According to ehuacom, Altoona is located in the center of Pennsylvania at the base of the Allegheny Mountains. The city covers a total area of 14.7 square miles with an elevation ranging from 1,100 feet to 1,600 feet above sea level. The city is bordered by Logan Township to the north, Hollidaysburg Borough to the east and south, and Tyrone Borough and Sinking Valley to the west.
The geography of Altoona is primarily characterized by rolling hills and valleys as well as numerous streams and rivers. The most prominent river in the area is the Juniata River which flows for over 100 miles through central Pennsylvania before emptying into the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg. Additionally, several small creeks run throughout Altoona including Canoe Creek which runs through downtown Altoona before joining with the Juniata River downstream.
Altoona is also home to several parks including Canoe Creek State Park which offers over 2,000 acres of woodlands for hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities. Additionally, there are numerous trails throughout Altoona such as the Sinking Valley Trail which spans over 8 miles from Tyrone to Bellwood offering scenic views of hillsides and valleys along its path.
Overall, Altoona’s geography provides visitors with a variety of activities to explore while also offering its residents plenty of natural beauty to enjoy on a daily basis.
History of Altoona, Pennsylvania
Altoona, Pennsylvania was first settled in the early 1800s by a group of German immigrants. The small settlement was named after the Latin word for “high” as it was located on a hill overlooking the Juniata River. The town grew slowly until 1849 when the Pennsylvania Railroad chose Altoona as its main repair and maintenance station and quickly expanded due to its strategic location along multiple rail lines.
By 1860, Altoona had become one of the largest cities in Pennsylvania with a population of over 10,000 people. During this time, the city experienced an economic boom with numerous businesses and factories opening up throughout Altoona and its surrounding areas. This period also saw an influx of immigrants from all around Europe who came to take advantage of Altoona’s growing economy.
The 20th century brought further growth to Altoona as the city became known for its many tourist attractions including Lakemont Park which opened in 1894 and is still open today. In addition, several large department stores were established in downtown Altoona during this time including JCPenney, Kresge’s, and Woolworth’s which served as a major shopping destination for locals and visitors alike.
Today, Altoona continues to be a vibrant city that embraces its history while looking towards the future with plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy including museums, parks, restaurants, shops, galleries, theaters and more. It is also home to numerous educational institutions such as Penn State University at Altoona which has been providing quality education since 1939.
Economy of Altoona, Pennsylvania
Altoona, Pennsylvania is situated in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains, making it an ideal location for a variety of industries. Over the years, the city has developed a diverse economy that includes healthcare, manufacturing, tourism and education.
The manufacturing industry is one of Altoona’s most important economic drivers as it employs thousands of people and produces a wide range of products. This includes everything from furniture to automotive parts to food products. The city also boasts several large employers such as Sheetz, Penn State University at Altoona and UPMC Altoona Hospital which provide quality jobs to many residents.
The healthcare industry is also thriving in Altoona with UPMC Altoona Hospital being one of the city’s largest employers. The hospital provides quality care for patients from all around Central Pennsylvania while also offering numerous specialty services such as cancer treatment, orthopedic surgery and behavioral health services.
Altoona’s tourism industry is another major contributor to its economy as it draws visitors from all around the world who come to enjoy its many attractions including Lakemont Park, Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark and Delgrosso’s Amusement Park & Laguna Splash Water Park. The city also offers plenty of shopping opportunities with numerous malls and stores located throughout Altoona.
Finally, education plays an important role in Altoona’s economy with Penn State University at Altoona offering numerous degree programs while also providing students with access to research facilities and other resources that can help them succeed after graduation. The university has been providing quality education since 1939 and continues to be a major employer in the area today.
Politics in Altoona, Pennsylvania
Altoona, Pennsylvania is situated in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains and is part of the larger Blair County. The city’s government is led by a mayor-council system where an elected mayor and council members serve four-year terms. The current mayor of Altoona is Matt Pacifico who was elected in 2017.
The city council consists of seven members who are responsible for enacting local laws and ordinances as well as setting the budget for Altoona’s government operations. The council also works with the mayor to ensure that all city services are provided to residents in an efficient manner.
The local political climate in Altoona tends to be quite conservative with most candidates running on platforms that emphasize fiscal responsibility and limited government intervention. This has been reflected in recent elections where Republican candidates have enjoyed success at both the state and national level.
At the state level, Altoona is represented by three Republican representatives in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who serve two-year terms. At the national level, Altoona is part of Pennsylvania’s 9th congressional district which is represented by Republican Congressman Guy Reschenthaler who was first elected to Congress in 2018.
Altoona also has a vibrant civic engagement scene with several organizations such as Indivisible Altoona working to promote progressive causes throughout Blair County. These groups often organize rallies, protests and other events to help bring attention to important issues facing their community such as healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights and gun control legislation.