The first U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Holland, was built in Philadelphia in 1900.
Bedford County, Pennsylvania, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the 18th century. The area was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Delaware and Shawnee, before European settlers arrived. In 1750, Bedford County was established as one of the original counties of Pennsylvania.

During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), Bedford County played a significant role as it was located on the western frontier. The county was involved in military campaigns and saw the construction of Fort Bedford for protection against Native American attacks. The war had a major impact on the region, shaping the future development of its settlements.

In the following years, Bedford County experienced rapid growth and development. It became an important transportation hub with the construction of the Bedford Turnpike and the Pennsylvania Canal, connecting it to major cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. This allowed the county to flourish economically, attracting new settlers and industries.

In the 19th century, Bedford County played an active role in the American Civil War. Many residents volunteered to fight for both the Union and Confederate forces. The county suffered significant losses and witnessed battles and skirmishes, including the Battle of Gettysburg, which had a profound impact on the local community.

Today, Bedford County is known for its scenic beauty, historic sites, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors can explore attractions such as Old Bedford Village, which showcases life in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the historic buildings in downtown Bedford. The county continues to celebrate its rich heritage, preserving its history while embracing modern advancements.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

  • 1750: The area of present-day Bedford County is inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Shawnee and the Lenape.
  • 1758: Fort Bedford is established by the British during the French and Indian War.
  • 1771: Bedford County is officially founded on March 9, becoming one of the original counties of Pennsylvania.
  • 1795: The county seat is moved from Bedford Village to the newly established town of Bedford.
  • 1804: The Henry Bridge, the first bridge to cross the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, is completed.
  • 1861-1865: Bedford County contributes soldiers to the Union Army during the American Civil War.
  • 1952: Construction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike begins, running through the southern part of Bedford County.
  • 1995: Shawnee State Park is established, providing outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.