The Armstrong County Tourist Bureau offers more than free tourist information, guidance, and welcoming personalities! From coffee mugs to board games, a variety of Armstrong County merchandise is now available. Represent Armstrong County with our selection of apparel or even send a gift to out of town friends and family.
Adult: Blue, Green, Pink
Youth: Orange, Yellow
Adult: Dark Blue, Dark Green, Pink
Adult: Dark Blue, Dark Green
A Memoir of Blose Hollow by Willian R. King
Grandad’s house still stands, but the front porch is gone. Uncle Rever, a long-time bachelor and school teacher who inherited the homestead, decided he would try married life in his retirement years. Shortly after his marriage, the porch disappeared. What a disappointment. The porch Grandad build extended across the entire front of the house, It was replaced by a tiny little thing with hardly enough room for two or three people. Gone was the place where I met so many new and different people, where I first heard Grandpa play the violin, bones and trumpet, where I marveled at how Ted Koozer could do so many things with only one arm, where I saw a human eye looking up at me front the porch deck that turned out to be Henry Gromley’s glass eye, where I heard about feats or strength in the coal min, woods, and on the farm, and where I heard about Mrs. Farster running through the corn field holding her dress as high as she could so the corn would grow tall that year. Everyone at the porch was part of the community and had hist story to tell. There aren’t enough front porches in America where friends congregate and grandchildren can get an education.
by Diane Acerni for the Armstrong County Historical Society
Kittanning, a main street presence in rural Armstrong County, takes its name from the Delaware people who inhabited western Pennsylvania. Considered the site of a pivotal conflict during the French and Indian War, Kittanning later emerged as a center for local government and commerce. Families and businesses prospered by tapping into the Allegheny River and the wealth of other natural resources around them. The Allegheny was a lifeline, carrying valuable goods and materials as it twisted along its hilly southern path to the Ohio River. Among Kittanning’s more notable exports were the visible print typewriter and the adventuress Nellie Bly. Kittanning showcases that while the faces and facades of this community have changed over the years, the town has stood the test of time, largely due to the resourcefulness of its residents and their determination and dedication to preserve their riverside home. Diane Acerni is a contributing writer and columnist for the Leader Times newspaper in Kittanning, as well as two regional sports publications. She is a member of the Armstrong County Historical Society and has partnered with them for this project. The Images of America series celebrate the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.
by Ronald Gdovic, Ph.D.
Formal industrial strength is easy to recognize in America’s large northeastern cities. The rise of big business evoked rapid and remarkable economic and social change a century ago. Countless rural towns and villages, bursting with new immigrants to America, sprouted around daring new business ventures like iron making and coal mining. Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, has many such places and, although the factories have been shuttered, its industrial heritage lives on. The founding industries may have disappeared but evidence of the past abounds in the heritage, culture and pride of the old workers and their descendants. Northeast of Pittsburgh by only forty miles, Armstrong County was poised to participate in the mosaic of the Industrial Revolution. The county is geographically bisected by one of the most important waterways of the Westward Movement – the Allegheny River and its tributaries. The river’s varied uses for nourishment, as a means of transport and as a source of power, drew many inhabitants to its banks over the centuries. The industrial era, hoverer, surely put the Allegheny through its paces, for better and for worse,as valley communities sought to secure their places in history. Wile agriculture remained important, Armstrong County’s vast natural deposits of coal, oil and natural gas fueled industrial giants from Chicago to New Jersey. Armstrong County clay products lined blast furnaces while fine river sand produced the highest quality plate glass in the world; its iron and steel works pioneered the use of natural gas while railroad track from its rolling mills laid the way for settlement far west of the Allegheny Mountain range. This volume explored the rick industrial heritage of Armstrong County and defined its role in an industrializing nation. It contains colorful historical photographs and text that paint a picture of the development of valley communities around transportation routes and the industries they connected. Through photographs, interviews and inquiry, we explore the early days of iron, steel and glass production, brickyards, refractories and the extractive industries which supported them. Ethnographic forays give us a glimpse of the lives of out immigrant ancestors – their challenges and joys during lives lived along the riverbanks, deep in the mines, and in the long shadows cast by great factories.
by William R. King
A pictorial essay of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania as seen through the eyes and camera lens of William R. King. LIMITED EDITION