Local Towns & History

In 1727, Indiana County, PA’s recorded history began when the French trader James LeTort set up a trading post for the Indians near the town now known as Shelocta. In 1805, Indiana became the county seat when George Clymer
(a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution) donated 250 acres of land.

Now, Indiana County has 24 sites on the National Register of Historic Places — historical towns, historical societies, historic landmarks and covered bridges gives you a formula for a region rich in history. To top it off, visitors can mix other activities, like bike riding or hiking, with a history lesson. By hiking or biking on the Ghost Town Trail and following the trail of towns gone by, one will eventually encounter the Buena Vista and Eliza Furnaces. These furnaces operated during the 1800’s producing iron ore and contributed to shaping the region.

John G. Schmick Heritage Center

Located in the heart of the Amish community of Smicksburg this museum is situated in a converted house which contains a wealth of historic memorabilia from the surrounding area. *****We will be closed from December 15th through the middle of…

Rebecca B. Hadden Stone House Museum/Saltsburg Area Historical Society

The Saltsburg Area Historical Society acquired this old stone house, built in 1830, and established it as a well-documented museum of local history, including period furnishings, artifacts, and historical records of the surrounding region. Expertly developed displays tell the story…

Historical Society of the Blairsville Area (HSBA)

Operated under the auspices of the Historical Society of the Blairsville Area (HSBA), the Museum was established in 1986 through the efforts of many individuals interested in preserving and promoting local heritage. Because of the Society's efforts, Blairsville has become…

Historical & Genealogical Society of Indiana County

Through a broad range of activities, The Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County seeks to promote a greater appreciation of Indiana County's rich heritage and a better understanding of life today. We invite you to visit the Indiana County…

Strongstown Homecoming & Historical Society

The Strongstown Historical Society (SHS) owns and is operated from a one-room schoolhouse in the heart of Strongstown. The SHS is working toward restoring the schoolhouse and opening it as a museum. An attached hall is available for rent from…

Homer-Center Historical Society

The Homer-Center Historical Society displays heritage artifacts of the Homer City area in a refurbished caboose. Stroll through the museum, examining interesting artifacts to learn more about the the history of the Homer-Center area. Hours are seasonal.

The Eliza Iron Furnace

The Eliza Furnace is a National Register site regarded as one of Pennsylvania's best preserved iron furnaces. Dating from 1846 the Eliza Furnace is one of only a few iron furnaces remaining in the United States which still retains its…

A Brief History of Indiana County

Indians and traders were the initial visitors to Indiana County, followed by the native Americans who traveled along War and Game paths such as the North-South Catabwa Path and the traders traversing the East-West Kittanning Trail. It was along the…

Tunnelview Historic Site

This 16 acre site, adjacent to the Conemaugh Dam in southwestern Indiana County, contains significant remnants of transportation history. The Tunnelview tale begins with the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. A 900' portion of canal visible at the site was part of…

Trusal Covered Bridge

The oldest of Indiana County's covered bridges is the Trusal Bridge, built in 1870 (also known as Dice's Bridge). At 41 feet long, the Trusal Bridge is the shortest of Indiana County's covered bridges. It was named after Robert Trusal,…

Kintersburg Covered Bridge

Kintersburg Bridge was built in 1877 and named for Isaac Kinter, a local shopkeeper. J.S. Fleming erected the bridge over Crooked Creek at a cost of $893. The Kintersburg Bridge is the only Howe truss bridge in Indiana County and…

Harmon Covered Bridge

Harmon Bridge, which was built in 1910 at a cost of $525, is 45 feet long and was named after Civil War veteran J.S. Harmon. Built by John R. Carnahan, Harmon Bridge is constructed with town lattice trusses. It is…

Thomas Covered Bridge

The Thomas Bridge was built in 1879 at a cost of $545 and completely reconstructed in 1998 at a cost of slightly more than $1 million dollars. Amos Thomas built the original bridge, which is the longest of the Indiana…

Covered Bridge Driving Tour

Indiana County is home to four covered bridges constructed in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The four bridges: Harmon, Trusal, Kintersburg and Thomas, are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Looking for a fun excursion?  Take…