History

Sewickley Township was founded in 1835 and was named after the Big Sewickley Creek which flows from the township’s southwestern boundary.

Sewickley Township Aerial View
Sewickley Township Aerial View

The municipality covers an area of approximately 71 miles of township roads. It is bounded by North Huntingdon Township to the north, Hempfield Township to the east, South Huntingdon Township to the south and on the west by the Youghiogheny River.

The early township settlers were self reliant farmers. Among them were Gaspar Markle, Jacob Painter, Anthony Blackburn, William Guffey and Jacob Greenawalt.  Villages began popping up when the bustling coal industry took root in the lustrous black veins that ran beneath. Herminie, Hutchinson, Rillton, Lowber and Whyles all became hubs for the many immigrants who came to the area seeking employment in the underground. They lived in “company houses” and shopped at the “company store” – giving back nearly all of their paychecks to the mining companies that employed them.

The mines were closed when the precious black fuel no longer could be found in the mid-1900s, but the villages remained intact. There was a school building and general store in every one of the “patches” as they had been referred to at the time.  Herminie grew to take on the identity of being the commercial district for the township, and still is the hub for most businesses.

Sewickley Township has grown to become a bedroom community where most residents are employed outside of the township.  Today, the serene rolling hills and farmland continue to define the mostly rural community. The landscape is home to single-family dwellings where many of the heads of households grew up and have chosen to raise their families in their home town. There have been no major housing developments.

Yough School District and the internationally-known Westinghouse Corp. are the largest employers. The school district’s high school and one of three elementary schools are situated in the township. Westinghouse’s Waltz Mill site sits on hundreds of acres along Route 70 which is the only interstate to service the township.

Through the years, community leaders have been committed to providing services to its 6,320 residents (2000 Census estimate). Crabapple Lake Community Park and Crabapple Lake Community Pool combined with the five adjacent baseball/softball fields and the John C. Bruno Memorial Football Field serve as the townships main recreational outlets. The park offers pavilions for picnics, the lake is stocked for fishing and the public pool is the summertime hot spot for both young and old. For indoor recreation, the Sewickley Township Recreation Center sits high on the hill in Herminie.