Bedford County, Pennsylvania
|Bedford County, Pennsylvania|
Bedford County Courthouse
Location in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 9, 1771|
|Named for||Fort Bedford|
|• Total||1,017 sq mi (2,634 km2)|
|• Land||1,015 sq mi (2,629 km2)|
|• Water||3 sq mi (8 km2), 0.28%|
|• Density||49/sq mi (18.9/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
- 1 History
- 2 Law and Government
- 3 Geography
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Geology
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Municipalities
- 8 Education
- 9 Recreation
- 10 See also
- 11 References
Robert MacRay opened the first trading post in Raystown (which is now Bedford) on the land that is now Bedford County in 1750. The settlers had a difficult time dealing with raids from Indians and the fighting between the French and the British.
In 1759, after the capture of Fort Duquesne in Allegheny County, a road was built between the fort (which was renamed to Fort Pitt) to the newly built Fort Bedford in Raystown. This road followed Indian trails and became "Forbes Road" which passed through Bedford and is now Route 30. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built, this interstate toll road became the main highway through Bedford County.
Bedford County was created on March 9, 1771 from part of Cumberland County and named in honor of the Fort Bedford.
The area quickly increased in population once safety became more established. The land with its lush farmland and woodland became an attractive site. It also formed an important center on the way to Pittsburgh and farther west of Pennsylvania. George Washington stayed in the county in response to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.
The Bedford Springs Hotel became an important site for the wealthy. Under President James Buchanan, the hotel became the summer White House. The U.S. Supreme Court met at the hotel once. It was the only time that the high court met outside of the Capital.
The 19th century featured a population boom in the county with the population doubling in size between 1870 and 1890. Railroads passing through the town connected the county with the mining industry. The story of the Lost Children of the Alleghenies originates from Blue Knob State Park in the county.
In September 2014, Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins aggressively pursued charges against a local teenager relating to the 14-year-old's alleged lewd conduct toward a statue of Jesus. Higgins was widely reported to have said of the case: “[The teen's] actions constitute a violation of the law, and he will be prosecuted accordingly. If that tends to upset the ‘anti-Christian, ban-school-prayer, war-on-Christmas, oppose-display-of-Ten Commandments’ crowd, I make no apologies.” Higgins used an obscure local law from 1972 that makes it a crime to desecrate a "venerated object" to prosecute the teen. The American Civil Liberties Union was reportedly looking into the case. Higgins himself had previously admitted to having an extramarital affair, and also admitted to having sex with a woman in his office after a Bedford County Republicans meeting. The woman he allegedly bedded in his office later sued for sexual harassment, but that case was dropped.
Law and Government
- Kirt B. Morris, Chairman (Republican)
- S. Paul Crooks, Vice Chairman (Democrat)
- Barry L. Dallara, Secretary (Republican)
Pennsylvania State Senate
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Jesse Topper, Republican, Pennsylvania's 78th Representative District
- Carl Walker Metzgar, Republican, Pennsylvania's 69th Representative District
United States House of Representatives
As of November 2014, there are 32,327 registered voters in Bedford County.
- Democratic: 9,827 (30.40%)
- Republican: 19,512 (60.36%)
- Libertarian: 133 (0.41%)
- No Party Affiliation: 1,467 (4.54%)
- Other: 1,388 (4.29%)
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,017 square miles (2,634.0 km2), of which 1,012 square miles (2,621.1 km2) is land and 4.6 square miles (11.9 km2) (0.28%) is water.
- Blair County (north)
- Huntingdon County (northeast)
- Fulton County (east)
- Allegany County, Maryland (south)
- Somerset County (west)
- Cambria County (northwest)
Significant Topographic Features
- Interstate 70/Interstate 76 (PA Turnpike)
- Interstate 99
- U.S. Route 30
- U.S. Route 220
- State Route 26
- State Route 36
- State Route 56
- State Route 96
Bedford County Airport is a public use airport in Bedford County. It is owned by the Bedford County Airport Authority and is located four nautical miles (7.4 km) north of the central business district of the borough of Bedford, Pennsylvania.
Bedford County is situated along the western border of the Ridge and Valley physiographic province, which is characterized by folded and faulted sedimentary rocks of early to middle Paleozoic age. The northwestern border of the county is approximately at the Allegheny Front, a geological boundary between the Ridge and Valley Province and the Allegheny Plateau (characterized by relatively flat-lying sedimentary rocks of late Paleozoic age). (PA Geological Survey Map 13)
The stratigraphic record of sedimentary rocks within the county spans from the Cambrian Warrior Formation to the Pennsylvanian Conemaugh Group (in the Broad Top area). No igneous or metamorphic rocks of any kind exist within the county.
The primary mountains within the county (From west to east: Wills, Evitts, Dunning, and Tussey mountains) extend from the southern border with Maryland to the northeast into Blair County, and are held up by the Silurian Tuscarora Formation, made of quartz sandstone and conglomerate. Chestnut Ridge is a broad anticline held up by the Devonian Ridgeley Member of the Old Port Formation, also made of sandstone and conglomerate. Broad Top, located north of Breezewood, is a plateau of relatively flat-lying rocks that are stratigraphically higher, and thus younger (Mississippian and Pennsylvanian), than most of the other rocks within the county (Cambrian through Devonian). Broad Top extends into Huntingdon County to the north and Fulton County to the east.
The Raystown Branch of the Juniata River is the main drainage in the northern two-thirds of the county. The river flows to the east through the mountains within the county through several water gaps caused by a group of faults trending east-west through the central part of the county. The river then turns north and flows into Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County. The southern third of the county is drained by several tributaries of the Potomac River. Both the Potomac and Juniata rivers are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Several limestone quarries exist in Bedford County, most of which are owned and operated by New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company. Quarry locations include Ashcom, New Paris, Kilcoin, and Sproul. .
Two coal fields exist within Bedford County. One is the Broad Top Field in the northeastern corner of the county, and the other is the Georges Creek Field along the southwestern border . Both fields contain bituminous coal. There are abandoned mines in both areas and acid mine drainage is an environmental problem in the Broad Top area, where several fishless streams exist as a result of the discharge from the abandoned mines. .
Natural gas fields and storage areas exist in southeastern Bedford County, primarily within folded Devonian rocks south of Breezewood. Another deep gas field exists in the vicinity of Blue Knob on the border with Blair County to the north. (PA Geological Survey Map 10)
As of the census of 2010, there were 49,762 people, 20,233 households, and 14,251 families residing in the county. The population density was 49 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 23,954 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.0% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. 0.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 20,233 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the county, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.9 years. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.
The largest ancestry groups are listed below, expressed as a percentage of total people who responded with a particular ancestry for the 2008–2012 American Community Survey:
- 34% German
- 21% Unclassified or not
- 11% American
- 8% Other groups
- 6% Irish
- 5% English
- 3% Italian
- 2% Dutch
- 1% Pennsylvania German
- 1% Polish
- 1% French (except Basque)
- 1% Scottish
- 1% Scottish-Irish
- 1% Welsh
- 1% Swiss
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in only one case (Bloomsburg, Columbia County), towns. The following boroughs and townships are located in Bedford County:
County Population Ranking
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Population (2010 Census)||Municipal type||Incorporated|
Public School Districts
- Bedford Area School District
- Chestnut Ridge School District
- Claysburg-Kimmel School District (also in Blair County)
- Everett Area School District
- Northern Bedford County School District
- Tussey Mountain School District (also in Huntingdon County)
There are 3 Pennsylvania state parks in Bedford County.
- Blue Knob State Park site of the Blue Knob All Seasons Resort
- Shawnee State Park
- Warriors Path State Park
The largest borough-owned park in the county is a 77-acre community park in Everett, Pennsylvania - open to the public and available for events. Mid State Trail (Pennsylvania) and Great Eastern Trail pass through Everett and Tenley Park.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Barber, Shannon. "DA Who Went After Kid For Jesus Statue Prank Is An Adulterous Porn Addict". Addicting Info. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Voter Registration Statistics. Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved on 2014-11-04.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bedford County, Pennsylvania.|
- "THE KERNEL OF GREATNESS: An Informal Bicentennial History of Bedford County (Pennsylvania)", by Bedford County Heritage Commission (Author), B/W Illus (Illustrator), 1971, ASIN B000KYDYOE