The Allegheny Mountains constantly challenged early settlers to
use their creativity and skills to conquer what seemed an almost
insurmountable barrier. The founding fathers recognized potential
in the area both as a resort and as a thriving town that would attract
industry. Through hard work and innovation, an all-rail route over the
mountains was established, linking the area with important industrial
and trade centers. Many people came to Cresson to enjoy the health
and recreational benefits of its natural springs, and the area’s “pike”
afforded the first stage link between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
When the Pennsylvania Railroad established headquarters here, with a
roundhouse, machine shops, and branch lines, the area entered an era of
I n this remarkable volume, over 200 rare images are combines with
informative and insightful text. Early views of the famous Horseshoe
Curve, the Gallitzin Tunnels, and the Mountain House are delightfully
intertwined with photographs of homes, workplaces, churches, and the
people who made the area prosper and grow. Readers visit Loretto, a
town founded by “A Prince-Priest, Demetrius A. Gallitzin, Apostle of
the Alleghenies” and they are transported to Portage and Lilly, areas of
woodlands that gave rise to numerous sawmills.
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