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ALTOONA FACTS

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Population and Growth

1849................................Founded
1860..................................3,591 
1870.................................10,610
  1880 ................................19,710   
 1890  .............................30,260   
              1900.................................38,973            	
  1910...................................52,127
     1920..................................60,331     
   1925, (January 1, special survey)   67,872  

Number of families.............15,458
Number of dwellins.............14,024
Physical

Area of city, 4.15 square miles.
Elevation, from 1,100 feet at lowest point to 1,300 at highest point.
Number of wards, 12.
Mean all year around temperature, 52.74 degrees.
Average yearly rainfall, 33.2 inches.
Number of days in year with no measurable rainfall, 245.
Miles of paved streets, 61.58.
Miles of paved alleys, 9.63.
Miles of sewers, 104.

Geographical

Altoona is located thirty-five miles southwest of the geographical center of Pennsylvania, in a fertile valley between two mountain ranges.

The city is situated on the four-track main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 114 miles from Pittsburgh on the west and 235 miles from Philadelphia on the east.

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It is located on the William Penn Highway, running east and west, and on the Horseshoe Trail, which runs north to Elmira, N.Y., and south to Cumberland, Md.

Thirty-six miles south of Altoona the Horseshoe Trail crosses the Lincoln Highway.

Altoona is located in the heart of a territory which produces coal, sand, ganister rock, clay and small lumber.

Blair County, in which Altoona is situated, has some of the most productive grain, fruit and vegetable farms in Pennsylvania.

Altoona is called "The Mountain City."

Historical

The first house was built in Altoona in 1849.

The city was incorporated as a borough in 1858; as a city in 1868.

Archibald Wright, of Philadelphia, acting presumably for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, purchased the Robinson farm of 223 acres for $10,000 in the year 1849. On this tract original Altoona was laid out.

The erection of the Altoona shops was begun in 1850.

The Pennsylvania Railroad was opened through to Altoona from the east in 1850, and through to Pittsburgh in 1854.

Altoona was named in 1850 after the city of "Altona," then in Denmark, and where had been located the first railroad shops in the world. An extra "o" was added to draw a line of distinction between the Old and New World communities.

The Edison Electric Illuminating Company was organized in Altoona in 1886 and in the little city of less than 18,000 an installation of 3,360 lamps was made. In the magnitude of this enterprise Altoona went far beyond many larger cities .

Artificial gas was first served by the Altoona Gas and Water Company in 1859. Natural gas was first served to Altoona on April 5, 1913.

The first telephone and telephone exchange was set up in Altoona in March, 1880. There were seventy subscribers.

The City Passenger Railway Company was incorporated and built a horse-drawn car line in Altoona in 1882. The first electric car was put in operation on July 4, 1891. The line to Hollidaysburg, the County Capital, was first operated July 14, 1893.

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The site of Altoona was the hunting grounds of first the Oneida, and later the Seneca and Tuscarora Indians. It was a scene of animated pioneer and colonial history. Fort Roller, Fort Fetter and Fort Roberdeau were famous frontier forts, the sites of which are all within a few miles of Altoona.

The massacre of the Bedford Scouts occurred just west of what is now Altoona, in 1781.

Captain John Logan was a famous Iroquois Indian and friend of the whites, who operated over the area now covered by Altoona. The Logan House and Logan Valley Railway Company are two of the many institutions that bear tribute to his memory

Fort Roberdeau, just east of the city in Sinking Valley, was the largest and best protected fort throughout this section during the Revolution. It was built in 1778 by General Daniel Roberdeau, Revolutionary soldier and member of the Continental Congress. The fort protected the settlers who mined lead, which was hauled overland in wagons to Philadelphia and cast into bullets for Washington's army. The lead workings may be seen today but the lead is not present in quantities sufficient to justify mining it.

Alleghany Furnace, one of the first of the old Pennsylvania iron furnaces, is still a monument to pioneer industry in the Keystone State. It stands at the southern edge of the city. The furnace was built about 1800. The little cluster of log cabins beside it, making a picturesque and historic colony, were built in 1799.

Altoona takes a place of unique distinction in Civil War history. At Altoona, in September, 1862, the Governors of the loyal northern States met in solemn session and repledged their fidelity to President Lincoln. This meeting brought a co-operative policy which had much to do with winning the war. The meeting took place in the parlor of the historic Logan House.

During the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War Altoona was one of the key cities in working out vital problems of transportation.

Municipal

Type of government, Mayor-Commission.

There are five departments: Public Affairs, Public Safety, Accounts and Finance, Streets and Public Improvements, and Parks and Public Property.

Assessed valuation ...................$65,000,000
Percentage of actual value..........60 per cent.


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Millage for city tax ...................71/2 mills
Assessed valuation for county tax .......$32,969,899 Millage for county tax ...................... 7 1/2 mills Fire department ..............................Paid and motorized
Personnel.......................................67 men Call men .........................................30 Number of stations (with two Pennsylvania Railroad) .... .. ..9 Pieces of apparatus.............................15 Number of modern fire alarm stations.......115
Number of police officers..........................44 Suspended street lights, 400 c.p.................651 Boulevard lightining units, 400c.p................233
The city maintains its own street cleaning and garbage collection systems, having full auto-motive equipment in each department . The city makes rigid inspection in matters of sanitation, electrical work, buildings weights and measures, plumbing ,
pole erections and fire hazards
. Number of parks in city...............10
Total area, approximate...............60 acres

The city maintains its own water system. A very small area of the city is served by a private company.

        Value of city water system.................. $2,000,000
        Annual consumption.............................1,494,1 56,243 gallons
        Area of storage reservoirs.....................130 acres
        Area of water shed...............................30.19 square miles
                  
                          
                  
                           

Financial


        Number of banks in city..................................7
        Clearings for year ending August 31, 1924.......$169,656,283.31 
        Total deposits...................................................14,659,682.30
        Combined resources.........................................18,824,315.78
                                     
                      
                                           
                                       


Number of building and loan associations ............44

Number of shares..............................................159,202 Total assets .....................................................$11,805,246.49
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Industrial


     Number of workers in industry in Altoona.........16,889
        Annual payroll................................................$27,134,996
        Value of products...........................................80,441,633
        Capital invested..............................................31,060,874
                      
                                           
                                         
                                         

The value of locomotives, cars and metal products annually made in Altoona is more than $60,000,000.

Altoona has two silk plants which annually produce more than 3,000,000 yards of silk, and pay in wages more than $1,000,000.

Altoona produces steam and electric locomotives, passenger and freight cars, silk, meat packing products, bricks, motor trucks, paper products and printing, confectionery, and shirts and working garments .

Commercial


    Value of annual mercantile business in Altoona.........$45,065,890 
    Retail business ......................................................$26,272,010
    Wholesale business................................................$18,793,88            
     Trade population...................................................150,000
   Trade area served by Altoona.................................3,000 square miles
                         
                  

Building and Improvements

     Number of building permits calendar year 1924............2,064	       	 
Value of new building and improvements for 1924 ..................$3,437,479

New homes built in 1924................................................408

New street paving in 1924.............................................9.58 miles

Schools


     Number of public grammar schools.............17
        Central grammar schools.............................1
        Junior high schools.......................................1
        High schools................................................1
        Total enrollment........................................9,965
         
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         Teachers....................................................356
Attendance at free night school....................1,264 Assessed valuation for school purposes ...... $60,000,000.00 Millage.......................................................12 mills Income for school purposes .......................$1,017,519.79 Value of public school property ..................$3,574,424.79
Number of parochial schools in city...............7 Catholic high schools.....................................1 Total enrollment...........................................3,594

Churches

There are sixty-nine churches in Altoona, representing practically every religious faith

Hospitals


        Altoona hospital................................166 beds
        Mercy hospital.......................................86 beds
        County hospital and county home (near city..... 440 beds
                                          
                                            
                    

Post Office Receipts

The Altoona Post Office serves an area of seven and threequarter square miles, and a population of 86,000.

The following gross receipts figures are a barometer which show the city's growth:

1900 ............................ $ 48,550.18
1905 .............................. 79,330.76
1910 .............................. 106,030.06
1915 .............................. 136,155.98
1920 .............................. 210,519.47
1923 .............................. 254,426.76
Treasury savings for 1923..................................$271,706.5
Treasury savings for first six months of 1924.......320,460.00


More than 1,000,000 parcel post packages were received for dispatch or delivery in 1924. .


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Recreational

Altoona has sixty acres of parks and recreation space in or near the city.

Through the public-spirited policy of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company,  Altoona has an athletic field and stadium which seats 27,000.

Altoona has a modern gymnasium and swimming pool, virtually public property. It is called the Altoona Gymnasium and is one of the finest health centers in the State .

A modern outdoor municipal swimming pool is operated by the city for the public during the summer months.

Altoona has two large privately owned swimming pools in the suburbs. Available to the public, they are among the finest and largest in the State.

The city has a theatre devoted to the drama, opera and first grade musical shows; a refined vaudeville house and seven moving picture theatres. Two of these seat more than 2,000 each.

Lakemont Park, three miles from the city, is one of the noted beauty spots of the State. It is famed for its lake, shrubbery and flowers, and the extent of its amusements.

Two automobile race classics are held yearly at the Altoona Speedway, on Flag Day and Labor Day .

Miscellaneous

The foreign-born population of Altoona is seven and one-half per cent.

More people own their own homes in Altoona than in any other city of similar size in the country.

Altoona has the greatest car shops and wheel foundry and the largest engine house in the world.

Altoona has one of the world's greatest testing plants for testing locomotives.

The city is only four miles from Horseshoe Curve, one of the scenic wonders of America.

A cathedral is in course of construction, which will be the finest between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The Mechanics' Library has more than 50,000 volumes on its shelves.

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All wires and cables are underground in the entire business area of the city.

Altoona people spend more than $1,000,000 per year on newspapers, and magazines.

Altoona's radio broadcasting station, "WFBG," is among the most powerful and best equipped in the country.

The city has a Central Bureau of Charities which centralizes charitable effort and takes excellent care of the city's poor.

The Altoona Speedway is one of the fastest mile-and-a-quarter board tracks in the world.

Altoona has a City Planning Commission, whose control insures the city's growth being logical and orderly.

The Altoona freight yards have a capacity of 10,000 cars per day.

The Altoona wheel foundry of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company has a capacity of 1,000 car wheels a day .

A Convention City

Altoona has entertained forty State or national conventions in the past four years, and two system athletic meets of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, each meet being attended by 30,000 visitors from outside the city.

The total attendance at the forty conventions was 18,000.

The Altoona Chamber of Commerce has a Convention Bureau which extends every courtesy and practical help in the matter of conventions.

Altoona has a total of 600 modern, first-class hotel rooms.



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