Kingston is a municipality located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States, on the Susquehanna River opposite Wilkes Barre. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,182.
Kingston was named after Kingston, Rhode Island, and incorporated as a borough in 1857. Kingston has adopted a home rule charter which became effective in January 1976.
Kingston has a rich history as a pivotal pioneer in American education. In 1775, a new school was erected on the site of one established in 1773, which is said to have been the first public school in Pennsylvania. The borough is also home to the Upper School campus of Wyoming Seminary, a prestigious college preparatory school founded in Kingston in 1844. The school was founded with a total of just 31 students 17 boys and 14 girls enrolling in the first year. Today, Wyoming Seminary's historic campus hosts roughly 450 students and its Lower School grounds in Forty Fort host students from pre-K through eighth grade.
In June 1972, Kingston was devastated by the flooding of Hurricane Agnes. The hurricane, at the time the most significant natural disaster in American history, wreaked havoc on Kingston and neighboring Wilkes-Barre, causing a state of emergency. The natural disaster earned national attention and a visit from President Richard Nixon who recruited Wyoming Seminary graduate Frank Carlucci, Nixon's head of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as a point man to oversee flood recovery efforts.
Kingston is located at (41.2665, -75.8895).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of , of which is land and , or 3.61%, is water. It is separated from Wilkes-Barre by the Susquehanna River and the boundary of the latter's Kirby Park. Its numbered routes are U.S. Route 11 and Pennsylvania Highway 309, which follows the Cross Valley Expressway from the Back Mountain area to Interstate 81 and Route 115 east of the city. Market Street and Pierce Street connect Kingston with center city via bridges.
In 1900, 3,846 people lived in Kingston; in 1940, 20,679 people lived in Kingston.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,855 people, 6,065 households, and 3,372 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,461.6 people per square mile (2,499.7/km ). There were 6,555 housing units at an average density of 3,057.1 per square mile (1,182.7/km ). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.84% White, 0.77% African American, 0.07% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population.
There were 6,065 households out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.4% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.5% 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 2.94.
In the borough the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 24.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $33,611, and the median income for a family was $45,578. Males had a median income of $34,069 versus $24,482 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,568. About 8.2% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
National Register o Historic Places
In addition to Fleck Hall on the campus of Wyoming Seminary, the Kingston Armory and Market Street Bridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The borough is also home to the historic Hoyt Library, the former Samuel Hoyt residence, which was bequeathed to Kingston Borough for a public library by his son, Frank Weston Hoyt. With the financial support of Kingston Borough Council, the Library opened on January 1, 1928.
Kingston operates under a home rule charter. The legislative function is vested in a seven-member council. The compensation of council members is $300 per month. As of January 2010, the council president was Sandra Kase, the council vice-president was Robert F. Thompson, Jr., and the remaining members were Marvin Rappaport, Roberta Rowlands, Nancy Cooper, Michael Jacobs, and Jack Schumacher. Executive authority is vested in a mayor. The mayor is James J. Haggerty, who was first elected to the office in 1997 and was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2009. The mayor's compensation is $8,000 per year. Haggerty is an attorney and maintains a law practice in Kingston. Kingston's charter also calls for a full-time municipal administrator. The municipal administrator is Paul Keating. Keating has served as administrator since 1997.
On the state legislative level, Kingston has long been called home for State Representative Phyllis Mundy, a nearly lifelong resident of the town who has served as an extremely popular Democratic state legislator from Kingston for over two decades.
As of June 2012, the borough is 54 percent Democratic, a complete reversal from the early 1990s when it was a 60 percent Republican borough. Much of the turnover can be attributed to thousands of registered Independents and registered Republicans switching to the Democratic Party during the second term of President George W. Bush's tenure in the late 2000s.
- State Representative Phyllis Mundy, Kingston resident, 120th legislative district (Democrat, 1991 present)
- State Senator Lisa Baker, 20th Senatorial district (Republican, 2007 present)
- U.S. Representative Tom Marino, 10th Congressional district (Republican, 2011 present)
Edie Adams, singer and light comedienne (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), began her career with and later married Ernie Kovacs. Did TV commercials in the 1960s for Muriel Cigars, with the somewhat racy line at the time "Why don't you pick me up and smoke me some time?"
Kevin Blaum served as the State Representative for Wilkes-Barre from 1981 to 2006 and currently is an Associate Director of Admission at Wyoming Seminary Upper School in Kingston - where he now lives - and is a weekly columnist for The Times Leader.
Russell Bufalino, boss of the northeastern Pennsylvania Bufalino crime family from 1959 to 1989. Despite being the boss of a small crime family, Bufalino was a significant influence in the national Cosa Nostra criminal organization.
Steamer Flanagan (1881-1947), Major League Baseball player, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder
Dan Harris, Hollywood director (Imaginary Heroes) and screenwriter (X2 and Superman Returns), was born and raised in Kingston. He attended high school at Wyoming Seminary, before going to Columbia University for college.
Suzie Plakson, actress and musical theatre performer
Dave Popson, NBA player for the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, and the Milwaukee Bucks
Dan Terry, trumpet player and big band leader
Title Fight, hardcore band
Frank Zane, bodybuilder born in Kingston. Won the Mr. Olympia title three years in a row (1977 1979).
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