Harman Patil (Editor)

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

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Country  United States
County  Jefferson
Incorporated  1850
Area  8.8 km²
Zip code  15767
Local time  Thursday 4:38 AM
State  Pennsylvania
Settled  1816
Time zone  Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Elevation  375 m
Population  5,934 (2013)
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Weather  5°C, Wind E at 16 km/h, 55% Humidity
Points of interest  Patsy's Park, T. M. Kurtz House, Christian Miller House

Punxsutawney (/ˌpʌŋksəˈtɔːni/  pronunciation ; Lenape: Punkwsutènay) is a borough in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, United States, 84 miles (135 km) northeast of Pittsburgh.


Map of Punxsutawney, PA 15767, USA


The area was originally settled by the Lenape (Delaware Indians), and the name "Punxsutawney" derives from a Native name in Unami (a Lenape language): Punkwsutènay, which translates to "town of the sandflies" or "town of the mosquitoes" (punkwës- ‘mosquito’ + -utènay ‘town’). Alternatively, the name is said to come from another Unami term, Put'schisk'tey, which means "poison vine."

In 1907, Punxsutawney and Claysville boroughs were consolidated and incorporated as Greater Punxsutawney. A high-grade soft coal was mined in the surrounding region. Formerly, the factories included glassworks, foundries, ironworks, machine shops, and planing, flour, feed, and silk mills. In 1900, 6,746 people lived there; in 1910, 9,058; in 1920, 10,311; and in 1940, 9,482 people lived there. The population was 5,962 at the 2010 census.

Punxsutawney's most famous resident is Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog said to predict the weather annually on Groundhog Day (February 2). Phil and the town were the basis for the 1993 film Groundhog Day (although nearly all of the film was shot in Woodstock, Illinois). The film actually made the name "Punxsutawney Phil" a national cultural reference in the US.

The T. M. Kurtz House, Jefferson Theater, Christian Miller House, and United States Post Office-Punxsutawney are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Punxsutawney is located at 40°56′44″N 78°58′31″W (40.945454, -78.975175), roughly 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and 150 miles southeast of Erie.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all of it land. It is bordered on the north, west, and south by Young Township, and on the east by Bell Township.


As of the census of 2010, there were 5,962 people, 2,573 households and 1,602 families in the borough. The population density was 1,836.2 people per square mile (708.0/km²). There were 3,042 housing units at an average density of 890.7 per square mile (343.4/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, <0.1% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 2,749 households, out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.7% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 21.3% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 22.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 80.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.2 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $26,250, and the median income for a family was $33,054. Men had a median income of $28,958 versus $19,076 for women. The per capita income for the borough was $14,802. About 13.3% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.


The Borough of Punxsutawney is governed by seven Council members, each elected to a four-year term. The members are: Brian Smith, President; Lawrence Chenoga, Vice-President; Jeanne Porada, President Pro-Tem; James Bianco; Jaime Sherry; Cynthia Rebuck; and Robert Santik.

The Mayor, Richard Alexander, is also elected to a four-year term, and in addition to other duties, has oversight of the Borough Police Department.

Other elected offices include: one Tax Collector (four-year term)and six constables (four year terms).

The Borough Manager position, held by Benjamin White, is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Borough, and reports to Borough Council.

Punxsutawney is the most populous incorporated municipality in Jefferson County.


The Punxsutawney Area School District serves the borough of Punxsutawney and the surrounding area for K-12 education. The district has two secondary buildings (Punxsutawney Area High School & Punxsutawney Area Middle School) and six elementary buildings (Jenks Hill, Bell Township, Longview, Mapleview, Parkview, West End).

Punxsutawney Christian School and S.S. Cosmas & Damian Church are two private schools in Punxsutawney.

Emergency services

The Borough of Punxsutawney employs a full-time police service made up of 12 police officers. The Chief of Police is Matt Conrad. Dispatchers and wardens are also employed by the borough and work closely with police. The police station is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by both police officers and wardens.

The Punxsutawney Fire Department is made up of three volunteer stations, The Central Fire Dept. (Jefferson County Station 20), Elk Run Volunteer Fire Company (Jefferson County Station 30), and Lindsey Fire Company (Jefferson County Station 40). The president of the Punxsutawney Fire Department is Tami McFarland. The Fire Department Chief is Matt Powell. In addition to department officers, each station elects its own officers. Scott Depp is the chief of Central Fire Dept., Doug McAfoos the chief of Elk Run VFC, and Joe DeFelice, Jr. the chief of Lindsey Fire Co. The fire department responds to fires, vehicle accidents, hazardous materials incidents, and rescue situations in the borough of Punxsutawney, Bell Township, and Young Township. The Punxsutawney Fire Department also maintains an active water rescue team comprising scuba divers and a boat crew.

Jefferson County EMS operates the ambulance station in Punxsutawney. Station 50 is a full advanced life support service comprising paramedics and emergency medical technicians. Station 50 serves not only the borough of Punxsutawney, but also Southern Jefferson County and parts of Northern Indiana County.


  • WECZ-AM and WPXZ-FM, two local radio stations.
  • The Punxsutawney Spirit, Jefferson County's only daily newspaper.
  • Receives television programming from the Johnstown-Altoona media market.
  • Film and Television

  • In the fictional Television series Lost In Space (1965-68), one of the characters "Aliens" that the Robinson family encountered was "Captain Alonzo P. Tucker, who, started off as a homeless man who lived in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania during the 1800s. He was abducted by Talurians in 1876 and kept in suspended animation for long periods, being revived periodically for study. After parting ways with the aliens, he acquired a small spaceship, and adopted the persona of a pirate. He met the Robinsons during a visit to Preplanis in 1998 in the Episode The Sky Pirate.
  • The town of Punxsutawney was portrayed in the 1993 philosophical comedy film Groundhog Day. The actual town in the film is Woodstock, Illinois.
  • Notable people

  • Charles Jerome "Chuck" Daly (July 20, 1930 – May 9, 2009) was a basketball head coach. He had a 14-year NBA coaching career and began his basketball coaching career in 1955 at Punxsutawney (PA) Area High School.
  • Wilbur Good was a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs and other teams in the early 20th Century.
  • John Mizerock (born December 8, 1960 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) was a backup catcher for the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves. He was the eighth overall pick in the 1979 draft.
  • Devin Douglas Mesoraco is currently a Major League Baseball catcher for the Cincinnati Reds. He was the 15th overall pick in the 2007 draft.
  • Billy Hunter is a retired shortstop, coach and manager in Major League Baseball.
  • References

    Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania Wikipedia