Apollo, settled initially as the village of Warren, is located in a former coal-mining region and has a rich history. It was incorporated in 1848; in 1855, the Pennsylvania Canal was completed, strengthening the industrial community’s economy. Within the Roaring Run Recreation Area, a popular hiking and hiking spot a mile upriver, trail users can find stone remnants of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal.
The borough of Dayton, a rural community with a significant Amish presence, was incorporated in 1873. Located close to the Armstrong County/Indiana County line, Dayton is most recognized today as the home of the annual Dayton Fair. The Marshall Family played a pivotal role in forming this community — learn more about this family and the history of the community at the historic Thomas Hindman Marshall House.
Ford City, incorporated in 1889, was founded by Captain John B. Ford, who was also the founder of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (PPG). He built the community to accommodate a new PPG plant. At this time, it was one of the fastest-growing boroughs in the United States. It became a melting pot of European ethnic groups, which is now displayed and celebrated through various community events throughout the year.
Formerly called “Todd’s Town” after the founding family, Freeport was incorporated in 1833 as a free and open port where “no dockage fee will ever be charged to tie up a boat, raft, or barge.” The community was a port on the former Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, which led to significant growth and prosperity. Its location along the Allegheny River and Buffalo Creek and its proximity to multiple rail trails make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Originally established as “Kit-Han-Ne,” meaning “at the great river,” Kittanning is the county seat of Armstrong County. This area was also the site of a pivotal battle during the French and Indian War and later became an important trading center along the Allegheny River. By the early 20th century, the city had developed considerable industry. As of late, Kittanning’s small-town charm has secured it and its iconic Kittanning Citizens Bridge, a through truss bridge, a spot in several films and television series.
Leechburg, located along the Kiskiminetas River, was founded by its namesake, David L. Leech. Incorporated in 1850, it was a prosperous area during the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal construction. Early in the 20th century, it was the site of extensive steel sheet works, foundries, cement plants, and productive coal mines. Leechburg was also the first place where natural gas was used for metallurgy in the United States.
Named after Judge John Parker and incorporated in 1873, Parker is nationally known as the “Smallest City in the USA.” At the height of the oil boom, Parker had a population of 20,000. As of 2019, the population has dwindled to 648. Located along the Allegheny River near the mouth of the Clarion River, this city is a wonderful retreat for those seeking a peaceful escape from urban living.