Although this central region of Pennsylvania did not witness the battles that many other regions were host to, the Alleghenies and Susquehanna Valleys were by no means immune to the Civil War. Citizens of these small Victorian towns still felt the effects of war as their men marched off into battle and the women were left to tend to farms and industrial production to support the war efforts.
The Alleghenies and Susquehanna Valleys produced several notable Civil War figures, including Nicholas Biddle, the 65-year-old African American who was the first to shed blood in the war; Elizabeth Schwalm, a mother of five toddlers who had to protect the family farm when her husband went off to war; and Andrew Curtin, the Pennsylvania governor during the Civil War responsible for organizing the Loyal War Governor’s Conference.
Most significantly, this region was home to the Loyal War Governor’s Conference in September 1862 at the Logan House Hotel in Altoona. Organized by Governor Curtin, the conference convened 13 northern governors in secret to build support for President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation at a time when support was desperately needed. One of the most significant political actions of the war, the conference sparked a renewed sense of devotion to the Union cause.
Visit the Alleghenies and Susquehanna Valleys area to learn more about these Civil War stories and take a relaxing journey through this nature-filled region.
Tour the furnished rooms of this 1849 mansion and see its history exhibits on the Civil War and more.
Old Bedford Village
Step back in time and get a sense of what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries with the variety of educational and entertaining activities at Old Bedford Village.
Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum
Railroads were essential for the Union’s transportation of troops and supplies, and Pennsylvania railroad lines and industrial production were critical to the success of the Union army. This Altoona museum recognizes the significant contributions of railroaders to America.
Packwood House Museum
This museum, among the oldest log-built structures of its kind, served a number of functions as a tavern in the late 1700s, a hotel in the early 1800s and three townhouses at the end of the 19th century.