South Fayette Township,
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
South Fayette Township Welcome Sign
|Etymology: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette|
A Community Growing Together
|• Type||First-Class Township Government (Board of Commissioners/Township Manager)|
|• Total||20.39 sq mi (52.80 km2)|
|• Land||20.38 sq mi (52.79 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||764.20/sq mi (295.06/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
15017, 15031, 15057, 15064, 15071, 15082, 15142, 15321
|Area code(s)||412, 724|
Throughout its early history, South Fayette Township was the site of numerous conflicts between the earlier Native American residents and arriving settlers, particularly in the northern areas of the township. There are several historical relics found in South Fayette, such as Native American stone instruments and graves.
The earliest known settler was a man of English descent with the surname Miller; he came to the area sometime around 1768. He settled at the mouth of a stream that would be named Millers Run. Before later emigrating to Kentucky, Miller sold an expansive tract of land to a land speculator named Campbell for a pair of shoes. The first permanent settler was Christian Lesnett, a German immigrant who came from Baltimore, Maryland, in 1770.
In 1770, George Washington is believed to have acquired 2,813 acres (1,138 ha) of land from his neighbor John Posey in exchange for forgiveness of debt. Washington was an absentee landlord and treated the property as a land investment. Today, this parcel of land includes what is now known as the Hickory Heights community located in the southwest corner of the township. (Note - no good historian accepts this as true. History shows that Washington's 2813 acres were actually in what is now Mt. Pleasant Township in Washington County, where there is a village called Hickory, which is perhaps the origin of the confusion.)
In 1790, Capt. Samuel Morgan built a gristmill, later purchased by Moses Coulter, whose son converted it into a steam mill. He added a sawmill and later changed it to a steel mill. Coal and oil were discovered in the township between 1860 and 1910, and mining became a big industry.
The area that today is known as South Fayette Township originally was claimed by both Pennsylvania and Virginia. In 1788, the area became part of Moon Township, one of the seven townships in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Two years later, Fayette Township was carved out of Moon Township. The areas that today are known as South Fayette Township and North Fayette Township comprised Fayette Township, named in honor of General Lafayette. In 1842, Fayette Township was split into North Fayette and South Fayette townships. South Fayette was officially established March 16, 1842, and celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2017. Following the creation of Collier Township in 1875, South Fayette Township's territorial limits as they stand today are formed by the Washington County line, Robinson Run, Coal Run and Chartiers Creek.
Today, South Fayette Township is a fast-growing community benefiting from its proximity to Downtown Pittsburgh, Southpointe, Pittsburgh International Airport, the Robinson Township commercial district, the South Fayette interchange of Interstate 79, the future Southern Beltway toll highway, public parks, a variety of businesses and a highly ranked school district. In 2013, South Fayette was nominated as the best Pittsburgh suburb in which to raise a family in a regional survey.
The Historical Society of South Fayette Township works to preserve the community's history.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 20.4 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.95 square miles (54.3 km2) is land and 0.05% is water. The topography is mostly wooded with small hills and floodplains on four streams. It is located 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Pittsburgh.
South Fayette Township has seven borders, including the borough of Bridgeville and Upper St. Clair Township to the east, Cecil Township (Washington County) to the south and west, North Fayette Township and the boroughs of McDonald and Oakdale to the northwest, and Collier Township to the northeast.
Most of South Fayette's commercial business is concentrated along Washington Pike, a state-owned road. A commercial development of about 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) is under way called Newbury Market. Plans include a Topgolf entertainment center, restaurants, office buildings and other business. The Gateway Shops has opened at the Newbury entrance.
The Route 22 to I-79 span of the Southern Beltway is currently under construction. The new span of the turnpike will run through the southwestern part of the township, providing direct access to Pittsburgh International Airport. It is expected that the construction of this new span will spur residential and commercial development along its path.
Communities within South Fayette
Newer neighborhoods within South Fayette include Sterling Ridge, The Berkshires, Newbury, Forest Ridge, Hunting Ridge, Hickory Heights, Pinnacle Point, Springhouse and others. Historic neighborhoods include Morgan, Morgan Hill, Cuddy, National Hill, Sturgeon and Gladden, among others.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,271 people, 4,704 households, and 3,085 families residing in the township. The population density was 603.2 people per square mile (232.9/km²). There were 4,924 housing units at an average density of 242.1/sq mi (93.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 93.93% White, 3.50% African American, 0.02% Native American, 1.59% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.
There were 4,704 households, out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the township the population was spread out, with 22.1% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $53,739, and the median income for a family was $65,473. Males had a median income of $48,750 versus $33,534 for females. The per capita income for the township was $26,082. About 2.9% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.
Government and Politics
|2016||54% 4,327||45% 3,603||1% 52|
|2012||57% 4,132||43% 3,107||0% 56|
The Township of South Fayette operates under the powers of the First Class Township Code. The township is governed by a 5-member elected Board of Commissioners who serve 4-year terms.
The residents of the township are served by Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional district.
South Fayette Township publishes a free quarterly magazine, South Fayette Connect, for the benefit of its citizens.
The South Fayette Township School District provides public educational services. The school district shares its borders with the township. The school district has an elementary school for grades K-2, an intermediate school for grades 3-5, a middle school for grades 6-8 and a high school for grades 9-12. The school district's mascot is the Lions.
The South Fayette Foundation for Excellence is a non-profit community organization that raises funds to support the academic, athletic and arts programs within the school district to supplement the school budget allocated for such purposes.
South Fayette Township has a Department of Parks and Recreation which maintains municipal parks and organizes recreational events, including the largest annual event held each August, South Fayette Community Day. Township parks include Fairview Park, Morgan Park, Boys Home Park, Sturgeon Park, the Panhandle Trail and Preservation Park, which is under development. A portion of Fairview Park has been designated as an Off-Leash Dog Zone allowing dogs to run without leashes by annual permit only.
Community athletic associations, operating under the South Fayette Athletic Association, include:
- South Fayette Aqua Club
- South Fayette Baseball and Softball Association
- South Fayette Lady Lions Recreational Basketball
- South Fayette Men's Softball
- South Fayette Soccer Association
- South Fayette Township Youth Cheerleading Association
- South Fayette Township Youth Lacrosse Association
- South Fayette Youth Football Association
The Hickory Heights Golf Club provides an 18-hole golf course.
- Aldo Donelli, NFL player
- Jonathan Hayes, NFL player and coach
- Jenna Morasca, winner of Survivor: The Amazon
- Ron Sams, NFL player
- Justin Watson, NFL player
- Dave Iglar, Guitarist and recording artist
- David Fabyonic, JV B Football Captain
- Ackerman, Jan (May 10, 1984). "Town names carry bit of history". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 6. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 13, 2017.
- Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". factfinder.census.gov. US Census Bureau. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Ryall, Kay (12 February 1933). "Indians Waged Warfare Near Oakdale". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- Hickory Heights, Pennsylvania
- W.,, Smith, Charlotte. South Fayette Township. Historical Society of South Fayette Township (Pa.),. Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 9781467123181. OCLC 908914958.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- Warner and Company, A. History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Including its Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time, VOLUME 2 PART 1. Heritage Books. ISBN 0788446142.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-12-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania". Census of Population and Housing, 1950. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 10 Jun 2016.
- EL. "2012 Allegheny County election". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- EL. "2016 Pennsylvani general election..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- South Fayette Township
- South Fayette Township School District
- South Fayette Township Library
- South Fayette Foundation 4 Excellence