Borough of Mount Carmel
View of Mount Carmel from the northeast
Location of Mount Carmel in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
|Incorporated, Township||November 14, 1854|
|Incorporated, Borough||November 3, 1862|
|o Mayor||Phillip "Bing" Cimino (D)|
|o Total||0.66 sq mi (1.70 km2)|
|o Land||0.66 sq mi (1.70 km2)|
|o Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
 (center of borough)
|1,100 ft (300 m)|
 (southeastern boundary of borough)
|1,300 ft (400 m)|
 (Shamokin Creek on western borough boundary)
|1,035 ft (315 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||8,599.70/sq mi (3,322.39/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||570 and 272|
Mount Carmel is a borough in Northumberland County, located in the Coal Heritage Region of Central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River Valley in the United States. The population was 5,869 at the 2010 census. It is located 88 miles (141 km) northwest of Philadelphia and 71 miles (114 km) northeast of Harrisburg, in the Anthracite Coal Region. It is completely encompassed by Mount Carmel Township.
Sawmill operator, Albert Bradford, gave Mount Carmel its name because of its elevation and beautiful setting in the mountains. He decided that it deserved a special name and named it after the holy mountain in Israel. Mount Carmel began as a logging town. Coal wasn't discovered until 1790 by Isaac Tomlinson. It took twenty-four years until the first shipment of anthracite was shipped from the borough. Mount Carmel Inn was opened in 1812 by Richard Yarnall and was strategically located on the Centre Turnpike (also known as the Reading-Sunbury Road or Old Reading Road) halfway between Pottsville and Danville. During the latter part of 1854 the Philadelphia and Sunbury Railroad was completed from Shamokin to Mt. Carmel, which led to the opening and development of a number of collieries in the region. During the same year, the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company commenced making extensive openings and improvements upon their valuable coal lands in the vicinity of Mt. Carmel, building coal breakers for two collieries - the Coal Ridge and Locust Mountain collieries. The township was erected in 1854, formed from part of Coal Township; by 1862 the borough was incorporated within the township.
Mount Carmel was among the first towns in the country to have its streets lit by electricity. Thomas Edison placed one of his first generators plants here in 1883. The Edison Plant in Mount Carmel was the 7th in the world.
In the past, there were extensive anthracite mining interests here and in the vicinity. In earlier years, the borough had manufactories of miners' caps, cement blocks, cigars, shirts, stockings, etc., and large silk and planing mills, foundry and machine shops, a knitting mill, lumber yards, a packing plant, and wagon works. Currently that area supports light manufacturing in paper and plastics.
Mount Carmel is located at  in the ridge-and-valley zone of the central Appalachian Mountains. It is drained by the Shamokin Creek and is part of the Lower Susquehanna watershed. According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km2), all of it land.(40.796447, -76.412231)
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,390 people, 3,035 households, and 1,678 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,655.6 people per square mile (3,738.2/km2). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 5,483.6 per square mile (2,123.0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.56% White, 0.06% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.
There were 3,035 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 41.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 24.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $22,168, and the median income for a family was $35,217. Males had a median income of $28,168 versus $20,595 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $14,858. About 14.2% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.
Residents of Mount Carmel may attend the local, public schools operated by Mount Carmel Area School District which provides taxpayer funded preschool and full day kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2014, the District's enrollment declined to 1,583 students. In 2014, Mount Carmel Area School District ranked 380th out of 496 public schools for academic achievement of its pupils, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. In 2013, the District ranked 323rd.
Mount Carmel Area School District operates three schools: Mount Carmel Area Elementary School Grades Pre-K through 6th, Mount Carmel Area Junior High School and Mount Carmel Area High School. The district spends just $8,600 per student per year on school operations, the lowest figure in the state.
Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program In April 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a report identifying one Mount Carmel Area School District school as among the lowest achieving schools for reading and mathematics in 2013. Mount Carmel Area High School was among the 15% lowest achieving schools in the Commonwealth. Parents and students may be eligible for scholarships to transfer to another public or nonpublic school through the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program passed in June 2012. The scholarships are limited to those students whose family's income is less than $60,000 annually, with another $12,000 allowed per dependent. Maximum scholarship award is $8,500, with special education students receiving up to $15,000 for a year's tuition. Parents pay any difference between the scholarship amount and the receiving school's tuition rate. Students may seek admission to neighboring public school districts. Each year the PDE publishes the tuition rate for each individual public school district. Fifty-three public schools in Allegheny County are among the lowest-achieving schools in 2011. According to the report, parents in 414 public schools (74 school districts) were offered access to these scholarships. For the 2012-13 school year, eight public school districts in Pennsylvania had all of their schools placed on the list including: Sto-Rox School District, Chester Upland School District, Clairton City School District, Duquesne City School District, Farrell Area School District, Wilkinsburg Borough School District, William Penn School District and Steelton-Highspire School District. Funding for the scholarships comes from donations by businesses which receive a state tax credit for donating.
In 2012, Mount Carmel Area School District declined to Warning Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status due to lagging student achievement. In 2011, Mount Carmel Area School District achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
In 2014, Mount Carmel Area School District's graduation rate was 88%. In 2013, Mount Carmel Area School District's graduation rate was 87.93%. Mount Carmel high school aged students may choose to attend Northumberland County Career Technology Center for training in the trades.
Mount Carmel residents may also apply to attend any of the Commonwealth's 14 public cyber charter schools (in 2013) at no additional cost to the parents. Locally, SusQ Cyber Charter School operates in Bloomsburg. The resident's public school district is required to pay the charter school and cyber charter school tuition for residents who attend these public schools. By Commonwealth law, if the District provides transportation for its own students, then the District must provide transportation to any school that lies within 10 miles of its borders. Residents may also seek admission for their school aged child to any other public school district. When accepted for admission, the student's parents are responsible for paying an annual tuition fee set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2012, the tuition fees for Mount Carmel Area School District were: Elementary School - $6,811, High School - $8,189.
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit #16 provides a wide variety of services to children living in its region which includes Mount Carmel Area School District. Early screening, special educations services, speech and hearing therapy and many other services like driver education are available. Services for children during the preschool years are provided without cost to their families when the child is determined to meet eligibility requirements.
The Lower Anthracite Transportation System offers a two-route transit system weekdays and Saturdays from Mount Carmel with buses meeting in Coal Township to Mount Carmel and surrounding communities. A third route, operated seasonally, operates to Knoebel's Amusement Resort.