In my travels around the region, I have found many fantastic things in Altoona and the Blair County area. The Railway Memorial Museum on the Horseshoe Curve is a popular place, and Sheetz recently added a building to the Penn State Altoonona created the SheetZ Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. This three-story building was formerly the home of the master mechanic of Pennsylvania Railroad. Its proximity to the Allegheny County Courthouse and its location in the heart of the city make it a Mecca for rail fans, along with the fact that it is located just a few blocks from the rail headquarters.
In 1834, the canal was connected to the Allegheny Portage Railroad, which carried boats with primitive carriages over the Allegheny Ridge. This occupation lasted for the rest of the 18th century until the end of World War II and the founding of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1868.
Most cities have held out in the minor leagues, but only Troy, New York has suffered longer in professional baseball, with Altoona, Pennsylvania's only stint with the majors, coming in 1868, during the first season of the American League, as part of a 112-game schedule that included up to 105 games.
Still, the city of Altoona has maintained its position as the eleventh largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. The population is 46,320, making Pennsylvania the 11th most populous city in Pennsylvania, including Blair County, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. In addition to the 100,000 residents who live in the city itself, it had a population of 127,098 at the 2010 census, covering a total area of 1.2 million square feet.
Parts of Eldorado are located in Allegheny Township and Logan Township, but are actually part of Altoona, which was incorporated as part of the city of Alleghenies on July 1, 1884 and actually incorporated in 1887. The Logan area is not within the city limits as defined by the US Census Bureau or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, although it is still considered part of Paloona. It includes parts of the communities of Allegany, Blair, Lehigh, Dauphin, Lancaster, Montgomery, Monroe, Monongahela, Somerset, Westmoreland, Wayne, Chester, Pike, Washington and Washington Township. These include the East and West Side, North and South Logan, South and West Logan and East Logan areas.
The main section of Altoona is located west of the Calvert Hills border and borders the Allegheny County Line and the Pennsylvania State Line. This section is also known as the West End, as trains leave from the southern end of the city. Highland Park is a small town with a population of about 5,000 people and a total area of 1.5 million square meters.
The Allegheny Ridge was a major obstacle, but the creation of the Horseshoe Curve, which allowed trains to cross the Alleghenies Mountains and reduce travel time between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from several days to less than 20 hours, was the result of a partnership between the Pennsylvania State Line and the United States Railroad Authority. By the end of the 19th century, much of the port traffic that used Philadelphia for New York City was diverted to Altoona, which led to an increase in the city's commercial dominance. By the end of World War II, the journey time from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh had been reduced to 15 hours, as opposed to the three days required before the railroad was built. Much of the line was completed in the mid-19th century, reducing it from three or four days to just 15 hours. The HORSESHOe Curve is celebrated as one of the most important achievements in Pittsburgh history and has been responsible for significantly reducing travel distances between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Much of this growth was fueled by demand for locomotives during the Civil War, and in the later years of the war Altoona was known as a valuable northern city. As the nation developed a highway system between states, the corridor of commerce moved ever closer to Pittsburgh and the rest of Pennsylvania, but the hierarchy still thought it a bit too far to worry about, since Pittsburgh itself was nearly 100 miles away. It was the second largest city in Pennsylvania after Pittsburgh, with a population of about 1.5 million people.
The LaRocca family of the Pittsburgh-based LCN technically had sovereignty over the territory, but little was done as Altoona became a money machine - a mafia machine that other cities and small towns had been for years. It seemed they didn't care enough who tapped their money to run it, either. The game attracted so much attention that it violated Pennsylvania's blue law banning Sunday baseball.
After Scranton and Wilkes-Barre left the league to join the higher echelons of the International Federation, Brodie Sanders ended the season with the Altoona team, and the Pennsylvania State Association disbanded. The eighth Union Association team was based in the town of Jeanette, east of Philadelphia, about a half-hour drive from downtown. It was called the "East End" because it bordered the tracks on which trains were supposed to depart from Philadelphia to the East. A Pennsylvania team, Jeanettes, from another city, moved to Altona to play its first game on May 28.