Armstrong Township History
- Armstrong Township was incorporated 1784.
- On September 1, 1875 Mutual Fire Insurance Co. was
of Township residents. It merged with South Bend Mutual Insurance Co.
the early 1970's.
- Mail service, until the late 1930's, was delivered by
horse and buggy.
Roads were impassable many times and farmers' fields and lanes were
in lieu of the roadway. A trip to Indiana many times took half a day.
service was quicker by way of Creekside. The local train station is now
being used as a church. The old Indiana & Kittanning roadway,
in the 1930's, followed Benjamin Franklin Road to the Thomas Covered
and across Chestnut Flats to Gastown.
- Old federal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were
located all over the
country during the Great Depression. Indiana County had three, located
in Shelocta, Home and Homer City. Young men lived in these camps and
parks, dams, roads, and performed reforestation. When World War II
these young men traded in their green uniforms and many were the first
elements of the Army and Navy.
- There is a total of 96.26 road miles in the
by the Township, 31.76 by the State.
- Prior to the jointure with Indiana Area School
District in the 1950's,
there were approximately fifteen schools in Armstrong Township located
approximately two miles apart. The idea was that no student should have
to walk more than one mile to school. However, road miles were usually
twice as far.
- There were several homesteads within Armstrong
Township that were used
as underground railroad stops.
- Shelocta Borough was incorporated on May 15, 1835.
- In 1986, the Indiana County Planning Commission
completed an historic
survey of Armstrong Township. Of the fifteen structures surveyed within
Armstrong Township, eight appear to be eligible for nomination to the
Register of Historic Places.
- The most important stimulus for the development of
the 19th Century was the farming industry. The Township experienced its
first permanent white settlement as early as 1727. These settlers
by way of the Kittanning-Frankstown Trail (present day State Route
This trail was once a major transportation route for native americans
traders and was utilized by Colonel Armstrong in his 1756 march on
along Township Road 414 is the Thomas Covered Bridge, one of
Town truss covered bridges located in Indiana County. Only 20 covered
of this type are found in the State of Pennsylvania. This bridge is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- After experiencing a decrease in population from 1885
to 1900, the Township's
population began to increase at the turn of the 20th Century. The
of the coal mining industry in Indiana County spurred the construction
of numerous ralroad lines, including the Buffalo, Rochester and
Ridge Branch which runs through Armstrong Township.
- Currently, there is extensive coal mining in
Armstrong Township to
the Keystone Generating Plant. The Christmas Tree industry is another
asset to the Township. With many professionals, retailers and services
available in our Township, Armstrong Township is one of the few that
seen growth in the past census.