County Histories ~
The Most Recent Additions
To The Genre Of Historical Literature

 

  Ron Morgan and Jon Baughman wrote a book about the Broad Top, Robertsdale, Saxton and Hopewell region in 1977. The book was titled, Tales Of The Broad Top, and consisted of 73 pages.

  Johnstown Flood was the title of a book written by Galen Cruse, Jr in 1977. The 32-page book presented photographs and narrative regarding the flooding that took place on 19 July, 1977.

  Albert M. Rung, a member of the Huntingdon County Historical Society, wrote articles about the history and peoples of the Huntingdon County region, which were published in the Huntingdon PA Daily News newspaper between 1946 and 1957. In 1977 a number of those articles, from the period between 1946 and 1951, were published in a 476-page book, Rung’s Chronicles Of Pennsylvania History. In 1984 a second volume, covering the period between 1951 and 1957, was published.

  A history of the towns of Berlin and New Baltimore and the townships of Brothers Valley, Allegheny, Northampton and Hope was presented in a 1977, 304-page book, The Berlin Area – Berlin, Pennsylvania 1777-1977.

  In 1979 Jon Baughman and Ron Morgan published their book, Tales Of The Broad Top, Volume II.

  The town of Claysburg, in Blair County, celebrated its 175th Anniversary in 1979. To commemorate the occasion, the Anniversary Committee published a 244-page book on the order of other communities’ anniversary books. Along with a brief history of the region, pages and portions of pages were sold to families and companies who wrote their own histories.

  In 1979 a book, written by James Hostetler about the Indians who inhabited this region, was published. The book, Bedford County Indians consisted of fifty pages.

  Allegheny Portage Railroad Natl Hist Site &Johnstown Flood Na Mon, a 152-page book published in 1980 by the National Park Service provided historical information about the two sites in Cambria County.

  A book titled, ‘Mongst The Hills Of Somerset was published in 1980. The 479-page book was produced on the order of the community anniversary volumes in which a history of the region was written by the members of the Historial and Genealogical Society of Somerset County. The remainder of the book was then devoted to stories about either families or businesses which were supplied by the families who wrote them.

  Duncansville, Blair County celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 1981. For the event, the booklet, Duncansville, PA 1831-1981, Sesquicentennial Celebration was produced. Despite being primarily devoted to advertisements, the history of the borough is included. The book was 72 pages in length.

  Vaughn E. Whisker and James B. Whisker wrote a book, The Bedford County Gunsmiths And Gunmakers. This 43-page book was published in 1981. Along with information on the art of gunmaking, the book gave brief historical sketches of gunmakers from Bedford County.

  In 1981 the Hollidaysburg Area Women's Club produced an 80-page book, Heritage Of Hollidaysburg. The book was written in the form of a pictorial history with a combination of sketches, reminiscences and anecdotes about the borough's history.

  The Heart Of The Cove 1832-1982 was a collection of contributed articles, compiled and published by Dona K. Kensinger and Lonna B. Beard. The book is divided into sections by decades (e.g. 1810s, 1820s, etc.) and covered the region of Morrisons Cove in Blair County.

  Robert L. Emerson, in 1982, published a 40-page book on the history of Fort Roberdeau in Sinking Valley, Tyrone Township, Blair County. The book was titled, Fort Roberdeau: The Garrison And Military Life 1778-1780.

  Thomas C. Imler wrote a genealogy of the families residing in the Dutch Corner region of Bedford County. Although not specifically a history book, the 394-page, They Planted A Tree In The Wilderness provides various sketches about historic events from the region. The book was published in 1983.

  In 1983 James B. Whisker and his father, Vaughn E. Whisker published a 28-page book, Early Occupations Of Bedford County, Pennsylvania People. Deriving information from tax assessment returns, the book covered the period of the early 1800s.

  Allegheny Passage - An Illustrated History Of Blair County, was published in 1984. That volume was written by Robert L. Emerson, and was profusely illustrated with many fine vintage photographs and illustrations chosen from the collections in the region by Barbara A. Hoenstine. As the title implies, the primary purpose of the book must have been to showcase the pictures because the historical information that is presented is somewhat general in nature and not very detailed.

  The book, The Great Circus Train Wreck Of 1893, was published in 1984 by Fred E. Long. The book chronicled the train wreck which took place near the borough of Tyrone and caused the near complete destruction of the Walter L. Main Circus.

  In 1984 Karl Berger published his book, Johnstown - The Story Of A Unique Valley.

  Beginning in the year 1985, and continuing to the present, the Closson Press has published a series of books by James B. Whisker (and one volume by K.T.H. McFarland) titled Bedford County Pennsylvania Archives. These books range from 130 to 225 pages each. Seven volumes have thus far been published. The books are a hodge-podge of information from public, church and private records from Bedford County. In an effort to get the books published, Mr. Whisker has not seen the need to make the books appearance neat and orderly. Some of the information is simply photocopied from the original source; some of it is transcribed and typed. It is good that Mr. Whisker has made the information available for people who might want to use such materials and cannot travel to the Bedford County Court House or the Pioneer Historical Society of Bedford County to access the original source material. But the haphazard appearance of the books make it apparent that Mr. Whisker's primary motivation was not to provide the information but rather to make a quick buck by simply taking advantage of material that was already there for anyone's use. He provided no amount of original writing, nor did he even take the time to arrange the material in any sensible or coherent fashion.

  In 1985 the book, Local History was written by Milton V. Burgess. The Morrisons Cove Herald published the 66-page book, which was a compilation of various articles Mr. Burgess had written for the newspaper over a period of fifty-nine years. The subjects dealt with historical sites and events primarily from the Morrisons Cove region of Bedford County and Blair County.

  James B. Whisker published a book in 1985 titled, Bedford County (Pennsylvania) In The American Revolution. The 219-page book included lists of soldiers serving from Bedford County during the Revolutionary War, lists of soldiers buried in Bedford County after the War and other documents associated with Bedford County during the War. This book was the motivation for Larry D. Smith to produce his book, Mother Bedford And The American Revolutionary War in an effort to correct the large number of mistakes found to exist in this one. As is found in his other books, Mr. Whisker appears to not be as much concerned with providing the reader with accurate information, as he is with getting a book published to bring money in.

  James B. Whisker published a book in 1985 titled, Gunsmiths Of Huntingdon County. This 9-page book consisted of biographical sketches of the various residents of the county who were gunsmiths by trade.

  Also in 1985, the book, Vignettes Of Morrisons Cove, written by Lucille Bonebrake Bice, was published. The articles that make up this book were originally written for and published by Morrisons Cove Herald. Like Mr. Burgess’ book, Local History, this book was devoted to stories about people and events from the Morrisons Cove region of Bedford County and Blair County.

  Beginning in 1975 the Pioneer Historical Society of Bedford County published a newsletter for its members. In 1986, in honor of its tenth anniversary, the Society combined the previous issues together into a 367-page book, titled, The Pioneer Historical Society Of Bedford County 1975-1986.

  Ben F. Van Horn was respected school teacher from Bedford County. In 1986 he published a 388-page book, Bible, Axe And Plow, in which he provided sketches and anecdotes about the early settlers and history of the region of Bedford County encompassed by Hopewell, Bloomfield, Woodbury and South Woodbury Townships.

  The Blair Foundation for Historic Hollidaysburg published a 44-page book in 1986 titled, Historic Hollidaysburg Walking Tour. The book presented photographs of many of the buildings found in the borough along with descriptions of their place in the history of the borough.

  The Hollidaysburg Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 Committee published a book in 1986 in honor of their celebration. The book, At ‘Home’ In Hollidaysburg was 128 pages in length and included information on the early history of the borough along with a "Family Directory" that contained genealogical and other data on the residents of the town.

  The Centennial Committee of Roaring Spring, Blair County produced the book, Roaring Spring Centennial History Book 1887-1987. The book included a brief history of the borough and surrounding region by local school teacher, Joseph Conlon. The majority of the book was made up of pages, or portions of pages, purchased by families and businesses in which they presented their own histories. A souvenir program booklet, titled, Roaring Spring 100th Anniversary 1887-1987 was also produced which included the program of events for the celebration. The book is primarily made up of advertising material, but it also includes a chronological history of the borough. The book also includes a fictional story about a family of Indians of the region, which the writer, Cloyd M. Fluke, claimed had been found among his family's papers some sixty years previous.

  Lakemont Memories Of The Park And Community was published in 1987 by the Historical Committee of the Lakemont United Methodist Church. The 123-page book offers a nostalgic view of the park’s history through text and vintage photographs.

  The borough of Bellwood, Blair County celebrated its Centennial in 1988. A book, Borough Of Bellwood, PA 1888-1988 was produced in the style of the other anniversary books with pages purchased by families and businesses in which they presented their own histories.

  A fictional history book was published by D.J. Byrne in 1989. Valley Of The Pines, a 266-page book tells the story of life in the region of Chest Springs and Ashville, Cambria County from the time of the Vikings on to about the 1940s.

  A History Of Lakemont Part 1894-1989 was published by the Lakemont Park Historical Museum. The 127-page book, publshed in 1990, was filled with photographs of the park through the years.

  Mother Cumberland – Tracing Your Ancestors In South-Central Pennsylvania is the title of a 72-page book detailing the genealogy of the counties that descended from Cumberland County. Raymond M. Bell wrote the text and Paul J. Connor provided maps for the book. Unique charts are included showing the township formation for various of the counties which originally were part of Cumberland County (including Bedford, Blair, Fulton and Huntingdon).

  The book, Williamsburg, Pa 1790-1990 was published by the Williamsburg Bicentennial Committee. It was created in the style of the typical community book in which a brief history of the region is given and then pages, or portions of pages, are sold to families and businesses, who present their own histories.

  The America's Industrial Heritage Project, in 1990, published the results of a survey it conducted, titled, Railroad City: Four Historic Neighborhoods In Altoona, Pennsylvania. The survey involved describing the various buildings, commercial and residential that were to be found in four sections of Altoona, Blair County: the First Ward, Fourth Ward, Llyswen and the commercial center of the city. The resulting 502-page book is very comprehensive in its coverage.

  The America’s Industrial Heritage Project, in 1990, also published the results of another survey, Blair County And Cambria County, Pennsylvania – An Inventory Of Historic Engineering And Industrial Sites. The 355-page book included information on the early iron works, lime kilns, railroads, grist mills, etc.

  In 1992, the Fulton County Historical Society published a book by John H. Nelson titled, Frontier Forts Of Fulton County, Pennsylvania. The 40-page book detailed the history of the Indian attacks on the early settlers of this portion of Bedford County and the subsequent construction of fortified structures by the early Euro-American settlers.

  Horseshoe Heritage – The Story Of A Great Railroad Landmark was published by Dan Cupper in 1992. The book is 57 pages in length and includes a history of the Horseshoe Curve in Blair County along with many maps and photographs.

  The Juniata Centennial Committee published their book, Juniata Centennial Celebration 1893-1993. Ray Patterson contributed the historical research for the book which detailed the village of Juniata, (annexed to Altoona in 1929).

  1993 was the 200th anniversary of Allegheny Township, Blair County. The community produced a small booklet to commemorate the anniversary celebration. Rather than present a history of the township, the historical information included in the booklet was about the prehistory of the region and the Indian tribes that may have lived there. A history of the fire and police departments was also included.

  A 56-page book, Horseshoe Heritage, was written by Dan Cupper and published in 1993. The book's subject is the Horseshoe Curve located in Blair County. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs from the railroad curve's history.

  As part of the America's Industrial Heritage Project, a 212-page book was produced by Kim E. Wallace in 1993. The book, Brickyard Towns - A History Of Refractories Industry Communities In South-Central Pennsylvania, included histories of the various towns that were involved in the refractory industry throughout all six counties that make up Old~Bedford County along with Indiana, Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.

  In 1993 the Rosenbaum Group, Inc., prepared a 48-page book for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Commission. The book, Allegheny Chronicles, consists of a chronology of events from the history of Pennsylvania from the year 1600 to 1993. Some of the events occurred in Old~Bedford County.

  Clair A. Becker published a 60-page book in 1994 titled, Bedford County, Pennsylvania In The Civil War (1861-1865). The book detailed the role of Bedford County residents in the service along with a history of the Underground Railroad in Bedford County.

  The (Shoppers) Guide published, in 1995, a book titled Bedford County Pictorial History. This 96-page book is just what its title implies: a picture book, and as such it is very nice. But the book suffers from the same problem that many history books suffer from - the compilers, being nostalgic, included only pictures from the turn of the century and up into the early 1900s. There are only a few pictures of the county's history after the 1920s, which would lead one to assume that the county experienced no important events since that time.

  The Flood Of '96 was published by the Morrisons Cover Herald in 1996. The 32-page book detailed in photographs and text the devastation caused throughout southern Blair County and northern Bedford County by the January 19/20, 1996 flood.