Sayre, Pennsylvania

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Sayre is a borough in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 59 miles (95 km) northwest of Scranton. In the past, various iron products were made there. In 1900, 5,243 people lived there; in 1910, 6,426 people lived there, and in 1940, 7,569 persons made their homes in Sayre. The population was 5,813 at the 2000 census. Sayre is home to the Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic. Sayre is also in a small area called 'The Valley,' a group of three communities in New York and Pennsylvania, Waverly, New York, Sayre, and Athens Pennsylvania. With a population near 30,000.

Sayre borders, and is contiguous with, Waverly, New York, South Waverly, Pennsylvania, and Athens, Pennsylvania..



In May 1870, a Waverly banker named Howard Elmer, along with Charles Anthony and James Fritcher, bought the Pine Plains area between Waverly and Athens. Elmer convinced Asa Packer to locate a new railroad repair facility on the Pine Plains for the expanding Lehigh Valley Railroad, which was making a push north to connect to the New York state railroads. Robert Heysham Sayre, President of the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad, helped cement the deal. The town was named in his honor. Sayre was incorporated on January 27, 1891.

In 1904 when the locomotive yards were built at Sayre, they were the second largest in the world. The railroad operated from 1870 until 1976, but maintenance facilities were shifted away before that. With the decline of industry, population has declined since 1940.


Sayre is situated in a river valley in the Allegheny Plateau on the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chemung River, along with Athens, Pennsylvania, South Waverly, Pennsylvania, and Waverly, New York. Together, these small towns make up the greater area known as the Penn-York Valley, or just the Valley. The New York / Pennsylvania border cuts through the Valley. There is no physical border between the towns, as the grid of streets and avenues blend seamlessly from one town to another.

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