Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania
The Cornerstone of Pennsylvania
|• Mayor||Gene Taylor|
|• Total||1.62 sq mi (4.21 km2)|
|• Land||1.11 sq mi (2.87 km2)|
|• Water||0.52 sq mi (1.34 km2)|
|Elevation||30 ft (9 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,166.97/sq mi (836.42/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||610 and 484|
Marcus Hook is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,397 at the 2010 census. The current mayor is Gene Taylor. The borough calls itself "The Cornerstone of Pennsylvania". The 2005 film One Last Thing... was set and partially filmed in Marcus Hook.
The earliest inhabitants of Marcus Hook were the Lenape Indians and their indigenous ancestors, whose succeeding cultures had occupied this area for thousands of years.
The Lenape had a major settlement in Marcus Hook; New Sweden colonists established a trading post here in the 1640s. The village was called Chammassungh, or "Finland" by the Swedes. It was located on the west side of the Delaware River, between Marcus Hook Creek and Naamans Creek. Dutch colonists renamed the settlement as "Marrites Hoeck" after they conquered the area in 1655. The name is derived from the word Hook, meaning promontory, or point of land projecting into the water and Marcus, a corruption of the name of the Indian chief, called Maarte by the Dutch, who lived at the Hook.
English colonists gained control of the Dutch colonies and founded St. Martin's Church in 1699; the new church opened for worship in 1702. Walter Martin of Upper Chichester founded this church as an alternative place of worship and burial for Christian non-Quakers.
In the early 1700s, Marcus Hook was a haven for pirates who plagued the lower Delaware River. The market at Marcus Hook provided the pirates a place to sell plundered goods and re-supply away from the authorities and custom officials in Philadelphia. Early maps of Marcus Hook show the current Second Street was originally named "Discord Lane", since it was the location of the pirates' revelry when they were in town.
By the mid-1700s, Marcus Hook became a major regional center for the building of wooden sailing ships and remained so until the late 19th century. By that time, larger tonnage ships became more popular than the sloops and schooners built in Marcus Hook.
During the American Revolutionary War, two tiers of underwater chevaux-de-frise obstacles were placed across the Delaware River at Marcus Hook to provide a first line of defense of Philadelphia against British naval forces. Marcus Hook also served as a training center for the Pennsylvania militia. The Continental Army was stationed at Marcus Hook during the fall of 1777. As the town was bombarded by British warships more than once, there are very few pre-Revolutionary houses in Marcus Hook.
The borough was officially incorporated on March 7, 1892. The convergence of rail, roads, a deepwater port, and the nation's growing thirst for petroleum gave rise to the refineries that became the borough's dominant industry.
Sun Oil opened the Marcus Hook refinery in 1901 to refine crude oil brought by ship from Texas. It was the first of seven major refineries that made up the largest fuel-manufacturing center in the Northeast. The refinery was closed in 2011 due to deteriorating market conditions.
Marcus Hook is located along the southern border of Delaware County (and Pennsylvania) at  It is bordered to the northwest by Lower Chichester Township, including the community of Linwood, to the northeast by the borough of Trainer, to the southeast across the Delaware River by Gloucester County, New Jersey, and to the southwest by New Castle County, Delaware. The southern border of Marcus Hook is part of the Twelve-Mile Circle border between Pennsylvania and Delaware.(39.8182, -75.4155).
U.S. Route 13 (10th Street) is the main road through the borough, leading northeast 4 miles (6 km) to Chester, and southwest 9 miles (14 km) to Wilmington, Delaware. Pennsylvania Route 452 (Market Street) intersects US 13 in the center of the borough and leads north 1 mile (1.6 km) to Interstate 95 Exit 2, and 7 miles (11 km) to U.S. Route 1 west of Media.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Marcus Hook has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2), of which 1.1 square miles (2.9 km2) is land and 0.50 square miles (1.3 km2), or 31.63%, is water. The lowest point in the state of Pennsylvania is located on the Delaware River in Marcus Hook, where it flows out of Pennsylvania and into Delaware.
Marcus Hook is a part of Chichester School District. Children within the borough usually attend Marcus Hook Elementary School (Grades K-4), Chichester Middle School (Grades 5-8), or Chichester High School (Grades 9-12).
As of Census 2010, the racial makeup of the borough was 82.3% White, 13.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population .
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,314 people, 919 households, and 565 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,055.7 people per square mile (790.7/km²). There were 1,025 housing units at an average density of 910.6 per square mile (350.2/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 91.44% White, 5.32% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.
There were 919 households, out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.9% were married couples living together, 19.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 28.1% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $28,219, and the median income for a family was $36,083. Males had a median income of $31,620 versus $24,569 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $13,738. About 13.3% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.
In the interest of protecting and remembering nearly 400 years of history in Marcus Hook two groups were created. The Marcus Hook Preservation Society works with the community, local universities and archeology groups to fund archeological digs and set up educational programs. The Plankhouse Crew is a pirate reenactment group focusing on the Golden Age of Piracy and provides living history demonstrations as well as entertainment. The Plankhouse Crew was created around the Plankhouse which was believed to be the former home of a woman named Margaret, a mistress of the infamous pirate Blackbeard. They are also Marcus Hook's featured group for the annual Delaware River River Ramble celebration held in September.