A picture's worth a 1000 words

A photo album is a great way to appreciate the stories of a community, and we've got quite a few in our collection. They show us how our surroundings have changed, sometimes by the work of human hands and sometimes by nature. They help us to remember how our community was and hint at how it will be.

The images displayed here are from the Society’s collection, the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library, or images collected from the Internet.

The founding of Tyrone

People first moved into the area that would become Tyrone about 8,000 years ago. These nomadic ancestors of today's American Indians lived by hunting and gathering. Evidence of their camps has been discovered all along the I-99 corridor and in nearby Sinking Valley.

The first known individual was Captain Logan who lived with his family near the big spring near what is now the intersection of W 10th St and Washington Avenue. According to local tradition, Captain Logan, was of the Lenni Lenape nation who came to the banks of the Little Juniata River with his family before the 1760s. He had lost an eye while  engaged in a battle on the Susquehanna River. During the American Revolution, he shared information regarding the plans of the Tories (supporters of England) in Sinking Valley with the local militia. In 1785, he lost his lands because he had never purchased them. He and his family moved to Chinklacamoose, an Indian village where the town of Clearfield is today (Tarring Davis, History of Altoona and Blair County, Pennsylvania, 1931, pages 7-8).

By the early 19th century, the first industries arose along the banks of the Little Juniata in the water gap just east of Tyrone. As early as 1806, John Gloninger & Company opened Tyrone Forge, a series of ironworking shops for converting the highly esteemed Juniata iron produced by the dozens of iron furnaces in the vicinity from cast iron to wrought iron. The waters of the Juniata were suitable for turning waterwheels, and almost immediately saw and grist mills were built in support of the forge and the community of workers that it attracted. The forge was soon acquired by William M. Lyon & Company (later, Lyon, Shorb & Company).

Burley Slide


Most local historians credit Jacob Burley (left) as the first to build a house in what would become downtown Tyrone about 1850 (it is thought that Burley's home was located at what is now the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and W. 10th St). Burley opened a store in part of his house under the name Burley & Stewart, establishing the first business in the borough (J. Simpson Africa, History of Huntingdon and Blair counties, 1883, page 196). By the mid-1850s, the street pattern and lots were laid out, although many street names have since been changed.