Main Births etc
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Official seal of Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Nickname(s): Flood City
Location of Cambria County in Pennsylvania
Location of Johnstown in Cambria County
Coordinates: 40°19′22″N 78°55′15″W / 40.32278, -78.92083Coordinates: 40°19′22″N 78°55′15″W / 40.32278, -78.92083
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Cambria County
Founded 1770
Incorporated (borough) 1800
Incorporated (city) December 18, 1889
 • Mayor Tom Trigona
 • City 6.1 sq mi (15.7 km2)
 • Land 5.8 sq mi (15.1 km2)
 • Water 3.3 sq mi (8.6 km2)
Elevation 1,142 ft (348 m)
Population (2013)
 • City 20,402
 • Urban 69,014 (400th)
 • Metro 140,499 (288th)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 814
School District: Greater Johnstown School District

Johnstown is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania,[1] 41 miles (66 km) west-southwest of Altoona, Pennsylvania and 70 miles (110 km) east of Pittsburgh. The population was 20,978 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Cambria County.[2]


The Carnegie Library, now the Johnstown Flood Museum

Johnstown, settled in 1770, is perhaps most famous for its three major floods. The "Great Flood" of May 31, 1889 occurred after the South Fork Dam collapsed 14.1 miles (22.7 km) upstream from the city during heavy rains. At least 2,209 people died as a result of the flood and subsequent fire that raged through the debris. Other major floods occurred in 1936 and 1977. Despite a pledge by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to make the city flood free, and subsequent work to do so, another major flood occurred in 1977. The 1977 flood - in what was to have been a "flood free" city - may have contributed to Johnstown's subsequent population decline and inability to attract new residents and businesses.

The city is home to five national historic districts: the Downtown Johnstown Historic District, Cambria City Historic District, Minersville Historic District, Moxham Historic District, and Old Conemaugh Borough Historic District. Individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places are the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, Cambria Iron Company, Cambria Public Library Building, Bridge in Johnstown City, Nathan's Department Store, and Johnstown Inclined Railway.[3]


This building was impaled on a tree by the raging waters of the 1889 Johnstown flood.

Johnstown was formally organized as a town in 1800 by the Swiss German immigrant Joseph Johns (born Josef Schantz). The settlement was initially known as Schantzstadt, but was soon anglicized to Johnstown. From 1834 to 1854, the city was a port and key transfer point along the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal. Johnstown was at the head of the canal's western branch, with canal boats having been transported over the mountains via the Allegheny Portage Railroad and refloated here, to continue the trip by water to Pittsburgh and the Ohio Valley. Perhaps the most famous passenger who traveled via the canal to visit Johnstown briefly was Charles Dickens in 1842. By 1854, canal transport became redundant with the completion of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which now spanned the state. With the coming of the railroads, the city’s growth improved. Johnstown became a stop on the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad and was connected with the Baltimore & Ohio. The railroads provided large-scale development of the region’s mineral wealth.

Iron, coal, and steel quickly became central to the town of Johnstown. By 1860, the Cambria Iron Company of Johnstown was the leading steel producer in the United States, outproducing steel giants Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Through the second half of the 19th century, Johnstown made much of the nation's barbed wire. Johnstown prospered from skyrocketing demand in the western United States for barbed wire. Twenty years after its founding, the Cambria Works was a huge enterprise sprawling over 60 acres (240,000 m2) in Johnstown and employing 7,000. It owned 40,000 acres (160 km2) of valuable mineral lands in a region with a ready supply of iron, coal and limestone.

Floods were almost a yearly event in the valley during the 1880s. On the afternoon of May 30, 1889, following a quiet Memorial Day ceremony and a parade, it began raining in the valley. The next day water filled the streets and rumors began stating that a dam holding an artificial lake in the mountains to the northeast might give way. It did and an estimated 20 million tons of water began spilling into the winding gorge that led to Johnstown some 14 miles (23 km) away. The destruction in Johnstown occurred in only about 10 minutes. What had been a thriving steel town with homes, churches, saloons, a library, a railroad station, electric street lights, a roller rink, and two opera houses was buried under mud and debris. Out of a population of approximately 30,000 at the time, at least 2,209 people are known to have perished in the disaster. An infamous site of a major fire during the flood was the old stone Pennsylvania Railroad bridge located where the Stonycreek and Little Conemaugh Rivers form the Conemaugh River. The bridge still stands today.[4]

The Johnstown Flood established the American Red Cross as the pre-eminent emergency relief organization in the United States. Founder Clara Barton, then 67, came to Johnstown with 50 doctors and nurses and set up tent hospitals as well as temporary "hotels" for the homeless, and stayed on for five months to coordinate relief efforts.[5]

The mills were back in operation within a month. The Cambria Works grew, and Johnstown became more prosperous than ever. The disaster had not destroyed the community but strengthened it. Later generations would draw on lessons learned in 1889.

20th century[]

View of the city of Johnstown from atop the Inclined Plane.

In the early 20th century, the population reached 75,000 people. The city's first commercial radio station, WJAC, began broadcasts in 1925. The downtown boasted at least five major department stores, including Glosser Brothers, which in the 1950s gave birth to the Gee Bee chain of department stores. However, the St Patrick's Day 1936 Flood combined with the gnawing effects of the Great Depression left Johnstown struggling again, but only temporarily. Johnstown’s citizens mobilized to achieve a permanent solution to the flooding problem and wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt pleading for Federal aid. Starting in August 1938, continuing for the next five years, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers gouged widened, deepened, and realigned 9.2 miles (14.8 km) of channel in the city, and encased the river banks in concrete and reinforced steel. In a campaign organized by the Chamber of Commerce, thousands of Johnstown’s citizens wrote to friends and relatives across the country hoping to bring new business to the town. Professional hockey would find a home in Johnstown, starting in 1941 with the Johnstown Blue Birds for one season and returning in 1950 with the Johnstown Jets. The Jets later hosted an exhibition game against Maurice Richard and the Montreal Canadiens on November 20, 1951. The memory of floods was virtually purged from the community’s consciousness. Newcomers to the town heard little about the tragic past. Johnstown proclaimed itself "flood-free," a feeling reinforced when Johnstown was virtually the only riverside city in Pennsylvania not to flood during Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

The immediate post-WWII years mark Johnstown's peak as a steel maker and fabricator. At its peak, steel provided Johnstowners with more than 13,000 full-time, well-paying jobs. However, increased domestic and foreign competition, coupled with Johnstown's relative distance from its primary iron ore source in the western Great Lakes, led to a steady decline in profitability. New capital investment waned. Johnstown's mountainous terrain, and the resulting poor layout for the mills' physical plant strung along 11 miles (18 km) of river bottom lands, compounded the problem.

New regulations ordered by the EPA in the 1970s also hit Johnstown with its aging plant especially hard. A community with a lesser tradition might have reacted with despair. Instead, with encouragement from the steel company, the city fathers organized an association called Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) and, within a year, raised $3 million for industrial development in the area. Bethlehem Steel, which was the major contributor to the fund, committed itself to bringing new steelmaking technologies to Johnstown because they were impressed by the city’s own efforts to diversify.

Extensive damage from the 1977 flood was heavy and there was talk of the company pulling out. Again, the city won a reprieve from the company’s top management, which had always regarded the Johnstown works with special affection because of its history and reputation. As the increasing amount of federal environmental regulations became more difficult to comply with and the issues with the aging manufacturing facilities, in 1982, steel companies began closing down plants all over the country, it looked as if Johnstown had exhausted its appeals. By the early 1990s, Johnstown abandoned most of its steel production, although some limited fabrication work continues.


Downtown Johnstown from street view.

In 2003, U.S. Census data showed that Johnstown was the least likely city in the United States to attract newcomers; however, what were previously relatively weak opportunities provided by the local manufacturing and service economies have more recently begun to burgeon, attracting outsiders. Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica, a Spanish wind energy company, opened its first U.S. wind turbine blade manufacturing facility near here in 2006. Several state-of-the-art operational wind turbines are sited on Babcock Ridge, the "eastern continental divide," along the eastern edge of Cambria and Somerset Counties. Lockheed Martin relocated a facility from Greenville, SC to Johnstown in 2008.

Companies like Concurrent Technologies Corporation, DRS Laurel Technologies, ITSI Biosciences, Kongsberg Defense and more throughout the region are embracing cutting edge technology and scientific progress to create products that make life easier, better and greener. Recent construction in the surrounding region, the downtown, and adjacent Kernville neighborhood—including a new 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) Regional Technology Complex that will house a division of Northrop Grumman, among other tenants—signal the increasing dependence of Johnstown's economy on the U.S. government's defense budget. The high-tech defense industry is now the main non-health-care staple of the Johnstown economy, with the region pulling in well over $100M annually in Federal government contracts, punctuated by one of the premier defense trade shows in the U.S., the annual Showcase For Commerce.

Johnstown remains a regional medical, educational, cultural, and communications center. As in many other locales, health care provides a significant percentage of the employment opportunities in the city. The region is located right in the middle of the “Health Belt”, an area stretching from the Midwest to New England and down the East Coast that has had massive growth in the health care industry. Incredible progress is being made at Memorial Medical Center and Windber Medical Center, especially at the Laurel Highlands Neuro-Rehabilitation Center and the John P. Murtha Neuroscience and Pain Institute, with its advances in treating wounded veterans, and the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center’s focus on early diagnosis and advanced treatment.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Pennsylvania Highlands Community College both attract thousands of students to their contiguous campuses in Richland, five miles (8 km) east of Johnstown. Cambria-Rowe Business College, located in the Moxham section of Johnstown, offers concentrated career training and has continuously served Johnstown since 1891. The Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, a concert/theatrical venue at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, continues to attract high-quality performers. The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and the recently formed Johnstown Symphony Chamber Players provide classical music. The Johnstown Concert Ballet, centered in the Historic Cambria City District, provides classical ballet performances and training to the area. The Pasquerilla Convention Center was recently constructed downtown, adjacent to the historic Cambria County War Memorial Arena at 326 Napoleon Street. Point Stadium, a baseball park where Babe Ruth once played, was razed and rebuilt. A recently passed zoning ordinance created an artist zone and a traditional neighborhood zone to encourage both artistic endeavors and the old-fashioned "Mom and Pop" enterprises that had difficulty thriving under the previous code. The Bottleworks Ethnic Arts Center offers many exhibitions, events, performances, and classes that celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Area. The Johnstown Chiefs hockey team managed to provide affordable family entertainment to the region for 22 seasons, the longest period a franchise of the league stayed in one city. The Chiefs were a member team of the ECHL, the premier "AA" hockey league in North America, and played their home games in the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. The Chiefs decision to relocate caused a flood of public interest in the sport of hockey. As many as 4 leagues were interested in having a team in the War Memorial. In the end the city landed a deal with another ECHL team the Wheeling Nailers. The CJL Engineering Office Building at 232 Horner Street was awarded a LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on March 30, 2010. It is the first fully certified LEED building in Johnstown. The recently established ART WORKS In Johnstown! houses artist studios in some of the area's architecturally significant but underused industrial buildings. The ART WORKS in Johnstown project is projected to be a Non-Profit LEED-certified green building. The Frank & Sylvia Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center opened in 2001 with the permanent exhibit America: Through Immigrant Eyes, which tells the story of immigration to the area during the Industrial Revolution. In June 2009, the Heritage Discovery Center opened the Johnstown Children's Museum and premiered "The Mystery of Steel," a film detailing the history of steel in Johnstown. The Bottleworks Ethnic Arts Center, ART WORKS, and the Heritage Discovery Center are located in the historic Cambria City section of town, which boasts a variety of eastern European ethnic churches and social halls. This neighborhood hosted the National Folk Festival for three years in the early 1990s, which expanded into the Flood City Music Festival. Johnstown also hosts the annual Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally during the fourth week of June; the event has attracted motorcyclists from across the Northeast to the city of Johnstown since 1998. Well over 200,000 participants enjoyed the 2008 edition of Thunder In The Valley and the event continues to grow in size.

Significant efforts have been made to deal with deteriorating housing, brownfields, drug problems, and other issues as population leaves the city limits and concentrates in suburban boroughs and townships. The Johnstown Fire Department has become a leader in developing intercommunication systems among first responders, and is now a national model for ways to avoid the communications problems which faced many first responders during the September 11, 2001 attacks.


Johnstown is located at 40°19′31″N 78°55′15″W / 40.32528, -78.92083 (40.325174, -78.920954).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2), of which, 5.8 square miles (15 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (4.11%) is water. The Conemaugh River forms at Johnstown from its tributaries, the Stonycreek River and the Little Conemaugh.

Climate data for Johnstown
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Average high °F (°C) 37
Average low °F (°C) 21
Record low °F (°C) −20
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.81
Source: Accuweather[7]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 949
1850 1,269 33.7%
1860 4,185 229.8%
1870 6,028 44.0%
1880 8,380 39.0%
1890 21,805 160.2%
1900 35,936 64.8%
1910 55,482 54.4%
1920 67,327 21.3%
1930 66,993 −0.5%
1940 66,668 −0.5%
1950 63,232 −5.2%
1960 53,949 −14.7%
1970 42,476 −21.3%
1980 35,496 −16.4%
1990 28,134 −20.7%
2000 23,906 −15.0%
2010 20,978 −12.2%
Est. 2013 20,402 −14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2013 Estimate[9]

As of 2006-2008 Census Bureau Estimates, there were 15,000 people living in Johnstown. The racial makeup of the city was 84.0% White, 11.8% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.6% of the population.

As of the census of 2000, there were 15,000 people, 11,134 households, and 6,045 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,097.0 people per square mile (1,583.2/km²). There were 12,802 housing units at an average density of 2,194.0 per square mile (847.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.3% White, 10.71% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.61% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.59% of the population. 23.8% were of German, 10.0% Italian, 9.2% Irish, 7.7% Polish, 7.2% Slovak and 5.7% American ancestry.

There were 11,134 households of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 41.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.87.

The age distribution was 21.3% under 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 22.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,595 and the median income for a family was $28,279. Males had a median income of $26,163 versus $19,791 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,236. 24.6% of the population and 18.9% of families were below the poverty line. Of the total population, 37.5% of those under the age of 18 and 12.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. The unemployment average is reported at 9%, though by some estimations it is upwards of 20%. Most of the jobs center around health care, defense, telemarketing and retail.


The City of Johnstown is divided into many neighborhoods, each with its own unique, ethnic feel. These include the Downtown Business District, Kernville, Hornerstown, Roxbury, Old Conemaugh Boro, Prospect, Woodvale, Minersville, Cambria City, Morrellville, Oakhurst, Coopersdale, Walnut Grove, Moxham and the 8th Ward.

Of the suburbs: Dale Boro (enclave - Johnstown); Westmont Boro, Southmont Boro, Brownstown Boro, Ferndale Boro, Upper Yoder Twp, and Lower Yoder Twp form the West Hills; Richland, Geistown Boro, Lorain Boro and Stoneycreek Township are in the East Hills; East Conemaugh Boro, Franklin Boro, Daisytown Boro, Conemaugh Township, and West, Middle, and East Taylor Townships lie to the north of the city; South Fork, Salix, Beaverdale, Sidman, and St. Micheal lie within the rural areas.

Johnstown in the arts and literature[]

"The River" (Bruce Springsteen song) mentions the Johnstown Company - "I got a job working construction, for the Johnstown Company, but lately there ain't been no work on account of the economy."

Highway Patrolman, another Springsteen song, has lyrics "as the band played 'Night of the Johnstown Flood.'"

1977's Slap Shot, directed by George Roy Hill screenplay by Nancy Dowd, starring Paul Newman was a parody loosely based on the real-life Johnstown Jets hockey team and its North American Hockey League championship in 1976. In the movie, Johnstown was rechristened "Charlestown" and the Jets as the Charlestown Chiefs. The film's premiere engendered some local controversy, as some thought Johnstown was portrayed in a less than flattering light. Slap Shot has since become the iconic movie about hockey and its foibles. Nancy Dowd would revive the fake town of "Charlestown" in her screenplay for the 1981 punk rock satire Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, but the film itself was shot in Canada.

All the Right Moves, a high school football drama set in the fictional town of Ampipe and featuring Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson and Craig T. Nelson. Locations seen in the movie are the old Johnstown High School in Kernville, torn down shortly afterwards; the Carpatho-Russian Citizen's Club in East Conemaugh; the Franklin works of Bethlehem Steel; the Point Stadium; the Johnstown "Cochran" Junior High football practice field and the Johnstown Vo-Tech football locker room.

Part of the film Rock Star takes place in Pittsburgh and several scenes, including the opening scene, were filmed in Johnstown.

The film "The Johnstown Flood", written and directed by Charles Guggenheim, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject in 1989. The film was commissioned by the Johnstown Flood Museum Association, which later reorganized as the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, and is shown every hour at the Johnstown Flood Museum.

Mystery novel writer K.C. Constantine fictionalized many elements of Johnstown and its culture as "Rocksburg" in his novels, although the nearby city of Greensburg, Pennsylvania also provides some of the lore for Rocksburg.

In 2000, Kathleen Cambor published In Sunlight, In A Beautiful Garden. The novel followed its characters through the events leading up to and including the 1889 flood. Although the protagonists in the novel were fictional, several historical figures, such as Andrew Mellon, Henry Clay Frick and Daniel Morrell were also depicted in the book.

Author James Patterson had his fictional serial kidnapper, Gary Soneji, from Along Came A Spider stopping at a convenience store on his way through Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Author David Morrell had his fictional character "Eliot" recruit two brothers from an orphanage in Johnstown to train as assassins in Brotherhood of the Rose.

In 1978's film Dawn of the Dead, a character mentions that they are flying over Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and quips that the people are actually entertained by the zombie outbreak. George A. Romero filmed the majority of the zombie movie at the Monroeville Mall, some 50-odd miles away.

Novelist and Johnstown native Robert T. Jeschonek depicted a fictional 1975 tour of the local landmark Glosser Brothers Department Store in his 2013 novelette Christmas at Glosser's. Johnstown is also the setting of Jeschonek's story Fear of Rain, which was nominated for a British Fantasy Award. His mystery novels Death by Polka and The Masked Family are also set in and around Johnstown.

Johnstown is featured in Defenders of Freedom Volume 1 (2010) and Defenders of Freedom Volume 2 (2012). Both are hardcover books, published by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, featuring first person stories of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, military veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In the foreword of each volume, Johnstown native and nationally recognized newspaper publisher, Bernard A. Oravec, shares stories of his father's military police service in Germany and growing up in Johnstown's west end during the 1970s.


Owen Library at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.


  • Christ the Saviour Seminary
  • University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, located just outside the city limits in Richland Township
  • Cambria-Rowe Business College

Secondary Education

  • The two high schools located in the city of Johnstown are Greater Johnstown High School and Bishop McCort High School.


  • The Cambria County Library is located at 248 Main Street


Major employers in the area include:

  • American Red Cross
  • AmeriServ Financial
  • Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • Atlantic Broadband
  • Berkshire Hathaway—Penn Machine
  • Concurrent Technologies Corporation
  • Conemaugh Health System
  • Crown American
  • DRS Technologies
  • Galliker's
  • Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica
  • Gautier Steel
  • Höganäs AB
  • JWF Industries
  • Johnstown Wire Technologies
  • Kongsberg Gruppen
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Martin-Baker
  • Metropolitan Life
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Pepsi Bottling Group
  • Thomas Honda of Johnstown
  • Whemco
  • Zamias Services, Inc.


Newspapers and magazines[]

  • The Tribune-Democrat
  • Johnstown Magazine
  • Our Town Johnstown - "Johnstown's Community Newspaper"


The Johnstown radio market radio stations in the area are as follows:

Template:Johnstown Radio

FM stations
call letters frequency format location Owner
WFRJ 88.9 Religious Johnstown Family Stations, Inc.
WQEJ 89.7 Classical Johnstown WQED Multimedia
WPKV 90.7 Christian Contemporary Nanty Glo -
WUFR 91.1 Religious Bedford Family Radio
W219DB 91.7 Religious Johnstown Bible Broadcasting Network
WJHT 92.1 Top 40 Johnstown Forever Broadcasting
W230BK 93.9 Rock Johnstown Forever Broadcasting
WFGI 95.5 Country Johnstown Forever Broadcasting
WKYE 96.5 Adult Contemporary Johnstown Forever Broadcasting
WPCL 97.3 Religious Northern Cambria He's Alive, Inc.
WLKH 97.7 Religious (KLOVE) Somerset Results Radio LMA to EMF
WFGY 98.1 Country Altoona Forever Broadcasting
WRKW 99.1 Rock Ebensburg Forever Broadcasting
W263AW 100.5 Jazz Johnstown Duquesne University
WCCL 101.7 Oldies Central City Forever Broadcasting
WLKJ 105.7 Christian Contemporary (KLOVE) Portage EMF Broadcasting
AM stations
call letters frequency format location Owner
WFRB 560 Nostalgia Frostburg, MD Dix Broadcasting
WKHB 620 Oldies Irwin Broadcast Communications, Inc.
WKGE 850 News/Talk Johnstown Birach Broadcasting Corporation
WNTW 990 News/Talk Somerset Forever Broadcasting
WCRO 1230 Nostalgia Johnstown Greater Johnstown School District
WNTJ 1490 News/Talk Johnstown Forever Broadcasting


Johnstown's television market is part of the Johnstown/Altoona/State College market.

Template:Johnstown/Altoona/State College TV



The main highway connecting Johnstown to the Pennsylvania Turnpike is US 219. In addition, there is also State Route 56, which is an expressway from 219 until Walnut Street. From there, it provides a connection to US 22 to the north of Johnstown, which connects to Pittsburgh and Altoona.


The local airport is the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport and is served by United Airlines.


Passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak's daily Template:Amtrak lines. The city is located on the former mainline of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Norfolk Southern operates 60-80 trains daily on these rails.

Mass transit[]

Johnstown Inclined Plane

CamTran operates the local bus service, and the Johnstown Inclined Plane. Until 1976, local transit service was operated by a private company, Johnstown Traction Company. Streetcars (or "trolleys") operated in Johnstown until 1960, and trolley buses from 1951 until 1967.[13]


Club League Venue Established Championships
Johnstown Tomahawks NAHL, Ice hockey Cambria County War Memorial Arena 2012 0

Johnstown has been home to a long succession of minor league hockey franchises dating back to 1940. The most recent manifestation, the Johnstown Chiefs, were named for their Slap Shot counterparts. The team made their ECHL debut in 1988. The team announced in February 2010 that they would be leaving Johnstown for a location in South Carolina. In April 2010 it was announced that the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL would call Johnstown home for 10 games during the regular season and for one of their preseason games. They will be returning once again for the 2011-12 season.

The city also has a rich history in amateur and professional baseball. Since 1944, Johnstown has been known as the host city for the AAABA Baseball Tournament held each summer. Several Major League Baseball players have played on AAABA teams over the years, including Hall-of Famers Al Kaline and Reggie Jackson and current Major League managers Joe Torre and Bruce Bochy. The organization also has its own Hall of Fame instituted in its 50th anniversary year of 1994.

In addition, the city has hosted several incarnations of a Minor League Baseball team, the Johnstown Johnnies, beginning in 1884. The last team to play as the Johnnies, as a part of the Frontier League, left the city in 2002.

Johnstown also hosts the annual Sunnehanna Amateur golf tournament at its Sunnehanna Country Club. The invitational tournament hosts top amateur golfers from around the United States.

Johnstown is home to the Flood City Water Polo team. Established in 2005 by Zachary Puhala, the team takes its name from the history of floods in the area. FCWP is part of the American Water Polo Organization.


  • Cambria Iron Company is a National Historic Landmark located near the downtown area. Johnstown's city seal has an image of this facility.
  • Famous Coney Island Hot Dogs - Founded in 1916, this eatery is synonymous with Johnstown culture.
  • Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center
  • Frank & Sylvia Pasquerilla Heritage Discovery Center - includes several attractions: "America: Through Immigrant Eyes," a permanent exhibit about immigration to the area around the turn of the 20th century; the Johnstown Children's Museum, a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) children's museum; and the Iron & Steel Gallery, a 3-story gallery that includes "The Mystery of Steel," a film about the history of steel in Johnstown.
  • Grandview Cemetery, Johnstown is one of Pennsylvania's largest cemeteries: With more than 65,000 interments, Grandview is home to over 47 burial sections and more than 235 acres (0.951 km2) of land. Grandview also holds the remains of the 777 victims of the 1889 Johnstown Flood who were not able to be identified.
  • Johnstown Flood National Memorial - the National Park Service site that preserves the remains of the South Fork Dam and portions of the Lake Conemaugh bed.
  • The Johnstown Flood Museum - shows the Academy Award-winning film "The Johnstown Flood" as part of the museum experience.
  • Johnstown Inclined Plane is the world's steepest vehicular inclined plane.
  • Pasquerilla Plaza (The Crown American Building)
  • Peoples Natural Gas Park
  • Point Stadium
  • Silver Drive-In - first opened in 1962.[14] While other such facilities in the area have closed over the course of years, the Silver survived through public outcry over proposals to close and demolish it, making a comeback in 2005.[15][16][17] Located in Windber, Pennsylvania, it is now the only drive-in theater in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania region.
  • Staple Bend Tunnel is the first railroad tunnel constructed in the United States, and a National Historic Landmark.
  • Stone Bridge is a historic railroad bridge over the Conemaugh River.

Notable people[]

  • Carroll Baker—actress, whose Hollywood movie career spanned five decades
  • Donald Barlett—journalist and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • Frank Benford (1887–1948)—physicist
  • Robert Bernat (1931–1994) - brass band conductor
  • Mel Bosser (1914-1986) - professional baseball player
  • Edward R. Bradley (1859–1946)—racehorse breeder, owner of four Kentucky Derby winners
  • Charles Wakefield Cadman (1881–1946)-composer
  • Charles E. Capehart (1833–1911) - Medal of Honor winner
  • Henry Capehart (1825–1895) - Civil War general and Medal of Honor winner
  • D. C. Cooperheavy metal singer
  • Joey Covington (1945-2013) - drummer (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna.)
  • Roger Craig - Jeopardy! contestant
  • Pat Cummings (1956-2012)—professional basketball player, '79 through the late '80s
  • Steve Ditko—comic book artist and co-creator of Spider-Man
  • Pete Duranko (1943-2011) Notre Dame and Denver Broncos football player
  • Jim Gallagher, Jr.PGA Tour golfer
  • Craig Grebeck - professional baseball player
  • Count Grog-professional wrestling manager/promoter
  • Jack HamPro Football Hall of Fame linebacker
  • Carlton Haselrig—All-Pro offensive guard with Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Artrell Hawkins—professional football player, starting strong safety for the NFL's New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, and Cincinnati Bengals
  • Andrew Hawkins—professional football player, wide receiver for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and star of Spike TV's "4th and Long"
  • Incantation - death metal band formed in New York City relocated to Johnstown in the mid-1990s
  • E. Snapper Ingram, Los Angeles City Council member, 1927–33
  • Robert T. Jeschonek - award-winning author
  • Tim Kazurinsky—comedian and actor, of television's Saturday Night Live and the Police Academy movies
  • Natalia LivingstonGeneral Hospital actress
  • Terry McGovern (1880–1918) — Hall of Fame boxer
  • Charles T. Menoher (1862–1930) — World War I general
  • John Murtha (1932–2010)-U.S. Congressman
  • David Noon–composer
  • Michael Novak—author, philosopher, Roman Catholic theologian, US diplomat, a George Frederick Jewett Scholar in religion, philosophy, and public policy at the American Enterprise Institute. He was the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize.
  • Joe O'Donnell (1922–2007) — documentarian, photojournalist and a photographer for the US Information Agency
  • Joe Pass (1929–1994) — jazz guitarist
  • Steve Petro - professional football player
  • Herb Pfuhl (1928–2011) - longest-serving Mayor of Johnstown[18]
  • Jeff Richardson - professional football player
  • Ray Scott (1920–1998) - sportscaster
  • Russell Shorto - acclaimed author of "Island at the Center of the World" and "Descartes Bones"
  • Edward A. Silk (1916–1955) - Medal of Honor winner
  • Geroy Simon - professional football player, slotback for the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders. 2006 CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award; CFL's All-Time Leading Wide Receiver in Receiving Yards
  • Mark Singel - former Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania; acting governor from June 14, 1993, to December 13, 1993
  • Emil Sitka (1914–1998) - actor, whose famous line "Hold hands, you lovebirds!" earned him the moniker as the fourth of the Three Stooges
  • Frank Solich - football coach
  • LaRod Stephens-Howling - professional football player, running back for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers
  • John Stofa - quarterback for NFL's Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Cincinnati Bengals
  • Michael Strank (1919–1945) - World War II hero and one of the six U.S. Marines pictured in the famous Iwo Jima flag raising photo, from Johnstown suburb of Franklin
  • BIG Brian Subich - world-ranked competitive eater, competed in the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest
  • John J. Tominac (1922–1998) - Medal of Honor recipient
  • Richard Verma - US Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs & US Ambassador to India (2014 nominee)
  • Pete Vuckovich - Cy Young Award winning pitcher
  • John Walker - organist
  • Michael Walzer - philosopher and political scientist, born in New York but raised in Johnstown
  • Ian Williams - guitarist and instrumentalist from rock bands, Don Caballero (from 1992–2000) and Battles

See also[]

  • Cambria Somerset Authority - Water supply authority for Cambria County and Somerset County
  • In Sunlight, In a Beautiful Garden, a novel about the flood
  • Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania, and Windber, Pennsylvania-Nearby communities with notable "Johnstowners"


  1. ^ "City of Johnstown". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  2. ^ American Factfinder, 2010 census summary file 1,
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ McCullough, David (1987), The Johnstown Flood, Second Touchstone Edition. New York: Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., p. 269 ISBN 0-671-20714-8. (Original copyright: 1968, Simon & Schuster.)
  5. ^ McCullough, David (1987), The Johnstown Flood, Second Touchstone Edition. New York: Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., pp. 229-231 ISBN 0-671-20714-8. (Original copyright: 1968, Simon & Schuster.)
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "Monthly Averages for Johnstown, PA". 2012. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ "1940 Census - Census of Population and Housing - U.S. Census Bureau". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  11. ^ "1960 Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Sebree, Mac; and Ward, Paul (1974). The Trolley Coach in North America, pp. 155–158. Los Angeles: Interurbans. LCCN 74-20367.
  14. ^ (12 June 2009). Reel success - County Amusement noting 60 years in movie business, The Tribune-Democrat
  15. ^ (12 December 2008). Silver screen saved, The Tribune-Democrat
  16. ^ (11 August 2006). Artist's touch adds character (s) to drive-in, The Tribune-Democrat
  17. ^ (7 September 2008). Silver Drive-In owner mulls rezoning, sale, The Tribune-Democrat
  18. ^ Faher, Mike (2011-08-19). "Former mayor Pfuhl dies". The Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 

Further reading[]

  • David McCullough. The Johnstown Flood, ISBN 0-671-20714-8
  • Karl Berger, M.D., editor. Johnstown: Story of a Unique Valley, published by the Johnstown Flood Museum, 1984.
  • Jeschonek, Robert. (2013) Christmas at Glosser's. Pie Press Publishing. [1]
  • Morawska, Ewa. (2004) For Bread with Butter: The Life-Worlds of East Central Europeans in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1890-1940., Cambridge University Press. [2]
  • Morawska, Ewa. (1999). Insecure Prosperity. Princeton University Press. [3]

External links[]

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