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 Kittanning Trail in Indiana County that Colonel John Armstrong led his expedition of 300 frontiersmen to overwhelm the Indians at Kittanning after first encamping at Cherry Tree (which celebrated their Bicentennial in August 2022) and stopping at the Indiana Spring which today can be visited on the IUP campus. Peace with the Native Americans was ultimately reached largely through the Purchase of 1776 in which the Great Nations ceded the land south of "Purchase Line" leaving nearly all of the county free for settlement. From that frontier wilderness in the eighteenth century, Indiana County had its initial growth as an agricultural county and prospered as a power center in the modern era. Indiana County thrives with an economic base combining education, agriculture, energy production and commerce into an outstanding quality of life for its nearly 90,000 residents. Indiana County is uniquely both the Christmas Tree Capital of the World. and a major national center for energy production. More than 14,000 students are studying a variety of disciplines at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania while in Smicksburg the Amish continue their traditional lifestyle. The County remains a recreation mecca with a major state park, county parks and eight state gamelands abounding in wildlife

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