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Windber, Pennsylvania

Windber, Pennsylvania
Municipal building
Municipal building
Location of Windber in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Windber in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Windber, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Windber, Pennsylvania
Location of Windber in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 40°14′07″N 78°49′51″W / 40.23528°N 78.83083°W / 40.23528; -78.83083
CountryUnited States
CountySomerset, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
IncorporatedJuly 3, 1900
 • TypeBorough Council
 • MayorMike Thomas
 • Total1.98 sq mi (5.12 km2)
 • Land1.98 sq mi (5.12 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total4,138
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,972.70/sq mi (761.80/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
Area code(s)814 Exchange: 467
FIPS code42-85632
WebsiteWindber Borough

Windber is a borough in Somerset County, Pennsylvania and Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States, eight miles (13 km) south of Johnstown. It was at one time a place of industrial activities which included coal mining, lumbering, and the manufacture of fire brick. In 1897, the community was founded by coal barons Charles and Edward Julius Berwind owners of the Berwind Corporation. 8,013 people lived in Windber in 1910 and 9,057 in 1940; the population was 4,138 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Windber started as a company town for nearby coal mines from previously being a part of the City of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Berwind-White Coal Mining Company imported workers from eastern and southern Europe and exploited ethnic divisions in the area (which had been settled by Germans and Irish in the 19th century). On Good Friday 1922, coal miners walked out of the mines in Windber and several nearby locations in Somerset County, attempting to force the mine owners to recognize their United Mine Workers union, as well as accurately weigh the coal they mined. The company employed legal tactics (the United States Supreme Court decided two lawsuits) as well as strike-breakers, but the miners received considerable favorable national publicity and local support and held out until the end of the following summer.[3] However, the UMW successfully organized the mines during 1933, after the Great Depression led to the election of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Windber Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.[4]

Frank Kush, all-American football lineman at Michigan State who achieved distinction (and later controversy) as head coach of the Arizona State college football team and Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League was born and raised in Windber.

The Vintage Electric Streetcar Company, popularly called the "trolley graveyard", is located in Windber. The private scrapyard houses a number of PCC streetcars and other transit equipment from systems like the MBTA Green Line, which are sold for reuse or scrapped for parts.[5]


Windber is located at 40°14′7″N 78°49′51″W / 40.23528°N 78.83083°W / 40.23528; -78.83083 (40.235161, -78.830864).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20183,860[2]−6.7%

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 4,395 people, 2,019 households, and 1,185 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,118.8 people per square mile (819.8/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 1,049.5 per square mile (406.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.29% White, 0.07% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.

There were 2,019 households out of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.3% were non-families. 38.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the borough the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 24.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $23,261, and the median income for a family was $31,860. Males had a median income of $24,861 versus $18,886 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,078. About 11.9% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.5% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.


Windber has ranked safer than 13% of small cities and towns in Pennsylvania.


Windber Borough Council:

  • Mike Bryan, President of Council
  • James Spinos, Vice President of Council
  • John Holden
  • Joe Pallo
  • Doug Ledney
  • Ron Mash
  • Pete Lamonaca

Windber Borough Government Officials:

  • Mike Thomas, Mayor
  • Robin S. Gates, Borough Secretary/Administrative Assistant
  • James Furmanchick, Borough Manager



The nearby Silver Drive-In first opened in 1962.[10] While other such facilities in the area have closed over the course of years, the Silver survived through public outcry over proposals to close and demolish it, making a comeback in 2005.[11][12][13] It is now the only drive-in theater in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania region.

The historic Arcadia Theater opened on May 5, 1921 and was designed by Henry Reinhold and Ralph L. Land. The Windber Lumber Co., then a subsidiary of Berwind-White Coal Mining Co., built the theater with money donated by a group of stockholders known as the Windber Theater Corporation. The Arcadia Theater showcased many vaudeville acts, as well as cinema productions before being sold in 1963 and renamed "Cinema 56." In 1975 the theater was closed. In 1977, however, the Penn Wood Players began to make plans to make the Arcadia their headquarters. Unfortunately the Johnstown Flood of 1977 severely damaged the building and the theater was once again closed. In 1989 the Eureka Coal Heritage Foundation purchased the theater in order to restore the once grand Arcadia Theater to its former splendor. The restoration began in 1990 with the building architects referring to old photographs and the memories of many people to steer the interior and exterior designs. The intent of the restoration was to the make the theater look as it did in 1921. On October 31, 1998 the Arcadia reopened its magnificent doors with the production of "Best of Broadway." With the exception of present-day computer technology to control both sound and light systems, the Arcadia Theater has successfully recaptured its original beauty and "magic," in both its appearance and its live performances. Today, the Arcadia Theater is proud of the quality of performers that have since been showcased, among them: Florence Henderson, The Mantovani Orchestra, The Lettermen, Gary Burgoff, The Platters, Pat Boone, The Osmonds, Don Ho, Al Martino, The 5th Dimension, and the U.S. Marine Corps Band, in addition to the Arcadia's own children's series performances.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  3. ^ historic marker at []
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ Hoover, Amanda (September 6, 2015). "Why are old Green Line trolleys wasting away in rural Pennsylvania?". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  10. ^ (12 June 2009). Reel success - County Amusement noting 60 years in movie business, The Tribune-Democrat
  11. ^ (12 December 2008). Silver screen saved, The Tribune-Democrat
  12. ^ (11 August 2006). Artist's touch adds character (s) to drive-in, The Tribune-Democrat
  13. ^ (7 September 2008). Silver Drive-In owner mulls rezoning, sale, The Tribune-Democrat
  14. ^ At Last, Some D For San Diego
  15. ^ []

External links