is a borough in Allegheny County in the US state of Pennsylvania. The population was 6,131 at the 2000 census. In 1940 the population peaked at 11,086. It is a small town located to the west of Pittsburgh, along the Ohio River. The town is noted for its steep topography, numerous brick streets and many large, old and exquisite homes. The American Bridge Company is headquartered in Coraopolis.
Coraopolis, founded in 1886, has a history replete with the names found on the borough's street signs' names like Montour, Vance, Ferree, McCabe, Neely and Watson. The first permanent settler in Coraopolis was Capt. Robert Vance, a Virginia native who was a member of the regiment commanded by Gen. George Washington at the Braddock Expedition in the French and Indian War. In 1795, Vance built a log stockade building and a stone blockhouse to protect the area against Indian raids. The site of the fort was around the present Broadway and Chestnut streets, near Second Ave.
One of the most important early industries in Coraopolis was begun by the Watson family, English immigrants who arrived in America in 1830. The Watsons built a sawmill on the site of the present municipal building on Fifth Avenue. Later, they operated a much larger grist mill on the river bank at Mill Street, until 1887.
Community development in Coraopolis (known as Middletown until 1886) moved along gradually with the building of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad in 1877. Several Coraopolis residents were stockholders in this enterprise. In 1890, oil was discovered at both ends of town, which briefly stimulated a population boom. The effects did not last long, however, as the oil supplies were found to be rather modest.
In 1892, community development took off with the construction of the first high-speed electric street railway in the United States. The railway was scheduled to run up to 40 mph, going from Coraopolis, over Neville Island and to McKees Rocks. Along with the railway came Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company to Coraopolis, moving from its location in Fostoria, Ohio. Consolidated Glass employed up to 350 people. Other Coraopolis residents worked for the new industries established on Neville Island.
Coraopolis' first municipal building was built in 1897 on State Avenue and was used until 1929, when the current building was constructed. The town was incorporated as a borough in June 1886. Legend has the borough being named for a member of the Watson family, but research uncovered by longtime resident and local historian Dr. Frank "Buck" Braden shows it more likely took the appellation from a Greek word for "maiden city."
Coraopolis and Neville Township merged to form Cornell School District in 1971, and all students reported to the new Cornell Educational Center in 1976.
One of Coraopolis' claim to fame is being the birthplace of the actor Michael Keaton.