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.

Forest County, Pennsylvania

Forest County Education, Geography, and History

Forest County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Forest County is a county located in Western Pennsylvania. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 7,716, making it the third-least populous county in Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Tionesta. The county was created in 1848 and later organized in 1857.

Etymology - Origin of Forest County Name

Named for its extensive forests.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Forest County History

Created on April 1, 1848, from part of Jefferson County. Part of Venango County was added on October 31, 1866. It was named for its extensive forests. It was attached to Jefferson County until 1857 when Marienville became the county seat. Tionesta, the county seat after 1866, was incorporated as a borough on February 28, 1856, and was named for the Tionesta Creek.

Tom Cook acquired the first timber lands near Cooksburg. Cyrus Blood founded Marienville as a center for the lumber industry and succeeded in having the county formed by the legislature. Leather tanning was an important enterprise. Until about 1900 timber barons shaped events, but by then the original timber was largely gone. The state purchased the Cook family lands and preserves them for recreation. Today, the Allegheny National First covers over 40 percent of the area, and additional lands are owned for commercial lumber production. There was a brief oil boom, and glass was manufactured at Marienville from 1914 to 1982 relying on the abundance of natural gas, which produces intense heat quickly. The population peak of 11,000 occurred in 1900. Farming has never been very successful and is confined to only two percent of the countryside. The construction of the Tionesta Creek Dam considerably altered the topography. Forest County's border lines were not clearly defined until 1867.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 431 square miles (1,117 km2), of which, 428 square miles (1,109 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (8 km2) of it (0.76%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Warren County (north)
  • McKean County (northeast)
  • Elk County (east)
  • Jefferson County (south)
  • Clarion County (south)
  • Venango County (west)


The Forest Area School District serves the entire Forest County.

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