Freedom Township is located in Blair County. It was formed out of Juniata Township in the year 1857. Its name is believed to be derived from the abolitionist views of its citizens in the period of its formation (just preceeding the American Civil War). Many of the families residing in this township were sympathetic to the abolitionist movement and participated in the underground railroad.
There were approximately 208 taxpayers residing in Freedom Township when it was formed in the year 1857. (The first assessment was taken in 1859.) In the year 1998 there were 1,590 taxables residing in Freedom Township.*
There currently are seven churches in Freedom Township. They include the United Methodist Church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church and the East Freedom Chapel in East Freedom; the Puzzletown Road Bible Church to the east of Puzzletown; the Leamersville Church of the Brethren and the Leamersville Grace Brethren Church at Leamersville; and the Smith Corner Independent Mennonite Church at Smith Corner.
The Freedom Township Consolidated School provides elementary school education for grades kindergarten through five. Freedom Township is part of the Spring Cove School System. Freedom Township students in grades six through nine attend the Spring Cove Middle School at Roaring Spring. Grades ten through twelve attend the Central High School at Martinsburg.
Freedom Township is served by the Freedom Township Volunteer Fire Company, which was organized in 1955. Between 1973 and 1997 the township’s security was provided by the Freedom-Greenfield Police force. In 1997 the combined force was separated and the Freedom Township Police Department was established.
Click on this button to go to the Freedom Township Police Department's website
Historical points of interest in Freedom Township include the Lingenfelter Hotel, the 1793 Dodson homestead; and the sites of the Martha Forge and Furnace, the Jacob Schmitt homestead, the McCormick saddlery shop/Kephart Hotel and the Wineland Mill.
* NOTE: In each of these five township sections, the number of "taxables" for 1998 refers to real estate taxables as compared to per capita taxables (which are also recorded). The tax assessment returns from the 1700s and 1800s tended to refer only to real estate taxables. Actual counts of individuals were obtained only via the U.S. Census. In order to make as accurate a comparison (betwen the present-day situation and that of the time period in which the townships were formed) as possible, it was decided to state only the real estate taxables. It should be noted that in both, the early returns and the present-day returns, the real estate taxables include not only individual households but also businesses.
Greenfield Township is located in Blair County. It was formed in 1798 out of Woodberry Township. The entry that was made in the ledger of the Bedford County Court of Quarter Sessions for the formation of this new township did not give any explanation for the choice of the name. Apparently it just sounded nice to the men who were instrumental in getting the township created.
The first tax assessment for the new township was taken for the year 1799. As is the case with many other counties/ townships in the 1700s and early 1800s, more than one return was filed in the county court house. In the case of Greenfield Township, one return showed 62 taxpaying residents; another return listed 64 taxpayers. In 1998 there were 2,806 taxables residing in the township.
There are eleven churches in Greenfield Township at the present time. They include: the Union Church at Sproul; the Grace United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, St. Anne's Catholic Church, the Claysburg Bible Church, the Christ Lutheran Church and the Claysburg Church of the Brethren in Claysburg; the Claysburg Church of God in Friesville; the Lower Claar Church of the Brethren at Klahr; the Mt. Hope United Church of Christ at Blue Knob; and the Emmanuel Baptist Church located halfway between Friesville and Fredericksburg.
The educational needs of Greenfield Township are met by the Claysburg-Kimmel School District. The schools of both Greenfield Township and Kimmel Township were merged in 1950. Grades kindergarten through six attend the F.D. Roosevelt Elementary School in Friesville; higher grades attend the Claysburg High School.
The service organizations in Greenfield Township include the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company and the Greenfield Township Police force. As noted above, the Greenfield Township Police force had originally been formed to provide security for both Freedom and Greenfield Townships until recently.
Historical points of interest in Greenfield Township include the John Ulrich Zeth log house; the log house of Jacob Dibert (whose dream of the location of the lost Cox children led to their discovery); the 1824 stone homestead of Jacob Lingenfelter; Musselmans Grove; and the sites of the Sarah Furnace and the Conrad Ling Inn.
Juniata Township is located in Blair County. Juniata Township was formed out of Greenfield Township in the year 1847, just one year after the erection of Blair County out of Huntingdon and Bedford Counties. The name, like many other place names throughout this region, was derived from the Indian name for the river that drained the region: Choniata.
In the year 1849, the first year after the formation of the township in which a tax assessment was taken for Juniata, there were 248 taxpaying residents. That number, of course, included taxpayers who resided in the region that would become Freedom Township. There were 681 taxables residing in Juniata Township in 1998.
There are three churches at this time in Juniata Township. They include: the Mt. Sinai Chapel and the Mt. Moriah United Methodist Church at Blue Knob; and the Dry Run Gospel Tabernacle along the Valley Forge Road to the north of the Dry Run.
Juniata Township students who reside in the Puzzletown area attend the Spring Cove School District schools (see Freedom Township) while students who reside elsewhere in the township attend the Hollidaysburg Area School District schools.
The Blue Knob Volunteer Fire Company serves Juniata Township and the Blue Knob region. The close proximity of the Blue Knob Ski Resort in nearby Pavia Township makes the company’s rescue truck and ambulance especially necessary.
Historical points of interest in Juniata Township include the Gallitzin Spring,; the Skew Arch Bridge; and the sites of the Allegheny Forge and the Fountain Inn of the Alleghenies.
Kimmel Township is located in Bedford County. Kimmel Township was formed in the year 1889 out of the northern half of King Township and a small portion of Union (now Pavia) Township.
In 1890, the taxpaying residents of Kimmel Township numbered 186. In 1998 there were 993 taxables in Kimmel Township. The township is largely agricultural and residential.
There are six churches in Kimmel Township at the present time. They include: the Greenfield United Church of Christ at the northern end of the Imler Valley; the United Methodist Church, the Queen Gospel Hall and the Bible Truth Hall at Queen; the Upper Claar Church of the Brethren at Klahr; and Saint Mark's United Church of Christ at King.
Pavia Township is located in Bedford County. She began her existence as Union Township and only recently (in 1995) was renamed Pavia Township. Union Township was formed in the year 1834 out of the southern third of Greenfield Township. A very small wedge of the northeast corner of St. Clair Township was attached to the new township at that time.
In 1834 there were 184 taxpaying residents in Union Township (which included the present-day townships of Kimmel, King and Lincoln). There were 338 taxables in Pavia Township in 1998.
There is only one church currently in use in Pavia Township. It is the Mt. Zion United Church of Christ.
The majority of the landscape of Pavia Township is utilized either as State Game Lands or the Blue Knob State Park. The Blue Knob Four Seasons Resort occupies the summit and eastern slope of Blue Knob.
Follow this link to the Blue Knob Four Seasons Resort website
Historical points of interest in Pavia Township include the site where the "Lost Children of the Alleghenies" were found along a tributary of Bobs Creek.