Baker Mansion

Baker Mansion The Blair County Historical Society headquartered at the Baker Mansion is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the county's history. We operate the Baker Mansion Museum and sponsor family friendly community events - check our website blairhistory.org

The Blair County Historical Society (BCHS) was chartered on July 23, 1906 as a non-profit association open to all persons interested in preserving the history of Blair County. Since its inception, the society has taken an active role in preserving and interpreting this region's heritage, through marking sites of historical significance, publishing books and pamphlets on local history, and collecting and preserving artifacts relevant to the heritage of the area's people.

The Blair County Historical Society (BCHS) was chartered on July 23, 1906 as a non-profit association open to all persons interested in preserving the history of Blair County. Since its inception, the society has taken an active role in preserving and interpreting this region's heritage, through marking sites of historical significance, publishing books and pamphlets on local history, and collecting and preserving artifacts relevant to the heritage of the area's people.

Mission: “It is the mission of the Blair County Historical Society to preserve, promote, and interpret the history of Blair County, Pennsylvania."

Temporarily closed

Here is a family-friendly activity. Cut news clippings from the Altoona Mirror, Daily Herald, and/or the Morrison Cove. ...
01/13/2021
Make a Time Capsule

Here is a family-friendly activity. Cut news clippings from the Altoona Mirror, Daily Herald, and/or the Morrison Cove. We are living a historic moment that will be studied in 25, 50 and 100 years from now. Let's create some personal experiences to share with future generations.

Watch this instructional video on to find out how you can make your own time capsule out of business reply envelopes and other household supplies. https://youtu.be/04WbQIiTBfw

Watch this instructional video to find out how you can make your own time capsule out of business reply envelopes and other household supplies.Learn more:htt...

CONGRATULATIONS Cheryl Saive, Baker Mansion History for the Holidays Grand Prize Winner!!!
01/01/2021

CONGRATULATIONS Cheryl Saive, Baker Mansion History for the Holidays Grand Prize Winner!!!

12/31/2020
12/31/2020
30 minutes until we go live!!!
12/31/2020

30 minutes until we go live!!!

12/31/2020
Join us tomorrow for our New Year's Eve Facebook Live Broadcast.  If you are on the list and have NOT claimed or receive...
12/30/2020

Join us tomorrow for our New Year's Eve Facebook Live Broadcast. If you are on the list and have NOT claimed or received your prize, please contact us immediately by Facebook message or by emailing [email protected]. Tune in at 6pm tomorrow for the final drawing of the History for the Holidays Event and thank you everyone who participated.

12/27/2020
FINDS Furniture Consignment

BAKER MANSION LIKE. SHARE. ENTER TO WIN. -final week winners (includes Blair Happenings page like/shares)

ASHLEY LANGSTON - $100 in gift certificated to Finds Consignment Store in Hollidaysburg https://www.facebook.com/FindsFurnitureConsignment/

LISA NAILOR HANN $25 gift card to TJ Max

TAMMY BRENNER $25 gift card to Little Tokyo Express

KIMBERLY BIDDLE UMSTEAD $15 Starbucks Gift Card

Please Facebook message Baker Mansion for information of claiming your prize.

All winners will be entered to the New Year's Eve drawing.

Eclectic Home Goods. Furniture, Art, Lamps, Home Decor, and much more! Consignments from many beautiful homes in the Central PA area. Beautiful Showroom Setting. Friendly Staff. Great town to shop in and many local eateries and bars.

Baker Mansion's cover photo
12/24/2020

Baker Mansion's cover photo

12/23/2020

DON'T FORGET TO LIKE AND SHARE TO BE ENTERED TO WIN THIS WEEK'S DRAWING. Share your memories - have you ever sledded down the front lawn of the Baker Mansion? Took your senior pictures or group photos? Came to an event? Attended one of the lectures? Share your stories and/or photos.

12/21/2020
FINDS Furniture Consignment

Like. Share. Enter to Win! Final Week! UPDATE: ONE MORE DAY TO LIKE AND SHARE BY SUNDAY, 12/27/2020 TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN!

$100 in gift certificated to Finds Consignment Store in Hollidaysburg https://www.facebook.com/FindsFurnitureConsignment/
or $25 gift card to TJ Max
or $25 gift card to Little Tokyo Express
or $15 Starbucks Gift Card

For this final week, we will focus on Baker Mansion and this is for your interaction, comments and/or discussion. Feel free to pick one or more questions to comment on.

*How many of you have been to the Baker Mansion History Museum? Was it when you were little and in elementary school?
*Have you visited recently, as the interior has been fully restored within the last 5 years to Victorian-era colors?
*What memories do you have of Baker Mansion?
*What item do you remember most from the Museum?
*What was your favorite room, exhibit or event at Baker Mansion History Museum?
*What historical facts of Blair County have you heard about that you would be interested in learning more information about?
*What historical location or landmark is your favorite in Blair County?

Remember to Like and Share to be entered to win this week's drawing. Drawing will be this Saturday, December 26th.

All winners will be entered to win the final New Year's Grand Prize gift pack, sponsored by Kranich's Jewelers, including a diamond cluster ring which retails at $2,500!

Over the last few weeks, Blair County Historical Society Board of Directors and Events Committee has been sharing History for the Holidays to encourage everyone to support local businesses. Thank you to our local businesses who donated, to our events committee members and Board Members who purchased locally for prizes and to all those who participated in the Like and Share event.

To donate to the Blair County Historical Society and support Baker Mansion, visit http://www.blairhistory.org/join-us--donate.html

Eclectic Home Goods. Furniture, Art, Lamps, Home Decor, and much more! Consignments from many beautiful homes in the Central PA area. Beautiful Showroom Setting. Friendly Staff. Great town to shop in and many local eateries and bars.

WINNERS FOR WEEK 4 OF LIKE.SHARE.WIN. (Winners-please send Baker Mansion a Facebook message for information on how to cl...
12/19/2020

WINNERS FOR WEEK 4 OF LIKE.SHARE.WIN. (Winners-please send Baker Mansion a Facebook message for information on how to claim your winnings)

• Gina Smith - Autographed book, Baker Mansion gift pack, $25 Sheetz gift card, and Slinky

• Mary Ann Ruffley-Sheasley – 60 minute Therapeutic or Thai Massage at Massage Therapy and Skin Care by Lisa

• Wendy Miller - $15 Panera Bread Gift Card

• Wendy Poorman-Baker – 2 coupons for free 14-inch cold sub from Brooklyn Deli in Duncansville

All winners are eligible to win the New Year's Eve Grand Prize gift pack, featuring a beautiful diamond cluster ring retailed at $2,500 from Kranich's Jewelers, to be drawn on Facebook Live New Year’s Eve at 6pm.

Didn't win? Monday will be another chance. To be eligible, PLEASE make sure when you share, your privacy is set to PUBLIC. Elsewise, we cannot see you shared it and it disqualifies you. Please email [email protected] or Facebook message
Baker Mansion with any questions.
Please remember to continue to support our small businesses!!

Blair County Historical Society and Baker Mansion would like to thank Blair Drug and Alcohol Partnerships for the John I...
12/18/2020

Blair County Historical Society and Baker Mansion would like to thank Blair Drug and Alcohol Partnerships for the John Iorio Community Partner Award! We look forward to hosting more outdoor movie nights in 2021 and partnering for family-friendly events.

Don't forget to Like Monday's post and Share it on your profile (set to public) for a chance to win this week's prizes a...
12/17/2020

Don't forget to Like Monday's post and Share it on your profile (set to public) for a chance to win this week's prizes and to be entered into the New Year's Eve Grand Drawing sponsored by Kranich's Jewelers, a family owned jeweler since 1903.

12/15/2020

LIKE. SHARE. WIN. Week 4.

As we support and cheer on local businesses in Blair County, let's take a look at the iconic products and foods that have their roots in Altoona and Blair County (excerpts from "First Frontier: A Sesquicentennial History of Altoona, PA 1868-2018" by Julia Plummer Schokker)
• Benzel's Bretzel Bakery, founded 1911 (founded by German immigrant Adolph Benzel using his Old-World pretzel recipe ) https://benzels.com/Benzels-Bretzel-Bakery-Story/index.php
• Boyer Candy Mallo Cups, founded around 1930 (Boyer Brothers started the candy business in their mother, Emily's, kitchen in order to supplement the family income during the Depression, opening the factory in 1936, retired and sold the business in 1969 and was resold to Anthony Forgione) https://www.boyercandies.com/
• DelGrosso Food & Amusement Park, founded: café 1943, park 1943 (Marianna Pulcino immigrated in 1911 and established Mom's Cafe in Altoona with her special recipe pasta sauce. In 1936, Ferdinand DelGrosso came in and was waited on by Mariann's daughter, Mafalda, who later married and opened a restaurant in 1943 called DelGrosso's Cafe, using Marianna's pasta sauce recipe. In 1946, they sold the restaurant and bought Bland's Amusement Park, now known as DelGrosso's Park.) https://www.delgrossofoods.com/history/
• Dutch Hill Chocolates, founded 1988 (in the 1950’s, Joseph Myers started experimenting in making various candy recipes in hopes to sell them for extra cash to support his wife and 9 children. Once Joe perfected his candies, he coated them in chocolate and began selling them to family and friends. Joe and his wife, Geraldine, maintained an informal business until 1988, when two of the daughters, Mary and Gerri, took over the business. Their first storefront was located on Dutch Hill, hence the name “Dutch Hill Chocolates.”) http://dutchhillchocolates.com/
• Gardners Peanut Butter Meltaways, founded 1897 (James “Pike” Gardner was a 16-year-old boy in Tyrone, PA that began selling his candy, popcorn and peanuts out of small store in Tyrone and later used a horse-drawn wagon to transport his product to fairs and carnivals.) https://www.gardnerscandies.com/AboutUs.aspx
• Meadows Frozen Custard, founded 1950 (Summer of 1950, JV Richard and Delbert Meadows opened a small custard stand in Duncansville, PA. It is still owned and operated by the sons of Delbert Meadows) https://meadowsfrozencustard.com/
• Pacifico’s Bakery, founded 1947 (started by Angelo Pacifico and his wife in 1947, the family purchased the former Eagle Bakery in 1978 to expand. In 1977, a hearth oven was brought over from Verona, Italy to give their bread the hard, crusty flavor unique to their Italian recipe. In 2009, a ciabatta and roll machine were purchased to produce artisanal breads.) https://www.pacificobakery.com/
• Reighard’s Gas and Service Station, established 1909 (Reighard’s has been in operation since opening and is the oldest American gas station. Originally a blacksmith shop in the 1800s, it was run by George Hinkle, who added gasoline to the location in 1909. He purchased the gasoline from Samuel S. Reighard. In 1931, George Reighard (Samual’s son) purchased the property. In 1978, George’s daughter sold the property to Martin Oil Company. Reighard has been selling gasoline since 1909, making it the oldest gasoline station in continuous operation in the United States) https://martinoilco.com/reighards/
• Sheetz, Inc., founded 1952 (Founded by G. Robert “Bob” Sheetz when he purchased one of his father’s dairy farms in Altoona and opened a store. A 2nd store was opened in 1963 called Sheetz Kwik Shopper. In 1972, Sheetz had 14 stores and added gasoline pumps and introduced self-serve gasoline to Central Pennsylvania. Now there are more than 600 stores and still maintains as a family business.) https://www.sheetz.com/us
• Texas Hot Dogs, founded 1918 (the original Texas Hot Dog was invented in downtown Altoona by the Lamonts. The recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. https://www.texashotdogs.com/

Don't forget to Like and Share. When sharing, make sure it is viewable Public and not just to friends. Remember to support local businesses and your local non-profits, like Blair County Historical Society.

Prizes for this week's Like and Share History for the Holidays (winners please contact Baker Mansion via Facebook Messag...
12/12/2020

Prizes for this week's Like and Share History for the Holidays (winners please contact Baker Mansion via Facebook Message or email [email protected])

David Way - "Hang Tough" gift pack

Denise Cherry - $30 Dunkin Donuts gift card

Stephanie Damiano - $10 Tim's American Cafe gift certificate

Judy Leipold Markley - 2 subs from Front Street Subs in Duncansville.

All are now eligible to win the New Year's Eve Grand Prize of a beautiful diamond ring New Year's Eve gift pack from Kranich's Jewelry.

Didn't win? Monday will be another chance. To be eligible, PLEASE make sure when you share, your privacy is set to PUBLIC. Elsewise, we cannot see you shared it and it disqualifies you. Please email [email protected] or Facebook message Baker Mansion with any questions.

Please remember to continue to support our small businesses!!

Don't forgot to like and share December 7th's Blair County Remembers Pearl Harbor Veterans.Special thank you to the foll...
12/08/2020

Don't forgot to like and share December 7th's Blair County Remembers Pearl Harbor Veterans.

Special thank you to the following for this week's prizes:

Jared Frederick Historian Jared Frederick For more information on Jared's book, "Hang Tough" and other publications, see http://historymatters.biz/books--artwork.html

Tim's American Cafe https://www.facebook.com/Tims-American-Cafe-1535041453397301

A special thank you to Susan Haught, Marcia Kingston and Julia Schokker for your contribution for this week's prizes.

Today we remember the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Blair Countians shown here were present on that Day of Infamy. Brooks ...
12/07/2020

Today we remember the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Blair Countians shown here were present on that Day of Infamy. Brooks Brubaker was a ground mechanic killed at Hickam Field. John Lipple and George Wolf were killed on the USS Arizona. John Pensyl was killed on the USS Helena. Sheldon Chambers was an Army airmen who survived Pearl Harbor but later died in a plane crash in India. Seventy-nine years later, we remember. Please share our post.

WEEK 2 WINNERS! Immigration Boom-PRRTHIS WEEK'S PRIZE WINNERS: *TOM MCCONNELL - International Foods Gift Basket *Cheryl ...
12/05/2020

WEEK 2 WINNERS! Immigration Boom-PRR
THIS WEEK'S PRIZE WINNERS:

*TOM MCCONNELL - International Foods Gift Basket
*Cheryl Harshberger Saive - $25 gift card Little Tokyo Restaurant;
*Stephanie Miller - $10 gift card Nicoletta's Restaurant
*Michaela Benson - Gift certificate for 2 gyros from Athenian Café.

To claim your winnings, please send a direct message to Baker Mansion via Facebook with your contact information and the events coordinator will arrange delivery of your winnings. Thank you for participating in this week's Baker Mansion's History of the Holiday's event.

All winners will be entered into the Grand Drawing sponsored by Kranich's Jewelry on New Year's Eve. MORE CHANCES TO WIN COMING MONDAY!!!

Thank you to Kranich’s Jewelry for donating the GRAND PRIZE to be awarded New Year’s Eve!  All weekly winners of the “Li...
12/03/2020
Designer Diamond Engagement Rings | Kranichs Jewelers

Thank you to Kranich’s Jewelry for donating the GRAND PRIZE to be awarded New Year’s Eve! All weekly winners of the “Like” and “Share” History for the Holiday weekly events will be entered into the drawing. Still time to be entered for this week’s drawing!! Like and Share Monday’s post for a chance to win. This week’s drawing for International Food’s Gift Basket will be held Saturday before noon. Another chance will begin this coming Monday.

Remember to shop locally and support Blair County businesses!!

https://www.kranichs.com/store-page/pennsylvania/altoona

Designer Diamond Engagement Rings | Kranichs Jewelers

Baker Mansion's cover photo
12/02/2020

Baker Mansion's cover photo

Baker Mansion's cover photo
12/02/2020

Baker Mansion's cover photo

Effective Dec 1, 2020 we regret to announce that due to the rising COVID-19 cases in our local area the Baker Mansion Hi...
12/02/2020

Effective Dec 1, 2020 we regret to announce that due to the rising COVID-19 cases in our local area the Baker Mansion History Museum is CLOSED FOR THE SEASON; we will re-open for the season in May 2021.

Thank you for all your support in this tough season and please continue to follow us, enter contests, win prizes on Facebook and take virtual tours on our website!

November 30-December 5 "LIKE" and "SHARE" -The Big Immigration Boom – PRR• Pre-1790s -  Area was hunting ground for Onei...
11/30/2020

November 30-December 5 "LIKE" and "SHARE" -The Big Immigration Boom – PRR

• Pre-1790s - Area was hunting ground for Oneida, then Seneca and Tuscarora tribes
• 1854-1840’s –Settlers were scattered across land for farming and small villages established before the immigration boom.
• 1848-1854 - Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) was building the railroad from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and needed a location to build the rail maintenance and repair shops and a plan for crossing the mountains and rivers that lay between the two cities. The area now known as Altoona was identified as the ideal location. Horseshoe Bend was planned as a way to travel through the steep inclines and bends in the mountains. The creation of PRR shops in Altoona opened the door for Germans, Scotch-Irish and Italians to begin immigration boom. Germans were employed as machinists, Scotch-Irish were utilized for the muscular labor in dynamiting and excavating the railroad beds, and the Italians worked as stone masons to build railroad bridges and tunnels.
• 1861-1865 – Civil War – PRR was committed to supporting the North during the Civil War. The need for rail transport grew, heavily increasing the population.
• 1865-1900s –At the end of the Civil War, the city was an industrial center.

• 1860s-The Great Potato famine led to a large Irish migration to America
• 1870s-1914 Large numbers of immigrants left Eastern and Southern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East to escape poverty and persecution and seek new lives in Altoona. Many Europeans and Russians worked at the railroad or surrounding coal mines. Many Jewish families from Europe and Syrian and Lebanese families from the Middle East established small businesses on Eleventh Avenue and throughout the city as well as surrounding towns.

Sports Fun Facts
• 1878, Cricket Field was built for sports in Altoona
• Italian Immigrants brought Bocce
• German Immigrants brought Bowling
• Jewish Immigrants brought Mahjong
• Irish and British immigrants brought Cricket

Share your family connections to Blair County history in the comment section.

Don’t forget to “Like” and “Share” (setting to Public) to be entered into this week’s drawing. This week’s prizes include:

-Large International Food Gift Basket donated by Julia Schokker
-$25 gift card to Little Tokyo Express https://www.facebook.com/littletokyoaltoona
-$10 gift card to Nicoletta’s Family Restaurant https://www.facebook.com/italianhunnie87 ; or
-2 free gyros from Athenian Café https://www.facebook.com/The-Athenian-Caf%C3%A9-198465976862220

All winners will be entered to win the Grand Prize drawing sponsored by Kranich's Jewelry and the Blair County Historical Society on New Year’s Eve!

Winners for this week's "Like" and "Share," the brief bio of Chief Logan:*Unkel Joe's Woodshed 1st Place Gift Basket - K...
11/28/2020

Winners for this week's "Like" and "Share," the brief bio of Chief Logan:

*Unkel Joe's Woodshed 1st Place Gift Basket - Kristy Weimer
*$25 Gift Card to Outback Steakhouse - Robert Denison
*Two 12" subs from Front Street Deli - Lori N Jim Stewart

All winners have been entered into the Grand Prize Drawing to be held on New Year's Eve. Winners-please check your Facebook Messenger for information on how to claim your prizes or contact Baker Mansion at (814) 942-3916.

Don't forget this coming Monday will be another chance to enter to win! Be sure to "LIKE" Baker Mansion page, "LIKE" the post and "SHARE" it to your newsfeed to be entered for a chance to win.

Address

3419 Oak Ln
Altoona, PA
16602

General information

The Blair County Historical Society owns and operates for historic sites in beautiful central Pennsylvania including Baker Mansion in Altoona.

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Comments

From the second floor of the Mansion back in mid-June.
Altoona High School students created a Gingerbread House of Baker Mansion.
Announcement - Great Portage Yard Sale and Portage Station Museum Rummage Sale is being held June 8. Maps of participating yard sales can be picked up at the Portage Station Museum 400 Lee Street Portage, or at any participating site. Participating sites will have balloons and a sign out front. This is a fund raiser for the Portage Area Historical Society and the Portage Station Museum. Come join us for a great day of sales!
Can anyone tell me after whom the Antis Township community of Tipton was named? The Blair County history books I've checked only say that it was named after early settlers named Tipton.
I felt like taking the camera on my dog walk tonight. Only half of the mansion was lit tonight but I thought it looked pretty cool.
Fake News 😂. From the Altoona Tribune Sept.18th 1862
Captured this during Sat. night's snow storm
I do photography and a took this picture of your beautiful mansion last night.
Local Historian Michael Farrow Architect of Downtown Altoona Rebuild (front page of today’s Altoona Mirror)
Had a great visit and tour at the Baker Mansion. Looking forward to seeing the Mansion decorated for Christmas. Good to see Michael Farrow and Julie Schokker at the Mansion.
Had a great visit and tour of Baker Mansion this afternoon. Looking forward to seeing the Mansion decorated for Christmas.
Interesting