(pop. 2,073) is the seat of Cameron County (pop. 5,085) in north-central Pennsylvania, and has an urban cluster population of 3,397. As Cameron County's only real town (the other borough, Driftwood, was an ephemeral lumber boomtown whose population is now 67), almost all of Cameron County's residents live in the Emporium area.
As of Census 2010, Cameron is Pennsylvania's least populous county, being surpassed by previous titleholder Forest County (which experienced 50% population growth due to the construction of a prison... Forest still has the smallest population of non-incarcerated Pennsylvanians). Cameron is an extremely rugged county whose territory is almost entirely the domain of Elk State Forest. Cameron County suffered Pennsylvania's steepest population loss from 2000-2010 at over 14%. It has consistently held PA's highest unemployment rate during this recession/pseudo-recovery. The local economy, almost entirely reliant on metals manufacturing, has been battered in recent years.
One of Pennsylvania's most remote towns, Emporium residents must travel long distances through deep valleys and dense woods to reach the neighboring small towns. Incorporated as a borough in 1864, Emporium initially grew as a center of lumbering and dynamite manufacturing. In 1924, Sylvania was founded in Emporium
(now Osram Sylvania, a subsidiary of Siemens AG) whose radio receiving tube innovation fueled Emporium's prosperity during the mid-20th century. During WW2, Emporium was known as Girls Town, as young women from throughout the region came to Sylvania's Emporium facility to manufacture tubes, lamps and defense guidance systems. The plant was shuttered in the 1960s. The void was filled by powdered metals factories, which make parts for automobiles... a struggling domestic industry whose ripple effects have been felt severely in Emporium.
the old Sylvania plant
Cameron County Courthouse
key scenes of last year's Unstoppable
were filmed on rails near Emporium