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Old 04-26-2021, 07:25 AM
 
103 posts, read 41,762 times
Reputation: 28

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Hempfield is a very large (76.73) exurban/suburban to rural township located in western to central Westmoreland County. Hempfield has a total of 13 borders with other townships, boroughs, and cities within the area. It completely surrounds the city of Greensburg, along with the boroughs of New Stanton, Youngwood, Arona, and Adamsburg. It also partially borders the city of Jeannette.

Hempfield Township was first settled back in the 18th Century from settlers who originated from southeastern Pennsylvania. Its name was derived from Hempfield Township in Lancaster County, which was formed in 1729 and named for the production of hemp in that area. Like much of Western PA, its original settlers were farmers who were also active operators of stills and distilleries and refined substantial grain output. It was one of the six original townships created as part of Bedford County in 1771 and was part of the original formation of Westmoreland County two years later. Therefore, Hempfield holds the honor of being the oldest community in Western PA.

Over the coming years, Hempfield began to grow with growth of the coal mining and industrial sector in Western PA. Coal mining "patch towns" such as Bovard, Darragh, Edna, and Luxor within the township began to thrive in the "golden age of mining," as well as industrial towns such as Grapeville on the edge of industrial Jeannette. Early suburban neighborhoods such as Lincoln Heights also began to pop up with the growth of the local industrial sector. The main route west to east within the township is U.S. Route 30. It begins shortly after the Irwin turnpike exit, about 22-23 miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh. It starts out mostly with smaller-scale businesses until you reach near the intersection of PA Turnpike 66 and the former Greengate Mall where there are several big-box retail and recreational outlets (Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, Sam's Club, Target, LA Fitness, etc.), restaurants, hotels, etc. On the other side of the city of Greensburg and bypass, heavy commercial development picks up again with the Westmoreland Mall, along with other big-box stores such as Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, shopping centers, restaurants, car dealerships, etc. until you get to the Unity Township line to the east. There are several dense patches of suburban development within the township mostly right across the border of North Huntingdon near the Irwin exit, and off route 130, 136, and 66 near the city of Greensburg. There are also a number of business/industrial parks within the township including off Route 30 opposite side of Westmoreland Mall and RIDC Westmoreland near its southern border with East Huntingdon Township. The portions of the township away from the generally developed areas are still quite rural and have a coal country feel to them with older homes on back country roads.

Today, Hempfield Township is estimated to have a little over 40,000 residents. The township seems to fluctuate between population growth and loss between each decade. Like, Westmoreland County, it peaked in population in 1980, then fell the next couple decades, grew again in 2010, and appears to be falling again this decade. That may possible be due to the natural decline of the area combined with whether or not new housing developments get built within the township. In terms of future exurban growth, its main hope is maybe in the areas not far across the border of North Huntingdon, where there is still plenty of open land, as North Huntingdon's borders seems to be filling up fast with new housing developments. The further east portions of the township more serve as direct suburbs of Greensburg and Latrobe even a little further east and are maybe considered to be too far out even by Pittsburgh exurban standards. All in all, Hempfield is still a very nice, safe area with a decent school district where it residents can have convenient access to shopping and recreational opportunities while still enjoying benefits of a rural lifestyle in some portions.
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Old Yesterday, 11:12 AM
 
19 posts, read 9,206 times
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What did you mean by 76.73?
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Old Yesterday, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
6,171 posts, read 7,952,699 times
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Square miles.
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Old Today, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Sh-ittsburgh, PA & Lancaster County, PA
1,021 posts, read 1,969,286 times
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The thing that always has amazed me is Hempfield is one of nearly 2,500 municipalities across Pennsylvania without a local police department. They rely on the PA State Police for ALL police calls and usually have four patrol cars working to cover that huge area. It's crazy.
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