Beaver County’s rich history of hard-working friendly people, locally-owned small businesses, and large industries remains inherent in its culture of community and home. The ten river towns of the County have long provided the heart of the community as home to Beaver County’s central business districts.
The County was once dominated by heavy steel industries but, since the downfall of steel, newer smaller manufacturing and service industries have located in the area. Riverfront development in conjunction with Brownfields development has occurred on many industrial sites, and new retail centers have cropped up in various locations close to major roadways. The Marcellus Shale industry has focused in on Beaver County as drilling sites have been constructed and continue to be identified. Currently a riverfront site in Potter Township is seriously being considered by Shell Oil Co. for construction of a multi-billion dollar ethylene processing plant.
Primarily a suburban, bedroom life style, much of the county is abundant in open space, parks, and scenic vistas. The County’s four public parks along with Raccoon State Park and numerous community parks provide a wide range of active and passive recreational opportunities. Much of the residential life style is in single family homes situated on spacious lots though a number of new retirement communities have been developed that offer patio homes and condominium living.
With the City of Pittsburgh within a short driving distance, County residents enjoy the amenities of big city cultural, recreational, and educational amenities yet avoid the crowded congested life style. The Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins provide major sports for the area, while the opera, ballet, symphony, and many other organizations and events provide area residents with a wide range of entertainment options.
The County consists of 14 public school districts, a countywide Vocational Technical School, the Community College of Beaver County, the Beaver Campus of Penn State University, and Geneva College. There are also numerous private and parochial schools in the area. Along with nearby major universities such as the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon, Robert Morris University and Carlow College, all located in Allegheny County and less than one hour drive from the County; area residents are provided with extensive educational facilities with which to pursue their growth and careers.
The County is served by Heritage Valley Health Systems at two locations – the Beaver Medical Center and in Sewickley. Major health care is also available at UPMC facilities located throughout western Pennsylvania where medical research is also conducted.
Historically, the County was formed in March 1880 from portions of Washington and Allegheny Counties. In the mid 1800,s a portion of north Beaver County was incorporated to form part of what is now Lawrence County. Fort Macintosh in Beaver and Legionville in Harmony Township and Ambridge are two early sites in the settling of the west. Many other historical sites are scattered throughout the area.
Beaver County is located in southwest Pennsylvania northwest of the city of Pittsburgh. The County is bordered on the west by the States of Ohio and the panhandle of West Virginia; the south by Washington County; the east by Allegheny and Butler counties; and the north by Lawrence County. The predominate feature of the County is the Ohio River which enters from the southeast and flows to the center of the county before turning southwest and exiting the state to form the boundary between Ohio and West Virginia. The remainder of the County is characterized by gently rolling foothills and valleys of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Beaver County is comprised of 2 incorporated, third class cities (Aliquippa and Beaver Falls), and 52 boroughs and townships.
The County’s Motto, “Divided by its Rivers, United by its People” truly reflect the County’s heritage of a good place to live, work and play.