Blair County celebrates 175th anniversary with Sunday events

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Two special events in Blair County allowed residents to take a trip back in time, in honor of the area’s 175th anniversary.

The first took place at the Baker Mansion where a historic piece of history from the 1890s was unveiled.

According to Chairman Dr. Michael Farrow, Altoona’s original 1890 United States Longitude and Latitude Meridian Marker has been tucked away at the Blair County Historical Society for 20 years.

“The stone was removed in 2001 to widen Chestnut avenue to four lanes,” said Farrow.

But it now has a permanent home in the gardens of Baker Mansion.

“In those days they would have a large instrument in the middle of the transit pier or the stone that we have here, and they would send signals by telegraph to check the longitude and latitude. They’d have to do it during the day and by the stars at night. Today, they do it all by GPS,” said Farrow.

Over at Lakemont Park, another piece of history took center stage. Performers put on a play called Grit and Grace, which focused on the passage of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote.

“We think it’s very important, a lot of people don’t realize how long it took to get the right to vote for women,” said play author Kathrine Muller.

Told by women of the changing times, the play highlighted the fight it took and ended in a roll call for when each state granted women the right to vote.

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