Links to the Past
Central Pennsylvania and Blair County boast a multitude of rich historical and cultural attractions to enjoy and learn from. Ranging from colonial, industrial, military, and social history, this vast array of sites and resources is a cherished commodity among citizens of the area and beyond. We hope you visit and enjoy its many treasures.
Regional Historical Attractions:
– Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site – Our local national park!
– Alto Model Trail Museum – A large display featuring a number of class model trains.
– Altoona Association of Model Railroaders – A fantastic display to be enjoyed by all.
– Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum – Local museum dedicated to the PRR.
– Baker Mansion – One of the oldest and grandest homes in the region, built in 1849.
– Canal Basin Park – Museum and playground in Hollidaysburg’s former canal district.
– Canoe Creek State Park – Natural park that was also the site of old lime kilns.
– DelGrosso’s Amusement Park – A popular park in continuous operation since 1946.
– Explore Altoona – The convention and visitor’s bureau for Blair County.
– Fort Roberdeau Historic Site – Reconstructed 1777 Revolutionary War fort.
– Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark – An 1854 engineering marvel.
– Keirn Family WWII Museum - A wonderful attraction at St. Francis University.
– Lakemont Park – Opened in 1894, site of the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster.
– Old Bedford Village – A wonderfully reconstructed historical community.
– Pennsylvania State Historical Markers in Blair County - Cites the sites of history.
– Rails to Trails of Central Pennsylvania – Walk or bike in the footsteps of our old rails.
– Royer Mansion – One of the finest antebellum homes in the region.
– Quaint Corner Children’s Discovery Center – An interactive children’s museum.
– Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art – Featuring wonderful artistic collections.
– Tyrone History Museum – Located in the town’s historic train station.
– The Wall That Heals – Scale recreation of the Vietnam War Memorial.
Regional History Websites & Resources:
– Altoona, Pennsylvania Historical Marker – Placed near the city of Altoona.
– Altoona Works – A rich historical resource of the railroad in the city.
– Blair County Genealogy – A wide array of local historical sources.
– The Blair County Genealogy Project – Search the archives for family history.
– Bellwood-Antis photos of the Altoona Speedway – An iconic speedway in Tipton, PA.
– Canal Basin Historical Marker – Placed in historic Hollidaysburg.
– Charles Mishler Historical Marker – Learn about Mischler and his theater.
– Claysburg, PA History – Guide to local sites around southern Blair County.
– Early Settlement of Antis Township - Article discussing the founding of Bellwood.
– The Great American Stations – The Tyrone, PA Train Station.
– Greater Pennsylvania Military Preservation Association, Inc. – Living History group.
– Harold Ickes WPA Historical Marker – Learn about one of FDR’s top men.
– Harold Ickes WWII Historical Marker – Learn about one of FDR’s top men.
– History of Altoona, Pennsylvania – What made this town? Find out here.
– History of Amtran – Regional transit history.
– History of Baseball in Altoona – From the Society for American Baseball Research.
– History of Boyer Candy in Altoona – History of a local candy icon.
– History of Bellwood, Pennsylvania – What made this town? Find out here.
– History of the City of Altoona and Blair County – Online book.
– History of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
– History of Gardners Candies in Tyrone, PA – History of a local candy icon.
- History of Military Vehicles, Cars, Trucks and Tanks - History of Vehicles at War
– History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties – Online Publication.
– History of Plummer’s Hollow – What made this town? Find out here.
– History of the Sheetz Corporation – A Blair County proud company!
– History of the Slinky Toy – Made in Blair County for many years.
– A History of the Wopsononock Railroad and Resort
– Hollidaysburg Canal Basin History – The National Park Service.
– Horseshoe Curve: A Vital Link – Teacher Lesson Plan.
– Leap-The-Dips Roller Coaster Historical Marker – Read all about this iconic ride.
– Library of Congress – Blair County photo, blueprint, and map resources.
– Local History Resources – From the Altoona Area Public Library.
– Logan House Hotel Historical Marker – Learn about the former gem of Altoona.
– Logan Township History – Historical synopsis beginning in the 1740s.
– Mayors of Altoona, Pennsylvania – From the Political Graveyard.
– Operation Pastorius – The failed attempt of Nazi saboteurs to infiltrate the area.
– Penn State Altoona Historical Synopsis – Discover the story of the campus.
– Pennsylvania Civil War Trails – Follow the footsteps of the 1860s!
– Pennsylvania Railroad Shops Historical Marker – Located beside the PRR Shops.
– Pennsylvania Stories – From the PA Historical and Museum Commission.
– The Railroad in Pennsylvania – Timeline, documents, and history.
– Right Place at the Right Time – Altoona history teacher lesson plan.
– Roaring Spring Historical Society – Includes the Roaring Spring train station.
– Soldiers of Blair County – Online book by Floyd Hoenstine with lists from 1776-1940.
– Twentieth Century History of Altoona and Blair County – 1911 online book.
– Vaudeville in Altoona – Altoona Mirror article.
– Veteran Monuments in Blair County – Pennsylvania National Guard Museum.
– War Governors’ Conference Historical Marker – An important event of the Civil War.
Educational & Cultural Institutions:
– 46th PA Regimental Band – Local unit of Civil War reenactors.
– Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area – Heritage corridor across central Pennsylvania.
– Altoona Community Theatre – Regional organization of actors.
– Altoona Curve Baseball - Affiliate team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
– Altoona Mirror – Longstanding local newspaper.
– Altoona Symphony Orchestra – Sharing music since 1906.
– Arts Altoona - A local arts and cultural outreach network.
– Bellwood-Antis Historical Society – Dedicated to history of Antis Township.
– Blair County Arts Foundation & The Mishler Theatre – Historic theater and plays.
– Blair County Courthouse – Historic 1890s structure, site of various memorials.
– Blair County Chamber of Commerce – A pillar institution since the early 1900s.
– Blair County Genealogical Society – Excellent archive of primary resource materials.
– Hollidaysburg Community Partnership – A collaborative group of neighbors.
– Jaffa Shrine – Arena, philanthropic organization, and site of much county history.
– James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center – Veterans' medical institution.
– List of Blair County Schools – A collection of Blair County educational institutions.
– Mt. Aloysius College – Catholic college founded in 1853.
– Penn State Altoona – Established in 1939, the largest of PSU campuses.
– Penn State Altoona History Department – The proud provider of many BCHS interns!
– Tyrone Area Historical Society – Dedicated to northern Blair County history.
– Tyrone Community Players History – A community theater in Tyrone, PA.
– Tyrone’s The Daily Herald – Offering the best news in northern Blair County.
– St. Francis University – Franciscan college founded in 1847.
– Women’s Club of Altoona – One of the leading civic clubs of the area.
Libraries with Historical Resources:
– Altoona Area Public Library
– Bellwood-Antis Public Library
– Blair County Genealogical Society
– Claysburg Library
– Hollidaysburg Area Public Library
– Martinsburg Community Library
– Tyrone-Snyder Public Library
– Williamsburg Public Library
Do you have or know of a local history website that is not included on the list above?
If so, please feel free to email us your suggestions. Thank you!