A Gazetteer Of Old~Bedford


  In this section, the researcher will find lists of the hamlets, villages, corners, towns, boroughs and cities which can be found in the counties of Old~Bedford. Also to be found in this section will be lists of the streams, creeks, runs and rivers which flow through Old~ Bedford. The hills, mountains (and the gaps in those mountains), knobs, ridges and the hollows and valleys that comprise the terrain of the portion of the Appalachians that are encompassed within the boundaries of Old~ Bedford are also included in these lists. In short, each and every topographic feature, natural or manmade, are included in this compilation to assist the researcher in locating such features.

  The various lists are all organized in an alphabetical manner by the feature’s name, followed by a reference to the township and county in which the feature may be found.

  The names of the features which are given in standard format (i.e. non-bold, non-italic) are those which will be found on the most current U.S. Geologic Survey maps. These names refer to features which were in existence at the time that the maps were assembled.

  The names of the features which are given in italics are those which have been found on old maps and atlases. These names refer to features which may not be in existence at the present time. They might also refer to features for which only the name might have been changed at one time; the feature might still be in existence under a new name. In some cases, the older names might still be used by the local residents; they simply do not appear on the U.S. Geologic Survey maps. (Note: The names used by the U.S. Geologic Survey for its mapping project come from current usage rather than from established or traditional place naming. When the USGS prepares a topographic map, the field workers ask local residents what the various natural and manmade features are currently called. That explains why the mountain located in the southwest corner of Blair County, shaped like a knob, and called ‘Blue Knob’ on surveys and atlasses as early as 1774, currently appears on the USGS topographic maps under the name of ‘Ritchey’s Knob’. The local residents, being primarily descendants of a Ritchey who moved into the area in the early 1800s, gave that name to the USGS field workers when the map of that region was prepared in 1987. Whether that practice is sensible or not is debatable, but it is the way it is done, and the researcher needs to be aware that names of features may be different today from what they were when a document was written a hundred years ago.)

  The names of some towns have been retained subsequent to those towns’ annexation by a neighboring urban area, such as in the case of Juniata, which was annexed as part of the city of Altoona, Blair County in 1929. The names of those towns which were annexed by a larger urban area are given in italics also.

  In other cases, the names given in italics refer to a post office, which may or may not still be in existence. Post office stops were initially created as part of railroad stations and were located every few miles along the railroad lines. In fact, the great impetus to extend the railroads into every valley, in the late-1800s was spurred on by the desire to create a more efficient postal system. A name was assigned to the station which therefore became the name of the post office. As time went on, merchants discovered that it was beneficial for them to locate their businesses in close proximity to the railroad station / post office because of the traffic of people to receive their mail. It wasn’t long before some families purchased tracts of land near the railroad station / post office in order to be closer to the merchants who had earlier located there. Eventually, a little village began to grow around the railroad station / post office. By association, the name of the railroad station / post office stop was given to the village that had sprung up around the railroad station. In some cases the railroad station / post office / village retained the word station in its name, such as is the case of the village of Canan Station in Blair County’s Allegheny Township. It should be noted that many of the atlasses of the late-1800s and early-1900s refer to these railroad station / post office / villages with the addition of the words Post Office or their initial letters on the end, such as Henrietta P.O. After the post offices were removed from these railroad station villages, and consolidated into larger regional post offices, the words and/or initial letters were removed from the villages’ names.

  A previously used, but currently defunct, name of a town is included at the end of the entry for that town and enclosed in parentheses ( ). An example would be that of Poplar Run in Freedom Township, Blair County. The town by that name later was called Puzzletown and it is known by that name today. The entry for Puzzletown, therefore includes Poplar Run as an end note.

  In some instances, a place name used in historical or genealogical sources will refer to a natural feature rather than to a town. An example of this would be Scotch Valley in Blair County. No town, or post office, by that name is registered with the U.S. Geologic Survey, but it is used frequently to describe the location of residence of many families of the Frankstown Township valley.

  The names of the natural features of hills, valleys and waterways are given, followed by all of the various townships/ counties in which they lie or for which they form boundaries.


   Hamlets, Villages, Corners, Towns, Boroughs & Cities Of Old~Bedford
   Streams, Creeks, Runs, Branches, Rivers & Lakes Of Old~Bedford
   Hills, Mountains, Gaps, Knobs, Ridges, Hollows, Valleys, Corners & Caves Of Old~Bedford