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Pennsylvania Counties
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Pennsylvania Counties

There are sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America. The city of Philadelphia is coterminous with Philadelphia County, and governmental functions have been consolidated since 1854.

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Perry County, Pennsylvania

Perry County Education, Geography, and History

Perry County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Perry County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 45,969. The county seat is New Bloomfield. The county was created on March 22, 1820, and was named after Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812 who had recently died. It was originally part of Cumberland County and was created in part because residents did not want to travel over the mountain to Carlisle (the county seat of Cumberland County).

Perry County is included in the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Perry County Name

Named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry, victor in the Battle of Lake Erie.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Perry County History

Created on March 22, 1820, from part of Cumberland County and named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry, victor in the Battle of Lake Erie. Bloomfield, the county seat after 1827, bears the name given to the tract of land in the original patent. It is said that it was laid out in the month of June 1822, when clover was in bloom. It was incorporated as a borough on March 14, 1831. The post office name for Bloomfield is New Bloomfield.

The area was a favorite for illegal squatters before Indians yielded the land at the Treaty of Albany in 1754. Sherman's Valley was the scene of Indian attacks in 1755 and 1756. The county was formed in order to eliminate trips to Carlisle. In 1820 Sherman's Valley boasted forty-eight grist and merchant mills, a forge, ten fulling mills, sixty sawmills, eight carding machines, four oil mills, a furnace, two tilted hammers, and a powder mill. Waterpower was king. The Pennsylvania Canal had four locks in Perry; the economies of Duncannon, New Buffalo, Liverpool, and Newport depended on the canal from 1828 to 1901, when it was closed. Perry also had the Juniata Canal from 1828 to 1898. The county made high-quality hickory barrel hoops. Lumbering continues today, serving over a dozen active sawmills. Farms occupy 32 percent of the land. Retail sales have been low in the last two decades due to convenient shopping center beyond the county lines. Home building has been strong since 1970. Almost two-thirds of the resident population work force is employed outside the county.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 556 square miles (1,439 km2), of which, 554 square miles (1,434 km2) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km2) of it (0.40%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Juniata County (north)
  • Northumberland County (northeast)
  • Dauphin County (east)
  • Cumberland County (south)
  • Franklin County (southwest)

Education

Public School Districts

Greenwood School District
While physically located in Perry County, the district also serves some residents of Juniata County.
Newport School District
Susquenita School District
While physically located in Perry County, the district also serves some residents of Dauphin County.
West Perry School District
Fannett-Metal School District

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