Borough of Punxsutawney, PA

The Borough of Punxsutawney, PA is located along State Route 36 in Jefferson County between Mahaffey and Brookville. Originally inhabited by Native Americans Punxsutawney was given its name from a translation of the Native American term for “town of the sand flies” which once were allegedly abundant in the area.

 White settlers began arriving in the Punxsutawney area as early as the late 1790s and homes and mills began being built in the region. The primary industries for early Punxsutawney were Agriculture and Timbering. Punxsutawney was incorporated as a borough in 1849 and the borough continued to flourish with the introduction of coal mining in the nearby areas. Coal mining operations in nearby company towns would result in Punxsutawney becoming a prime location for railroad connections as well as commercial shopping for miners and their families. The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad was the first in Punxsutawney in 1883 and would send as many as 78 trains a day through the Punxsutawney area before the decline in rail traffic. The railroad provided both passenger and freight shipping to and from Punxsutawney.

 Trolley cars came to Punxsutawney in 1892 when the Jefferson Traction Company created two lines in Punxsutawney Borough. These lines allowed trolley car transit from Punxsutawney to Dubois, Big Run and Anita. Numerous industries moved into the Punxsutawney area during the early 1900’s, including iron foundries, brick factories and many other mills and plants. In 1908 Punxsutawney got its first sky scraper with the completion of the 8 story Spirit Building. The Spirit Building remains one of the largest buildings in Punxsutawney. Punxsutawney grew to include almost 12,000 people before economic decline began in 1929 as the entire country suffered from an economic depression.

Punxsutawney had a population of 5935 according to 2010 US Census data, and of course, was also home to the famous groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil”. Groundhog Day is one of Punxsutawney’s largest celebrations and is said to have been established as early as 1886. February 2nd of each year thousands of people gather on Gobblers Knob to await Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast regarding the length of winter in the area. In 1992 Columbia Pictures movie “Groundhog Day” was based on the traditions of Punxsutawney and the weather forecasting groundhog.

 The Borough of Punxsutawney is governed by seven Council members, each elected to a four year term. Punxsutawney Borough Offices are located at 301 East Mahoning Street.

 First established in 1909, Punxsutawney is currently served by three fire stations; The Central Fire Station, located in the Civic Center East, adjacent to the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department in downtown Punxsutawney. The Elk Run Volunteer Fire Company, located at 219 Elk Run Avenue and the Lindsey Fire Station, located on West Mahoning Street in the West End of Punxsutawney.

External Links for Punxsutawney: 
Punxsutawney Police Department - http://www.punxsutawneyboro.com
Punxsutawney Fire Department - http://www.punxsutawneyfiredepartment.com/
Punxsutawney Library - http://www.punxsutawneyboro.com/library
Groundhog Day Site - http://www.groundhog.org
Groundhog Day Site - http://www.punxsutawneyphil.com
Punxsutawney School - http://www.punxsy.k12.pa.us

Search Articles & Events