- Honorable Tamara R. Bernstein
- (814) 472-1416
- Betzi White, Administrator
- (814) 539-7454
The first European settlers arrived in the Conemaugh Valley in the 1770s. The area was rich with timber. By 1804, 700 square miles of land, which was to become Cambria County, was carved out of portions of Bedford, Somerset and Huntingdon Counties. The area was still sparsely populated and it took until 1807 for the county to have enough residents to justify autonomous political and judicial administration.
In time, coal was discovered and became the major engine for economical growth. The coal mines laid the foundation for the industry of steel in this area. Iron and steel grew to become the dominant industry in the Conemaugh Valley. The Cambria Iron Works Mill even had a mine located within it; this was the only arrangement of its type in the country.
The Pennsylvania Canal passed through the area, and the city of Johnstown became one of the largest ports on the canal. However, Cambria's county seat is located in the town of Ebensburg, 20 minutes north of Johnstown on Route 219. While Johnstown is located in a river valley, Ebensburg is a community of 3,000 which sits high atop the Laurel Highlands. The current county courthouse is the county's third, originally built in 1880-1882, last refurbished in 1992.
The rest of Cambria County is largely rural, a mixture of farms, forests and small quaint towns. Today, Cambria County is no longer dominated by the steel and coal industries. It is changing from the heavy industries to a widely diversified business base featuring technology, defense contractors and world-class health care facilities.
Cambria County has many historical and cultural attractions for visitors including The Ghost Town Trail, Prince Gallitzin State Park, Potato Festival in Ebensburg, and the Memorial National Visitor Center in Saint Michael. In the city of Johnstown you may visit and enjoy the Incline Plane, Discovery Center, Annual Folk Festival, Annual Thunder In The Valley and the 1889 Flood Museum. This year Cambria County is proud to celebrate it's Bicentennial: March 26, 1804 - March 26, 2004.
Cambria County Facts
- County Seat
- Ebensburg, PA