A Timeline of Early Transportation History in Huntingdon County

1748                   Indian trader and interpreter, Conrad Weiser, records traveling through the area on an Indian trail that crossed from the southeast part of present Huntingdon County, to Standing Stone (now Huntingdon), and to Frankstown, following the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River


1754                   Trader John Harris records the distances between points on the same path taken by Weiser


1771                   The Juniata River and two of its branches as far upstream as Bedford (on the Raystown Branch) and Frankstown (on the Frankstown Branch) declared navigable


1772                   First road petition filed in Bedford County for a road in present Huntingdon County (Bedford County was formed in 1771.)


1775                   Rev. Philip Fithian, a Presbyterian minister, keeps a journal of his travels on horseback through Central Pennsylvania


1787                   Pennsylvania legislature authorizes laying out a road over the Allegheny Front, from the highest navigable point on the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata to the highest navigable point on the Conemaugh River


1791                   Funds appropriated by the PA legislature for improving the larger rivers of the state, including £2320 for the Juniata River from its mouth to Water Street and Frankstown (the Frankstown Branch)


1791                   Israel Cryder, proprietor of a grist mill 2 miles northwest of Huntingdon, takes an ark laden with 104 barrels of flour over the Conewago Falls (in the Susquehanna River) to Baltimore and is rewarded by merchants there with a premium of $1.00 per barrel over the current price


1794                   The Little Juniata declared navigable to the head of Logan’s Narrows (present day Tyrone)


1807                   Commissioners appointed for making a turnpike road from Harrisburg through Lewistown and Huntingdon to Pittsburgh


1810                   The Huntingdon, Cambria and Indiana turnpike road authorized (77 miles from Huntingdon to Blairsville)


1825                   Construction of the Pennsylvania Canal authorized by the PA legislature. Juniata route chosen over competing proposals; Frankstown Branch of the Juniata to be followed in Huntingdon County. First sections constructed at both ends — from the mouth of the Swatara (Dauphin County) to the mouth of the Juniata (Perry County) and from Pittsburgh to the mouth of the Kiskiminitas (Indiana County).


1831                   Eastern portion of the canal open as far west as Huntingdon


1832                   Canal open to Hollidaysburg


1834                   Entire length of canal open, using Portage railroad over the Allegheny Front


1844                   Turnpike company authorized from Old Fort (Centre County) to Spruce Creek


1846                   Spruce Creek to Water Street turnpike company organized


1846                   Pennsylvania Railroad Company incorporated; chooses route following the Little Juniata


1849                   Turnpike from Spruce Creek to Phillipsburg (Centre County)


1850                   Railroad complete to Huntingdon


1852                   Railroad open from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh using the Portage Railroad to cross the Allegheny Front


1854                   Mountain division of the railroad complete; Portage inclines no longer used.