The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 2, 2013

Take a bus tour through Johnstown's history of industry

— Johnstown Area Heritage Association and the National Park Service are once again partnering to offer a popular bus tour.

The Industrial Heritage Bus Tour will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 16 beginning at Heritage Discovery Center, 201 Sixth Ave. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

The tour was first offered in July, hosted by costumed interpreters and giving visitors a more complete understanding of the area’s industrial history from the early 19th century through the 1940s.

Space is limited, and pre-payment is required to hold reservations.

The registration deadline is Oct. 21.

“The first tour sold out in less than a day, and we had a big waiting list, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer it again this fall,” said Kaytlin Sumner, JAHA curator. “The tour gives a wonderful overview of Johnstown’s contribution to industrial history, including sites like the Blacksmith Shop, which isn’t normally open to the public.”

The day will begin with a check-in at the discovery center gift shop at 9:30 a.m.

The first stop will be at 10 a.m. in the discovery center’s Mystery of Steel Theatre, where participants will receive a brief introduction from tour facilitators and then watch the “Mystery of Steel” film.

The film explains Johnstown’s importance in the early steel industry, including the development of the Kelly converter and Bessemer steel production process.

It also features modern footage of Johnstown’s steel mills, shot by Charles Guggenheim just a few weeks before the mills were closed.

The bus will depart at 10:30 a.m. and arrive at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site by 11:15.

National Park Service Ranger Gregory Zaborowski will give a tour of the site, including the Lemon House, and present a program discussing the building of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal System and the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

“The history of this area is largely formed by our industrial heritage,” said Megan O’Malley, chief of interpretation for the historic site. “You can’t explore or study history without addressing how industry has shaped and defined this region. This is why a tour like this, that links industrial heritage sites, is so important.”

The bus will arrive at 12:15 p.m. at the Gallitzin Tunnels, where a costumed interpreter will give an interpretive presentation about the Nazi sabotage plot of the Pennsylvania Railroad, based on the research and writing of Dennis McIlnay.

The tour will stop for lunch at 1 p.m. at Cresson Springs Family Restaurant.

Lunch is not included in the tour price, so participants will order from the menu.

Retired National Park Service Ranger Mary Ann Davis will give a presentation through the eyes of Mrs. Andrew Carnegie and will discuss the Carnegies and the Cresson Springs Resort.

The last stop of the tour will be at 3 at the Cambria Iron Company Blacksmith Shop in Johnstown.

JAHA president Richard Burkert will give a presentation.

The Blacksmith Shop was built in 1865 and is not normally open to the public.

It is part of the Cambria Iron & Steel National Historic Landmark and is one of the nation’s oldest industrial buildings.

The tour will end at 4:30 when guests arrive back at the discovery center.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads