Representative in the 2018 election.

District Representative Party
13 John Joyce Republican

United States Senate

Voter Registration

As of November 7, 2017 there was 65,225 registered voters in the county. Republicans hold a majority of the voters. There was 35,686 registered Republicans, 19,164 registered Democrats, 9,806 voters registered to other parties, 468 to the Libertarian Party and 101 voters registered to the Green Party.[10]

Chart of Voter Registration

  Republican (54.71%)
  Democratic (29.38%)
  NPA/Other Parties (15.04%)
  Libertarian (0.72%)
  Green (0.15%)
Voter registration and party enrollment
Party Number of voters Percentage
Republican 35,686 54.71
Democratic 19,164 29.38
Others 9,806 15.04
Libertarian 468 0.72
Green 101 0.15
Total 65,226 100%


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2018102,811[11]1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790–1960[13] 1900–1990[14]
1990–2000[15] 2010–2017[2]

As of the 2010 census,[16] there were 101,407 people, 33,652 households, and 24,767 families in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km²). There were 35,831 housing units at an average density of 69 per square mile (27/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.39% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.71% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 3.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 42.7% were of German, 14.1% American, 8.5% Irish and 7.1% English ancestry. 95.0% spoke English and 3.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 33,652 households, of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.10% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 21.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.02.

The county population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males. Adams County is one of two counties in Pennsylvania where Latter-Day Saints make up 1% of the population.

Birth rate

Per the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Adams County's live birth rate was 1,132 births in 1990. The County's live birth rate in 2000 was 1,048 births, while in 2011 it had declined to 1,039 babies.[17] Over the past 50 years (1960 to 2010), rural Pennsylvania saw a steady decline in both the number and proportion of residents under 18 years old. In 1960, 1.06 million rural residents, or 35 percent of the rural population, were children.

Teen pregnancy rate

Adams County had a 29 babies born to teens (age15-19) in 2011. In 2014, the number of teen births in Adams County was 27.[18]

County poverty demographics

According to research by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative Agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the poverty rate for Adams County was 10.8% in 2014.[19] The statewide poverty rate was 13.6% in 2014. The 2012 childhood poverty rate by school district was: Bermudian Springs School District – 32.4% living at 185% or below than the Federal Poverty Level, Conewago Valley School District – 37.3%, Fairfield Area School District – 19.5%, Gettysburg Area School District – 42.3%, Littlestown Area School District – 32.1%, and Upper Adams School District – 45.5%.[20]

Metropolitan and Combined Statistical Area

The US OMB[21] has designated Adams County as the Gettysburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 census[22] the metropolitan area population of 101,407 ranked 19th most populous in the State of Pennsylvania and the 349th most populous in the United States. Adams County is also a part of the larger Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which combines the populations of Adams County with those of Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties in Pennsylvania. The Combined Statistical Area ranked 5th in the State of Pennsylvania and 43rd most populous in the United States with a population of 1,219,422.


Map of Adams County Pennsylvania School Districts
Map of Adams County, Pennsylvania School Districts

Colleges and universities

Community, junior and technical colleges

Public school districts

The 496 school districts of Pennsylvania that operate high schools were ranked for student academic achievement, as demonstrated by three years of math, reading, writing and science PSSA results.[24][25]

Public charter schools

County residents may apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 14 (as of 2015) public, cyber charter schools at no additional cost to the parents.[26]

Private schools

As reported by Pennsylvania Department of Education April 2015

  • Academy for Media Production – McSherrystown
  • Adams County Christian Academy – Gettysburg
  • Delone Catholic High School – McSherrystown
  • Forest Lane Mennonite School – Gettysburg
  • Freedom Christian School – Gettysburg
  • Gettysburg SDA Church School – Gettysburg
  • Independent Baptist Day School – Biglerville
  • JIL Christian School – Biglerville
  • Littlestown Christian Academy – Littlestown
  • Oxford Christian Academy – New Oxford
  • Paradise School – Abbottstown
  • St. Teresa of Calcutta School -McSherrystown
  • St James Child Care Center – Gettysburg
  • St Joseph Academy Preschool – McSherrystown

Intermediate Unit

Lincoln Intermediate Unit (IU#12) region includes: Adams, Franklin, and York Counties. The agency offers school districts, home schooled students and private schools many services including: Special education services, combined purchasing, and instructional technology services. It runs Summer Academy which offers both art and academic strands designed to meet the needs of gifted, talented and high achieving students. Additional services include: Curriculum Mapping, Professional Development for school employees, Adult Education, Nonpublic School Services, Business Services, Migrant & ESL (English as a Second Language), Instructional Services, Special Education, Management Services, and Technology Services. It provides a GED program for adults to earn a high school diploma, and offers literacy programs. The Lincoln Intermediate Unit is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, each a member of a local school board from the 25 school districts. Board members are elected by school directors of all 25 school districts for three-year terms that begin July 1.[27] There are 29 intermediate units in Pennsylvania. They are funded by school districts, state and federal program specific funding and grants; they do not have the power to tax.


  • A R Wentz Library – Gettysburg
  • Adams County Historical Society[28] – Gettysburg
  • Adams County Library at Carroll Valley – Carroll Valley[29]
  • Adams County Law Library – Gettysburg[29]
  • Gettysburg Library - Gettysburg[29]
  • Harbaugh-Thomas Library – Biglervilleh[29]
  • Jean Barnett Trone Memorial Library of East Berlin[30] – East Berlin
  • Littlestown Community Library – Littlestown[29]
  • Musselman Library – Gettysburg
  • New Oxford Area Library – New Oxford[29]



There are currently no scheduled commercial flights into Adams County. The nearest airports with regular commercial service are in Hagerstown, Maryland (Hagerstown Regional Airport), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg International Airport), and Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Lancaster Airport).


Public bus service in Adams County is available through the Adams County Transit Authority.

Major Highways


Recreational areas of Adams County include


Map of Adams County Pennsylvania With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Adams County with Municipal Labels showing 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 boroughs and townships are located in Adams County, as well as unincorporated areas and CDPs:



Census-designated places

Census-designated places are geographical areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau for the purposes of compiling demographic data, but are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law. Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, may be listed here as well.

Unincorporated areas

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Adams County.[22]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Population (2010 Census) Municipal type Incorporated
1 Gettysburg 7,620 Borough 1806
2 Littlestown 4,434 Borough 1864
3 Carroll Valley 3,876 Borough 1974
4 McSherrystown 3,038 Borough 1882
5 Lake Meade 2,563 CDP
6 Midway 2,125 CDP
7 Bonneauville 1,800 Borough 1961
8 New Oxford 1,783 Borough 1874
9 East Berlin 1,521 Borough 1879
10 Lake Heritage 1,333 CDP
11 Biglerville 1,200 Borough 1903
12 Abbottstown 1,011 Borough 1835
13 Arendtsville 952 Borough 1896
14 York Springs 833 Borough 1868
15 Heidlersburg 707 CDP
16 Bendersville 641 Borough 1866
17 Hampton 632 CDP
18 Hunterstown 547 CDP
19 Fairfield 507 Borough 1896
20 Cashtown 459 CDP
21 Aspers 350 CDP
22 McKnightstown 226 CDP
23 Idaville 177 CDP
24 Orrtanna 173 CDP
25 Gardners 150 CDP
26 Table Rock 62 CDP
27 Floradale 38 CDP

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers Search" (Searchable database). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "2016 Election Results" (PDF).
  7. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  8. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Health, Birth Age County Reports 1990 and 2011, 2011
  18. ^ Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2016). "Pennsylvania Teen Births 2013".
  19. ^ US Census Bureau (2015). "Poverty Rates by County Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates".
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (2012). "Student Poverty Concentration 2012". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  21. ^ "Office of Management and Budget". The White House.
  22. ^ a b "2010 Census Population Map".
  23. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times, Statewide School Academic ranking, April 4, 2016
  24. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 6, 2012). "Statewide School District Rankings". Archived from the original on October 23, 2012.
  25. ^ Pittsburgh Business Times (April 10, 2015). "Guide to Pennsylvania Schools Statewide School District Ranking 2015".
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2015). "Pennsylvania Charter School".
  27. ^ Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 website (accessed April 2010)
  28. ^ "Home — Adams County Historical Society".
  29. ^ a b c d e f "Home - Adams County Library".
  30. ^ "East Berlin Community Library". October 19, 2011. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011.
  31. ^ a b c Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago IL: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.

External links

Coordinates: 39°52′N 77°13′W / 39.87°N 77.22°W

Alloway Creek (Monocacy River tributary)

Alloway Creek is a creek tributary of the Monocacy River in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the United States. Via the Monocacy River, it is part of the Potomac River watershed.

Bermudian, Pennsylvania

Bermudian is an unincorporated community in Adams and York counties, Pennsylvania, United States.

Bermudian Creek

Bermudian Creek is a 24.9-mile-long (40.1 km) tributary of Conewago Creek in Adams and York counties in Pennsylvania in the United States.Bermudian Creek joins Conewago Creek north of Pickett Hill and just south of Detters Mill.

Conewago Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Conewago Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 7,085 at the 2010 census.

Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Cumberland Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,162 at the 2010 census. In 1863, the American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg took place mainly in Cumberland Township, which surrounds the borough of Gettysburg on three sides.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves the home and farm of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, and its surrounding property of 690.5 acres (279.4 ha). It is located in Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, just outside Gettysburg. Purchased by then-General Eisenhower and his wife Mamie in 1950, the farm served as a weekend retreat for the President and a meeting place for world leaders, and became the Eisenhowers' home after they left the White House in 1961.

With its putting green, skeet range, and view of South Mountain and the Gettysburg Battlefield, it offered President Eisenhower a much-needed respite from the pressures of Washington. It was also a successful cattle operation, with a show herd of black Angus cattle. Some of the more notable of Eisenhower's guests were Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union, President Charles de Gaulle of France, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain, and Governor Ronald Reagan of California (who later became President himself).

Franklin Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Franklin Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 4,877 at the 2010 census.

Hamilton Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Hamilton Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,530 at the 2010 census.

Huntington Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Huntington Township is a rural township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,369 at the 2010 census.

Marsh Creek (Monocacy River tributary)

Marsh Creek is a 26.6-mile-long (42.8 km) tributary of the Monocacy River in south-central Pennsylvania and north-central Maryland in the United States.Marsh Creek and Rock Creek join below Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Battlefield to form the Monocacy River. The height of land between Marsh and Rock creeks is the site of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Middle Creek (Toms Creek tributary)

Middle Creek is a 17.1-mile-long (27.5 km) tributary of Toms Creek in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the United States.Middle Creek is born on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and from there flows through Adams County, Pennsylvania and Frederick County, Maryland to join Toms Creek near Emmitsburg.Water from Middle Creek flows via Toms Creek, the Monocacy River, and the Potomac River to Chesapeake Bay and eventually the Atlantic Ocean.

Mount Pleasant Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Mount Pleasant Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the township population was 4,693.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Adams County, Pennsylvania

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a map.There are 35 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county. One site is further designated as a National Historic Site and another is designated as a National Military Park. Another property was once listed but has been removed.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted July 18, 2019.

Oxford Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Oxford Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,517 at the 2010 census, up from 4,876 at the 2000 census.

Reading Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Reading Township () is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,780 at the 2010 census.

Straban Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania

Straban Township is a township in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 4,928 at the 2010 census.

Toms Creek (Monocacy River tributary)

Toms Creek is a 20.8-mile-long (33.5 km) tributary of the Monocacy River in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the United States. Via the Monocacy River, it is part of the Potomac River watershed, flowing to Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The creek rises on South Mountain in southwestern Adams County, Pennsylvania, and flows south, then southeast, through Iron Springs and Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, and past Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Places adjacent to Adams County, Pennsylvania
Municipalities and communities of Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States
Ghost town
Metro areas
Largest cities


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.