Scottdale, Pennsylvania

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Scottdale is a borough in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 49 miles (79 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. Scottdale is the home of the Southmoreland Scotties. Early in the 20th century, Scottdale was the center of the Frick coke interests. It had steel and iron pipe mills, brass and silver works, a casket factory, a large milk-pasteurizing plant, and machine shops; all of the aforementioned are presently defunct. Scottdale is notable for its economic decline from a formerly prosperous coke-town into an archetypal Rust Belt town. Duraloy Technologies, "a supplier of specialty high alloy, centrifugal and static cast components and assemblies"[1] is the last remnant of Scottdale's steel related prosperity.

In 1900, 4,261 people lived in Scottdale; in 1910, the population increased to 5,456; and in 1940, 6,493 people lived in Scottdale. The population was 4,772 at the 2000 census. Scottdale is located in the Southmoreland School District.



It is difficult to identify when the first non-Indian settler arrived in what is now the Borough of Scottdale, although the area witnessed an influx of Scotch-Irish immigrants in the late 1770s. In the mid-19th century, the present-day townsite was the location of a distillery and flour mill known as Fountain Mills.[2]

The Pennsylvania Railroad and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad each built branch lines through the community in the early 1870s. With the coming of the railroads, the community’s economy shifted from agriculture to manufacturing and mining. Two brothers who were local farmers, Peter and Jacob Loucks, realized the impact the railroads could have on the area and laid out a small townsite consisting of 24 lots, which went on sale in 1872.[3]

Scottdale was incorporated as a borough on February 5, 1874 and at that time renamed in honor of Thomas Alexander Scott, who had been president of the Pennsylvania Railroad and served as Assistant Secretary of War during the Civil War.[4] Because Scottdale sits atop major coal deposits, the community flourished due to the surrounding coal mines, as well as ovens for converting coal into coke (fuel). The H. C. Frick Coke Company, controlled by Henry Clay Frick, was headquartered here. Scottdale’s factories in the early 20th century also produced iron pipe, tin, knives, steam engines, and caskets.

Scottdale has two sites on the National Register of Historic Places: Scottdale Armory (1929) at 501 North Broadway Street,[5] and the Scottdale Historic District, which encompasses the oldest parts of the borough.[2]

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