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The Early History of Juniata, PA

juniata sexual assault lawyer near juniata museum of art

The sexual assault lawyers in Juniata, PA, present this article to share some detailed information about the area.

Juniata is a county located in Pennsylvania. The county spans 394 square miles and hosts an approximate population of 24,704 with a 64 per square mile population density. The county hosts four boroughs, including Mifflin, Mifflintown, Port Royal, and Thompsontown, along with thirteen townships.


Juniata was historically a part of Cumberland County and later Mifflin County, but by March 2nd, 1831, Juniata was formed as its own county. Juniata was named after the Juniata River, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, approximately 104 miles long. The word "Juniata" is a Seneca word that means either "people of the standing stone" or "blue waters."

The first settlers, otherwise referred to as unauthorized squatters, arrived in the county but were removed by 1750. By 1755, one of the first warrants for land in the county was issued. There was also an Indian raid in the county in 1755 and 1756,

The Beale family was one of the earliest families to inhabit the county, but by the 1750s and 1760s, more settlers arrived, and the first gristmill on the western side of the Juniata River was built in the county in 1767.

The area began to become more established, and a public road was built in the county between Tuscarora Creek and a location near Shade Mountain in 1768. In 776, John Hamilton constructed a sawmill and gristmill on Cocalamus Creek in Delaware Township and the first known physician in the county, Dr. Ezra Doty, settled in Mifflintown in 1791.

In 1826, the Pennsylvania Canal began serving Juniata but later closed in 1900. Luckily, the Pennsylvania Railroad reached Juniata in the late 1840s, and the Tuscarora Valley Railroad served the county before its closed in 1934.

Juniata faced a tragic natural disaster in 1974 with Hurricane Agnes. Across the county, 6374 acres of Juniata County were flooded, and 57 families were displaced.

Following the flooding, Juniata developed a modern comprehensive plan in 1974, and the county was set for rehabilitation.

Juniata embraced development, and by 1997, 66.8% of survey respondents found Juniata County a "very desirable" living place.

Today, Juniata is still considered a great place to live, ranks #18 (of 65) in Best Counties for Retirees in Pennsylvania and #35 (of 65) Healthiest Counties in Pennsylvania.

Historic Sites

If you find yourself in Juniata, PA, and are looking to witness the county's history, make sure to check out,

The Academia Pomeroy Covered Bridge

  • The 278-foot-long bridge is the longest remaining covered bridge in Pennsylvania. Built in 1902, the single-lane, double-span wooden covered bridge crosses Tuscarora Creek between Spruce Hill and Beale Townships. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

The Book Site

  • The archaeological site consists of the remnants of a burial mound and a prehistoric village. The site is among the earliest Late Woodland sites in central Pennsylvania and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

The Tuscarora Academy Museum

  • The Tuscarora Academy Museum consists of one building built in 1816. The building is the last standing¬†site of the first secondary school in Juniata County. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Juniata College Museum of Art

  • The museum is located in Carnegie Hall. The Beaux-Arts structure was built in 1907 as the college library through funds provided by Andrew Carnegie and the citizens of Huntingdon. The building was renovated with the founding of the museum in 1998.

Want to learn more? See the related: The Rich History of Philadelphia, PA

Our Local Office

Suffering from sexual assault can be traumatizing. If you are a survivor of sexual assault, trust the Juniata, PA, sexual assault lawyers to fight for you. Contact our legal team today for a free consultation.

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David Petrone
Date Published: June 9, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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