Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

Coraopolis (/ˌkoʊriˈɒpəlɪs/) is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 5,677 at the 2010 census.[3] In 1940 the population peaked at 11,086. It is a small community located to the west of Pittsburgh, along the Ohio River and to the east of the Pittsburgh International Airport. The borough is noted for its steep topography, numerous brick streets and many large, old homes. The American Bridge Company is headquartered in Coraopolis.[4]

Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Borough of Coraopolis
5th Avenue, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
5th Avenue, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Official seal of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

Etymology: Koreopolis, Greek for "Maiden city"
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Allegheny County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Coordinates: 40°30′56.94″N 80°9′46.05″W / 40.5158167°N 80.1627917°WCoordinates: 40°30′56.94″N 80°9′46.05″W / 40.5158167°N 80.1627917°W
CountryUnited States
Settled in 1773Incorporated in 1886
 • MayorShawn P. Reed Borough Council President Robb J. Cardimen
 • Total1.46 sq mi (3.79 km2)
 • Land1.33 sq mi (3.44 km2)
 • Water0.13 sq mi (0.34 km2)
 • Total5,677
 • Estimate 
 • Density4,161.02/sq mi (1,606.16/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)412
FIPS code42-16144
School DistrictCornell


On April 3, 1769, Andrew Montour, an Indian interpreter who had provided service to English settlers during the French and Indian War, was granted a land patent for approximately 350 acres (1.4 km2) of what would later become the borough of Coraopolis and Neville Island. However, there is no evidence that Montour ever lived on this tract. The first permanent white settler in Coraopolis was Capt. Robert Vance, who settled in the vicinity of Montour's tract around 1773, just prior to the beginning of the American Revolution. Vance, a Virginian, had been a member of the regiment commanded by George Washington at the Braddock expedition during the French and Indian War. For the protection of himself and his neighbors, of whom several arrived within a few years, Vance had a log stockade built with a stone blockhouse to protect the area against Indian raids. This was known as Vance Fort (or Fort Vance). The site of the fort was around present-day Broadway and Chestnut streets, near Second Avenue. Over time the community grew and developed, and it became known as Middletown in the 1800s, either because it was situated midway between Pittsburgh and Beaver, Pennsylvania, or perhaps after an early settler named Alexander Middleton who supposedly ran "Middleton's Tavern" in the area.[5]

One of the most important early industries in the area was begun by the Watson family, English immigrants who arrived in America in 1830. The Watsons built a sawmill on the site of the former municipal building on Fifth Avenue. Later, they operated a much larger grist mill on the river bank at Mill Street, until 1887.

The borough was incorporated on June 7, 1886. It was previously known as a village under the name of Middletown, while the post office name was Vancefort. It was established in August 1861, and changed to Coraopolis in March 1886. Legend has it that the borough was named for a member of the Watson family, Cora Watson, who was born on February 2, 1870. However, an old newspaper uncovered by longtime resident and local historian Dr. Frank Braden, Jr. suggests it more likely took the appellation from a Greek word for "maiden city". According to page 7 of the book Coraopolis, by Gia Tatone, Coraopolis Historical Society (2007), "The newspaper [Dr. Frank Braden, Jr. uncovered] was simply called the News and was published in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 1897. The newspaper discusses the confusion that was occurring with the post offices in regard to the name Middletown, because several other areas in the state of Pennsylvania shared the same name. With a borough now being established, the Reverend Josiah Dillon, a pioneer clergyman, suggested the name to be changed to Coraopolis. Dillon knew Greek and was also the first burgess (mayor) at the time. So he suggested combining Kore meaning 'maiden' and opolis meaning 'city' ('maiden city') to achieve Koreopolis. However, when Greek letters and pronunciation were turned to English, it is said the spelling therefore accidentally got changed."[1]

Community development in Coraopolis moved along gradually with the building of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad in 1877. Several Coraopolis residents were stockholders in this enterprise. In 1890, oil was discovered at both ends of the borough, which briefly stimulated a population boom. The effects did not last long, however, as the oil supplies were found to be rather modest.

In 1892, community development took off with the construction of the first high-speed electric street railway in the United States. The railway was scheduled to run up to 40 mph, going from Coraopolis, over Neville Island and to McKees Rocks. Along with the railway came Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company to Coraopolis, moving from its location in Fostoria, Ohio. Consolidated Glass employed up to 350 people, and was located in Coraopolis from 1895 until 1963. Other Coraopolis residents worked for the new industries established on Neville Island.

Coraopolis' first municipal building was built in 1897 on State Avenue and was used until 1929, when next building was constructed on Fifth Ave. Coraopolis dedicated a new municipal complex on Fourth Ave in 2017 that houses all municipal departments, including the police and fire stations.[6]

Two significant contributions to modern educational practice took place in the area. In 1955, Dr. Harry Houtz published a six-year study in the National Education Journal demonstrating that phonics was a more effective way of teaching reading, and in 1957, Herbert Snell published his study of performance-based academic tracking in junior high, which became widely adopted. Coraopolis and Neville Township merged their schools to form Cornell School District in 1971, and all students reported to the new Cornell Educational Center in 1976.

Coraopolis is the birthplace of actors Michael Keaton and S. William Hinzman. Jerry Gibson, a Negro League baseball player played here for the Coraopolis Grays.

Present Day

Coraopolis is experiencing a period of revitalization highlighted by new storefront businesses and façade improvements in the central business district. In 2017, two new brewpubs, a craft distillery, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and several other small businesses opened their doors. Coraopolis also shares a new athletic complex with neighboring Robinson and Moon Townships that will feature soccer, rugby, and lacrosse fields, when completed.[7] The 1896 Richardsonian Romanesque train station is also being restored, and will become a community center and event space once completed in late 2018.[8]

Government and Politics

Coraopolis is a Pennsylvania borough with an elected borough council, elected mayor, and a professional borough manager. It is located within Pennsylvania's Representative District 45, Pennsylvania Senate District 42, and U.S. Congressional District 14.

Presidential Elections Results[9][10]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 40% 1,066 55% 1,462 5% 128
2012 39% 1,004 60% 1,555 1% 32


Coraopolis is located at 40°30′57″N 80°9′46″W / 40.51583°N 80.16278°W (40.515818, -80.162791).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), of which 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 9.46%, is water.

Surrounding and adjacent communities

Looking east up the Ohio River with Coraopolis on the right, and the top of Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel Tower in the far background.

Situated along the southern bank of the Ohio River, Coraopolis has two land borders, including Moon Township to the south and west and Robinson Township to the southeast. Across the Ohio River's back channel, Coraopolis is connected to Neville Island (Neville Township) via the Coraopolis Bridge to the northeast and is adjacent to the boroughs of Haysville, Osborne, and Sewickley across the Ohio River's confluence at the northeast end of Neville Island.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20175,530[2]−2.6%

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 6,131 people, 2,880 households, and 1,552 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,582.3 people per square mile (1,766.6/km²). There were 3,119 housing units at an average density of 2,331.1 per square mile (898.7/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 84.96% White, 12.43% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.

There were 2,880 households, out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.4% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.7 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $32,321, and the median income for a family was $41,081. Males had a median income of $31,374 versus $25,269 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $17,595. About 6.4% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.

See also



Former Coraopolis municipal building


Coraopolis library


A building that is part of the American Bridge Company's headquarters in Coraopolis


The Neville Island Bridge as viewed from a hill in Coraopolis


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Coraopolis borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  4. ^ "Headquarters". American Bridge Company. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  5. ^ Coraopolis History Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  6. ^ "Coraopolis Municipal Building".
  7. ^ "Montour Junction Athletic Complex".
  8. ^ "Coraopolis Train Station Project".
  9. ^ EL. "2012 Allegheny County election". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  10. ^ EL. "2016 Pennsylvani general election..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  12. ^ "Population-Pennsylvania" (PDF). U.S. Census 1910. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Number and Distribution of Inhabitants:Pennsylvania-Tennessee" (PDF). Fifteenth Census. U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  16. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  17. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.

External links

2013 Pittsburgh Metro Area SMALL
Map of the Pittsburgh Tri-State with green counties in the metropolitan area and yellow counties in the combined area.
A. Q. Shipley

Allan Quay "A. Q." Shipley (born May 22, 1986) is an American football center for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football for Penn State.

Shipley has also been a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts.

American Bridge Company

The American Bridge Company is a heavy/civil construction firm that specializes in building and renovating bridges and other large, complex structures. Founded in 1900, the company is headquartered in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Employing the best planners, attorneys, and civil engineers, the firm has built many bridges in the U.S. and elsewhere; the Historic American Engineering Record notes at least 81. American Bridge has also built or helped build the Willis Tower, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, launch pads, resorts, and more. During World War II, it produced tank landing ships (LSTs) for the United States Navy.

Bill Hinzman

Samuel William "Bill" Hinzman (October 24, 1936 – February 5, 2012) was an American actor and film director.

Hinzman's first role was the cemetery zombie in the popular horror film Night of the Living Dead (1968). He reprised the role in new scenes that were filmed for the 30th-anniversary edition of the film. Hinzman also played roles in the films Legion of the Night (1995), Santa Claws (1996), Evil Ambitions (1996), and The Drunken Dead Guy (2005).

His final role was in River of Darkness, where he played a lead role alongside Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash and Sid Eudy.He later directed the films The Majorettes (1986), and Flesheater (1988).During filming of Night of the Living Dead, crew member Gary Streiner accidentally caught himself on fire while attempting to ignite a prop with gasoline. Bill Hinzman managed to put out the fire, saving Streiner's life.

Chuck Lanza

Charles Louis Lanza (born September 20, 1964) is a former American football center who played two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He played college football at University of Notre Dame and attended Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tennessee.

Coraopolis Armory

Coraopolis Armory is an armory located at 835 5th Avenue in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1938, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 14, 1991It houses the Headquarters Company, 28th Signal Battalion, Pennsylvania National Guard Army Reserve.

Dave Freisleben

David James Freisleben (born October 31, 1951) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Duane H. Cassidy

Duane Harlan Cassidy (November 24, 1933 – February 8, 2016) was a general in the United States Air Force and the former commander of the Military Airlift Command and United States Transportation Command.

Fred Trello

Fred Anthony Trello, Sr. (November 14, 1929 – March 28, 2006) was a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

He was a 1949 graduate of Coraopolis High School. He served in the Korean War and earned a degree in 1951 from the Air Force Electronics School. He also earned a degree from Robert Morris College in 1957.He got his start in politics as a Democratic County Committeeman for Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. He was first elected to represent the 45th legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1974, a position he held until his retirement prior to the 2002 elections. He died on March 28, 2006.

J. T. Miller

Jonathan Tanner "J. T." Miller (born March 14, 1993) is an American professional ice hockey left winger for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected by the New York Rangers in the first-round, 15th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. A versatile player, Miller can play as a center or winger.

John Hufnagel

John Coleman Hufnagel (born September 13, 1951) is the president and general manager of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. He was previously the Stampeders' head coach and played quarterback for fifteen professional seasons in the CFL and National Football League. Prior to his hiring to the Stampeders on December 3, 2007, he was the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants of the NFL.

Joseph Low

Joseph Charles Low (August 11, 1911 – February 12, 2007) was an American artist and children's book illustrator.

Low was born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania . He made cover illustrations for The New Yorker between 1940 and 1980. Low illustrated Jan de Hartog's novel, The Little Ark, which was published in 1953. He was a runner-up for the annual Caldecott Medal, recognizing his illustration of Mice Twice, a picture book that he also wrote (Atheneum Books, 1980). He died in at his home in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

Montour Railroad

Montour Railroad (reporting mark MTR) is a former short line railroad company operating passenger and freight service on standard gauge track in southwestern Pennsylvania. At its height in the 1930s, the railroad served 27 mines transporting nearly seven million tons of coal annually in Allegheny and Washington Counties.

The Montour Railroad Company was chartered in 1877 as a wholly owed subsidiary of the Imperial Coal Company. The first segment constructed extended from the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad line at Montour Junction, near Coraopolis, Pennsylvania to the Imperial Coal Company mines at Imperial, Pennsylvania. In 1901 the Pittsburgh Coal Company assumed control of the railroad. A major expansion was undertaken in 1912 to reach new coal mines and factories. By 1917 the railroad reached the town of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania on the Monongahela River. The Montour Railroad became an important feeder line and eventually all five major truck carriers in the southwestern Pennsylvania market were linked to the Montour Railroad. In 1946 the Pittsburgh Coal Company sold the Montour Railroad to the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (a subsidiary of the New York Central Railroad), who operated it jointly. A 5 mile branch served Moon Township, this segment being operated until 1974. The P&LE acquired sole control of the Montour Railroad in 1975.

The railroad's engine houses and shops were at Montour Junction, near the Ohio River at Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The Montour Railroad had passenger service in its early years from 15 stations along its route, but passenger service was abandoned by the mid-1920s. By the 1950s most of the coal mines the Montour serviced had been worked out and the Montour began a slow decline. The Montour Railroad was down to just 23 miles of track between Montour Junction and Gilmore Junction when operations ceased in 1984 with the closing of the Westland Coal mine, the Montour’s last remaining major customer. In the 1990s large portions of the rights of way were acquired by the Montour Trail Council in a "rails to trails" program.In 1944 Montour reported 159 million ton-miles of revenue freight; at the end of that year it operated 50 miles of road and 84 miles of track.

In December 2010 MarkWest Energy announced plans to lease the Westland Branch right of way from the Montour Trail Council for 30 years. The branch was redeveloped as a combination trail and railroad operated by the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway to serve MarkWest's Westland natural gas processing plant. Construction was completed and the branch began operation in August 2012.

Morgan Ringland Wise

Morgan Ringland Wise (June 7, 1825 – April 13, 1903) was a member of the 46th and 47th Congress of the United States.

Wise was born in West Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He engaged in gold mining in California in 1850 and while there volunteered under Major Stammins, to defend the miners against Indians. He returned to Pennsylvania where he graduated from Waynesburg College in 1856. He spent several years engaged in agricultural pursuits.

He was elected as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving from 1874 to 1878. Later he was elected as a Democrat to the 46th and 47th Congress. He did not seek re-election in 1882.

Wise moved to Arizona where he became a rancher and raised cattle. He was appointed as consular agent at Nogales, Mexico from February 10, 1888 to May 31, 1900. On August 6, 1896, he was witness to a failed bank robbery in Nogales, Arizona, while attending a meeting in the bank.Following his appointment, he returned to the East, where he died a few years later in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. His body was taken to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, for burial.

Rich Milot

Richard Paul Milot (born May 28, 1957) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League who played his entire nine-year career with the Washington Redskins from 1979 to 1987. He played college football at Penn State University and was drafted in the seventh round of the 1979 NFL Draft.

Robert Edward DeMascio

Robert Edward DeMascio (January 11, 1923 – March 23, 1999) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Robert E. DeMascio married Margaret Loftus in 1955, they had three children: Robert Jr., Thomas, and Mary.

Robert J. Corbett

Robert James (Bob) Corbett (August 25, 1905 – April 25, 1971) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Ron Dickerson

Ron Dickerson (born July 2, 1948) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the Temple University from 1993 until 1997, at Alabama State University from 1998 through 1999, and at Lambuth University in 2010, compiling a career college football coaching record of 19–68.

William Campbell (California politician)

William Paul Campbell (July 24, 1935 – March 22, 2015) was an American politician and businessman.

Born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, Campbell served in the United States Army. He went to Westminster College and Columbia University. In 1959, he moved to California and was an administrative aide for an elementary school district. Campbell lived in Hacienda Heights, California. He served in the California State Assembly from 1966 to 1974 and was a Republican. Campbell then served in the California State Senate from 1976 to 1990 and was Senate Republican Leader from 1979 to 1983. He then became president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn. Campbell then moved to Orem, Utah where he died.Campbell was a Latter-day Saint and got married in the Los Angeles California Temple.

William Rahauser

William S. Rahauser was the Allegheny County District Attorney from January 1948 to January 1952 and was a member of the Democratic Party. A native of suburban Coraopolis, Pennsylvania he started in politics with wins as a Pennsylvania State Senator in the 1940s, he went on to become a District Judge in Pittsburgh.

Municipalities and communities of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States


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.