The first U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Holland, was built in Philadelphia in 1900.
Cambria County, Pennsylvania, has a rich history dating back to the American Revolutionary War period. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Lenape and Shawnee, who were later displaced by European settlers. The first European settlers arrived in the mid-18th century, and Cambria County was officially established in 1804.

During the 19th century, Cambria County experienced rapid industrialization and became an important center for the iron and steel industry. The discovery of vast reserves of high-quality bituminous coal in the region led to the establishment of numerous coal mining operations. Cambria County's strategic location, abundant natural resources, and access to transportation networks, including the Pennsylvania Canal and later the Pennsylvania Railroad, further boosted its economic development.

The county played a significant role in the American Civil War. It was here that the famous Battle of Gettysburg's debris and wounded soldiers were transported for medical care. Additionally, numerous regiments recruited from Cambria County participated in various battles, including the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg.

In the 20th century, Cambria County faced the challenges of economic decline due to the collapse of the steel industry and the gradual depletion of coal reserves. However, the county has adapted and diversified its economy through the development of healthcare, education, and tourism sectors. Today, Cambria County is known for its historical landmarks, including the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, which commemorates the tragic flood that occurred in 1889. The county continues to thrive as a vibrant community with a deep sense of history and resilience.

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

  • 1804: Cambria County is established by an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature.
  • 1807: The first courthouse is built in the county seat of Ebensburg.
  • 1825: The Allegheny Portage Railroad, a transportation system connecting the Eastern and Western divisions of the Main Line of Public Works, is completed in Cambria County.
  • 1846: Johnstown is incorporated as a borough.
  • 1852: The Pennsylvania Canal, which runs through Cambria County, is completed.
  • 1869: The South Fork Dam, located upstream of Johnstown, fails, leading to the devastating Johnstown Flood.
  • 1889: The Cambria Iron Company, one of the largest and most successful iron and steel companies in the nation, is founded in Johnstown.
  • 1892: The Great Johnstown Flood occurs, resulting in a massive loss of life and destruction of property.
  • 1913: The Johnstown Flood Museum is established to commemorate the two major floods that occurred in the area.
  • 1950s-1960s: Cambria County experiences a decline in the steel industry, leading to economic challenges.
  • 1996: The Johnstown Inclined Plane, a historic cable car system, is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Present: Cambria County continues to be home to a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, education, and tourism.