Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Johnstown Area Heritage Association Preserving our heritage, revitalizing our community through the Johnstown Discovery Network.
The Johnstown Area Heritage Association was founded in 1971 as the Johnstown Flood Museum Association, but soon broadened its themes to include immigration to the area around the turn of the century, iron and steel, and the way of life in industrial communities.

Today JAHA owns and operates four museums: the Heritage Discovery Center, Johnstown Children's Museum, Johnstown Flood Museum, and Wagner-Ritter House & Garden. They are linked geographically and thematically in the Johnstown Discovery Network, which also includes attractions (such as the Inclined Plane) owned by other entities, and historic districts such as the National Historic Districts of Downtown Johnstown and Cambria City.

Mission: JAHA is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the nationally significant historic heritage of the Greater Johnstown Area through its museum facilities, historical collection, and education programs. JAHA operates as a clearinghouse and catalyst for revitalization efforts based on cultural tourism and historic preservation.

Tickets to Saturday's Architectural Tour of Southmont Homes are going fast! Get yours at the link below.
06/05/2019
Architectural Tours of Historic Southmont Homes

Tickets to Saturday's Architectural Tour of Southmont Homes are going fast! Get yours at the link below.

Join us on this tour of beautiful, historic Southmont homes! Tour participants will pick up their tour booklets and group assignments at Young Heart Toys & Books  from 10:00 am-12:45 pm on the day of the tour. Tours will begin at 1:00 pm and will run on an assigned rotation. The afternoo...

The National Reserve with special guest Felix & the Hurricanes is going to be a TERRIFIC show, and it's FREE! Saturday n...
06/04/2019
PNG Park hosts Americana act

The National Reserve with special guest Felix & the Hurricanes is going to be a TERRIFIC show, and it's FREE! Saturday night, everybody -- and be sure to come hungry, as The Phoenix Tavern will be there selling chicken balls!

The National Reserve, a nationally touring Americana act, with special guest Felix & the Hurricanes, will perform as part of the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Concert Series Saturday at

Johnstown Area Heritage Association's cover photo
06/03/2019

Johnstown Area Heritage Association's cover photo

Southmont Borough incorporated on June 2, 1919! To celebrate the centennial, a new website full of Southmont history has...
06/03/2019
Southmont centennial is celebrated with a new website, home tour - Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Southmont Borough incorporated on June 2, 1919! To celebrate the centennial, a new website full of Southmont history has been created -- and we'll hold the Architectural Tour of Southmont Homes on Saturday. Details about both in our latest blog post!

Southmont Borough incorporated on June 2, 1919! It had a population of 300 people back then, and is today home to nearly 2,200. Nadine Carr, JAHA volunteer, has created a marvelous website exploring the history of Southmont, including its streetcars, ...

George Swank, editor of The Johnstown Tribune, reading his letter of apology to the people of Johnstown, which had been ...
06/02/2019

George Swank, editor of The Johnstown Tribune, reading his letter of apology to the people of Johnstown, which had been published in the paper.

Victor Heiser
06/02/2019

Victor Heiser

George Swank, Rev. David Beale, Hettie Ogle, and Victor Heiser are ready to share some Johnstown Flood history with you ...
06/02/2019

George Swank, Rev. David Beale, Hettie Ogle, and Victor Heiser are ready to share some Johnstown Flood history with you in Central Park.

What a wonderful evening last night at our 20s-themed cocktail party at the train station! Thank you to all who attended...
06/02/2019

What a wonderful evening last night at our 20s-themed cocktail party at the train station! Thank you to all who attended!

This evening at Peoples Natural Gas Park, we had a flood commemoration event featuring presentations on the flood by Nei...
06/01/2019

This evening at Peoples Natural Gas Park, we had a flood commemoration event featuring presentations on the flood by Neil Coleman and Michael McGough; and a staged reading of a new play about the flood. Thank you to all who attended!

Today, May 31, and through the weekend there are many opportunities to commemorate the Johnstown flood of 1889, includin...
05/31/2019
Johnstown Flood of 1889: How a small town was lost in one of the biggest disasters America had ever seen

Today, May 31, and through the weekend there are many opportunities to commemorate the Johnstown flood of 1889, including the Presentation of 5/31/1889: The Flood and “Power Over Truth ", 1889 Flood Bus Tour, walking tours and more. Here's some coverage of the anniversary from AccuWeather.

May 31, 2019, marks 130 years since the Johnstown Flood wiped out the entire town in minutes, killing 2,209 people. At the time, it was the deadliest disaster America had ever experienced. Here's how it happened.

05/30/2019

We still have space for the 1889 Flood Bus Tour! Led by park rangers Doug Bosley and Greg Zaborowski, the tour will also feature costumed reenactors playing historical figures from the Flood. Details in the event below -- call 539-1889 for tickets!

05/29/2019

Our phone system is having intermittent problems, for which we apologize! If you're having trouble getting through, send a direct message to this page with your phone number and we'll call you right back.

This article features the Architectural Tour of Southmont Homes, coming up on June 8! "In the 1920s, Johnstown was enjoy...
05/28/2019
Summer kicks off with Southmont activities

This article features the Architectural Tour of Southmont Homes, coming up on June 8! "In the 1920s, Johnstown was enjoying a peak period of prosperity, and some of the finest homes in the region were being built in Southmont during that time,” said Richard Burkert, JAHA president. “We’re delighted that the current owners of the homes are willing to share them with us.” Tickets for this tour are going fast and MUST be purchased in advance. Get yours today.

Southmont Borough is planning to welcome summer with a slew of community activities beginning on Monday that includes the 47th Southmont Volunteer Fire Company Jubilee and Southmont Borough Centennial Celebration.

05/27/2019

JAHA museums are closed today for Memorial Day! We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

What a wonderful day at the Path of the Flood Historic Races! Many thanks to the race committee and all volunteers; pres...
05/25/2019

What a wonderful day at the Path of the Flood Historic Races! Many thanks to the race committee and all volunteers; presenting sponsor 1889 Foundation, additional sponsors First Energy Foundation, Visit Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Von's United Beverage Co., Stone Bridge Brewing Company, McIlwain, Sheetz, Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber, Kamzik, Johnstown Running Club and so many more. Finally, a big thank you to all the runners—see you next year!

It’s a great day at Peoples Natural Gas Park, and runners are beginning to cross the finish line! Join us to cheer the...
05/25/2019

It’s a great day at Peoples Natural Gas Park, and runners are beginning to cross the finish line! Join us to cheer them on, and enjoy the free post-race festival. We’ll be here until about noon.

Richard Burkert, JAHA president, is being interviewed by AccuWeather for stories on the 1889 flood anniversary, coming u...
05/24/2019

Richard Burkert, JAHA president, is being interviewed by AccuWeather for stories on the 1889 flood anniversary, coming up on May 31. Stay tuned!

We appreciated this The Tribune-Democrat piece on our upcoming event at the train station, JAHA Rides the PRR Back to th...
05/23/2019
JAHA hosts fundraiser at Train Station

We appreciated this The Tribune-Democrat piece on our upcoming event at the train station, JAHA Rides the PRR Back to the Roaring 20’s! All aboard -- call us today for your reservation.

Johnstown Area Heritage Association will host its cocktail party fundraiser “JAHA Rides the PRR Back to the Roaring ’20s” at 7 p.m. June 1 at the Johnstown Train Station, 47

Same-day registration for Path of the Flood Historic Races is possible for the 5K only! If you haven't registered and wo...
05/21/2019

Same-day registration for Path of the Flood Historic Races is possible for the 5K only! If you haven't registered and would like to run, plan to join us -- show up from 5:30-7:00 am at Peoples Natural Gas Park on May 25. (Note that we'll try, but race swag is not guaranteed for same-day registrants!)

Hey! Who's up for the Ultimate Johnstown Bucket List? This fun challenge involves visiting up to 20 of 30 Johnstown loca...
05/20/2019
Ultimate Jtown Bucketlist | Visit Johnstown Pennsylvania

Hey! Who's up for the Ultimate Johnstown Bucket List? This fun challenge involves visiting up to 20 of 30 Johnstown locations and posting selfies on social media using the hashtag #jtownbucketlist. Some of our sites are on the list -- we can't wait to see your selfies!

What is the Greater Johnstown Ultimate Bucket List?Johnstown has a uniqueness about it that is appreciated by those who live here and by all who visit. The “Bucket List” was created as a fun endeavor for young and old to participate to learn more about our history, outdoor resources, local cuisi...

05/17/2019

Busy weekend coming up! It's Next-to-Last Friday tonight with the Birddoggs, and on Sunday, another Kids' Cultural Cooking: Egypt and the Middle East featuring guest chef Samaah Sbeitan! If you've ever had the opportunity to sample Samaah's hummus, you know how good it is -- she'll be making that and koshari, a famous Egyptian dish.

Improvements to the Johnstown Children's Museum continue! Yesterday our rooftop garden deck was stained and repaired, an...
05/16/2019

Improvements to the Johnstown Children's Museum continue! Yesterday our rooftop garden deck was stained and repaired, and it's looking great. Our thanks to Home Depot and Behr Paint Company for in-kind support and labor!

Here is a list of 1889 flood commemoration events! Producing organizations include JAHA, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, an...
05/15/2019
1889 flood commemoration events planned by St. Mark's, JAHA, National Park Service - Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Here is a list of 1889 flood commemoration events! Producing organizations include JAHA, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and Johnstown Flood National Memorial.

Here is a listing of all 1889 flood commemorative events planned in the area as the 130th anniversary of the disaster approaches. Various dates in May and June, Johnstown Flood Museum: 1889 Flood Walking Tours of Downtown and Lower Town: Nick ...

JAHA notes with sadness the passing of Don Esserman, who took a lead role in the first redevelopment of the Johnstown Fl...
05/10/2019

JAHA notes with sadness the passing of Don Esserman, who took a lead role in the first redevelopment of the Johnstown Flood Museum in time for the 1987 flood centennial. He then served as president of JAHA's board of directors for 12 years, beginning in the early 90s. That was a period of growth and development for JAHA, including milestones like bringing the National Folk Fest to town, and the purchase and development of the building that would become the Heritage Discovery Center. We are grateful for his service and leadership. Our thoughts are with his wife, Pat (who is pictured below with Don at a 2001 JAHA event), and the entire Esserman family. (Photo: Jim Alexander.)

Recently the Center for Metal Arts demonstrated an industrial hammer in the Blacksmith Shop! JAHA, the JRA and others ha...
05/07/2019
WATCH VIDEO | Hammer time: Center for Metal Arts reuses closed steel plant’s machine

Recently the Center for Metal Arts demonstrated an industrial hammer in the Blacksmith Shop! JAHA, the JRA and others have been working to conserve this spectacular, historic building since the early 2000s, and we are delighted to see it spring back to life in these blacksmiths' capable hands. As Richard Burkert, JAHA president, says in the article below, "“They really understand the potential for that facility."

What was believed to be the last industrial power hammer in operation at the old Bethlehem Steel Corp. blacksmith shop in Johnstown sat idle for more than a quarter-century.

We appreciated this feature on our 1889 Flood walking tours! Plan to take both the Downtown and Lower Town tours sometim...
05/06/2019
Flood of memories: Volunteer dives deep on tour of 1889 sites

We appreciated this feature on our 1889 Flood walking tours! Plan to take both the Downtown and Lower Town tours sometime in May or June.

For the past four years, Nick Wuckovich has guided visitors through downtown Johnstown, sharing stories about the 1889 flood and buildings that survived it.

Game Night at JAHA is tonight (5/3)! Join us for games over drinks, including several Star Wars-themed games! Play games...
05/03/2019

Game Night at JAHA is tonight (5/3)! Join us for games over drinks, including several Star Wars-themed games! Play games we have or bring your own. Play some old favorites or create your own game (including a new "Journeys Through Johnstown"). Ages 18 and up; food and snacks will be provided. Admission is $3.

This year's 1889 Flood Walking Tours begin today (Thurs, May 2) at 11:30 am, and will run through June! A complete sched...
05/02/2019
City walking tours to focus on 1889 flood

This year's 1889 Flood Walking Tours begin today (Thurs, May 2) at 11:30 am, and will run through June! A complete schedule is listed in the events feed of this page. The Tribune-Democrat had a recent feature:

The Johnstown Area Heritage Association is bringing back its 1889 Johnstown Flood Walking Tours throughout spring and summer, beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 2 at the Johnstown Flood Museum, 304

JAHA's Richard Burkert was interviewed for this piece on the significance of ethnic churches. View below:
04/30/2019
Johnstown's touch of Notre Dame

JAHA's Richard Burkert was interviewed for this piece on the significance of ethnic churches. View below:

The conflagration of Notre Dame drew worldwide attention and sadness because of the destruction of one of the world's great achievements in architecture. The churches in Johnstown were inspired by

TODAY is the last day to get 2-day passes to the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival at early-bird prices! The 1st Summi...
04/30/2019

TODAY is the last day to get 2-day passes to the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival at early-bird prices! The 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial box office is open today until 5, or get them online at www.floodcitymusic.com. You won't want to miss Brownout Presents: Brown Sabbath (pictured), Gin Blossoms, Ghost Light and many more!

Flood City Music Festival
04/27/2019

Flood City Music Festival

"It’s really incredible to write a song in your bedroom and then 20 years later you’re thousands of miles from home and there’s 500 people singing your song back at you," said Robin Wilson of Gin Blossoms recently. That'll be the scene at our fest, 8/3! Get your early-bird tickets today at www.floodcitymusic.com or at the War Memorial (box office is open!).

TODAY is the last free-admission Saturday for the temporary exhibition Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, on loa...
04/27/2019

TODAY is the last free-admission Saturday for the temporary exhibition Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Heritage Discovery Center will be open from 10am-5pm.

Tonight is Last Friday at the Ethnic Social Club! See you in a couple hours.
04/26/2019
Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Tonight is Last Friday at the Ethnic Social Club! See you in a couple hours.

Preserving our heritage, revitalizing our community through the Johnstown Discovery Network.

A reminder to GET YOUR 2-DAY PASSES before early-bird pricing expires! Last day to get them is April 30. JAHA members, y...
04/26/2019

A reminder to GET YOUR 2-DAY PASSES before early-bird pricing expires! Last day to get them is April 30. JAHA members, you can get Oilhouse (VIP) passes at regular pass prices when you buy in person at the Heritage Discovery Center -- non-members, you can buy in person at the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorial.

"Our shows are celebratory, life-affirming experiences," says Fred LeBlanc, Cowboy Mouth's energetic frontman and drummer. “It's like a southern gospel revival without the religion." They'll headline our festival 8/2. Get your 2-day passes now, online or at the War Memorial (which is open today, and has Saturday hours of 10am-2pm)!

We appreciated this column by Jacob Wolff in yesterday's The Tribune-Democrat! "Since the early 1990s, the Johnstown Are...
04/25/2019
Jacob Wolff | It takes values to bridge the urban-rural divide

We appreciated this column by Jacob Wolff in yesterday's The Tribune-Democrat! "Since the early 1990s, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association has shaped a cultural renaissance in the former Bethlehem Steel facilities and neighboring communities," Wolff writes. "Vibrant, well-supported museums, regional college programs in the humanities and public libraries create spaces for us to engage, in-person, with one another to discuss our challenges, envision shared futures and to heal."

A generation ago, social critics decried an irreversible death of our great cities, publishing volumes on white flight, race riots and the precipitous decline of American manufacturing.

04/25/2019

This is the last week for the temporary exhibition Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race at the Heritage Discovery Center! On Saturday, April 27, admission to the entire museum is free, thanks to the generosity of the Blanche Beerman Fund at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. The very last day to see the exhibition is Sunday, April 28.

We had a great presentation with Tammy Hepps last week on “Researching Your Jewish Roots.” Tonight (Wed) a free foll...
04/24/2019

We had a great presentation with Tammy Hepps last week on “Researching Your Jewish Roots.” Tonight (Wed) a free follow-up open research session will be held at the Cambria County Library at 6pm with librarian Joyce Homan. Welcome!

04/22/2019

It's Monday (boo) but this week is Last Friday at the Ethnic Social Club (yay)! This month's featured entertainment is The Ne'er Do Wells, with guest bartenders from Women's Help Center, Inc. Hope to see you then.

04/21/2019

As a reminder, our museums are closed today for Easter Sunday! We wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday weekend.

04/19/2019

Our museums are open regular business hours of 10 am-5 pm today and tomorrow (Apr. 19-20), but we are closed on Sunday. Happy Easter to those who are celebrating!

We had a great time on last Saturday's Ride the Rails trip to Altoona! There are still seats available for JAHA's Ultima...
04/18/2019

We had a great time on last Saturday's Ride the Rails trip to Altoona! There are still seats available for JAHA's Ultimate Rail Fan Tour on April 27, the last train tour of the spring season. Call (814) 539-1889 to reserve your spot today!

Johnstown Area Heritage Association's cover photo
04/15/2019

Johnstown Area Heritage Association's cover photo

04/13/2019
Deadly Medicine | Heritage Discovery Center

ICYMI: this 3-minute video is a marvelous overview of the current temporary exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race. Remember, Saturday admission is free at the Heritage Discovery Center through April 27 so that more people will have the opportunity to see it. Welcome! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Otjn9fH9h8g

Richard Burkert, president of Johnstown Area Heritage Association, takes you through the "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race" temporary exhibit at the...

04/11/2019

All aboard! We have a couple seats left for Saturday's Ride The Rails Tours, and are taking reservations for the April 27 Ultimate Rail Fan Tour! Call us at 539-1889 to get your spot.

Address

201 6th Ave
Johnstown, PA
15906

General information

In addition to our museums, JAHA offers an ambitious schedule of special events (both produced by JAHA and rental events). These include the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival; Johnstown Film Festival; a wide range of festivals, workshops, special events and cultural programming for children and adults.For museum rental info, call 814-539-1889 x307; for current events, see "events" on this Page or at http://www.jaha.org/NewsSpecialEvents.html.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(814) 539-1889

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