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2.04.2018

Historic Borough of Roaring Spring, Blair County

The last leg of our journey took us through the Raystown Lake Region, out of Huntingdon County, through Bedford County, and into Blair County on beautiful Route 164. This area is very scenic and pretty. Our next stop takes us to the borough of Roaring Spring, home to one of the strongest springs in the state, a geologically notable location around which grew a thriving village with a connection to the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad. It is home to the only remaining original PRR station in Blair County, something that is quite notable considering the illustrious railroading history in Blair County, specifically in Altoona. 
This municipality is a fine example of a "company town." Much of the borough's development formed around the Roaring Spring Blank Book Paper Company, which was founded by businessman Daniel Bare. Remarkably, a large part of the operations of this company have remained in the borough to this day, and the bulk of the remainder of their operations are within the county. 
Cresting Tussey Mountain and heading into Blair County from Bedford County.
Here is the town's small railroad station, which serves as the home of the Roaring Spring Historical Society The building dates back to 1906 and is the only remaining authentic Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Blair County, which is surprising considering that more than three dozen different buildings existed in this county, which was once a main hub of operations for the PRR. Tyrone has a historically accurate replica PRR station, and Altoona has a modern station of its own. The line is now operated by the Everett Railroad. Roaring Spring has a number of beautiful and historic buildings that have lead towards designation as a National Historic District. A 1942 Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive sits parked next to the train station.
The village formed in Morrison's Cove, an eroded anticlinal valley that formed in Blair and Bedford Counties that is surrounded by Tussey Mountain to the East, and Dunning, Lock, and Loop Mountains to the West. The bowl-like cove has only three openings. The Raystown Branch of the Juniata River and Yellow Creek flow through the cove. 

The large expanse of flat land of Morrison's Cove was, and remains, fertile farmland, and the sheer power of Roaring Spring lead towards the founding of this village around the spring and it was used as a key source for hydropower, initially for a grist mill, and later for a paper mill. You can see one of the paper industry buildings, the beautiful Roaring Spring Blank Book Company Building that dates back to 1900, on the end of the pond created by the spring.
The pond itself stays warm enough at a constant temperature to be an excellent habitat for trout and waterfowl. The air temperature was about -2 degrees when we visited, and every other body of water was basically frozen solid. This water did not have even a single bit of ice on it, showing the sheer power of the spring. The spring water temperature always comes out at a steady 50 degrees. In the summer months, they have a fountain that has operated in the pond at Spring Dam Park since 1931. The fountain has been illustrated on postcards since it was erected. 
Waterfowl!
Trout!

Hawk!
The spring itself has mostly been diverted to the municipal water supply, though it still has a good amount of flow that goes into the pond. The spring was named "Roaring Spring" because of the estimated eight-million-gallons-a-day that it gushes out. The sound is said to have echoed through the valley. Not nearly as much sound is made now, since much of the flow is diverted to the municipal water system. 
The Bare Memorial Fountain, sitting dormant for the winter months.
Another view of the train station.

Roaring Spring is a fun little borough to explore. We highly recommend checking it out if you are in the area. 

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