the essay by Blake Michaels on the Southern Cambria Trolley:
line opened in 1908 with the goal of connecting Johnstown, the
most populous city in the county and Ebensburg. Ebensburg, even
after repeated attempts by the southern parts remained the county
seat. The main reason was its central location: If Johnstown were
the seat, it would be over 50 miles to reach the seat when the
only form of transportation was walking.
written article. Liked it. One minor flaw, sort of anyway. It is true
that several times Johnstown tried to become the county seat. And
the part about it being too far is also true. However, the real reason
Johnstown, even today, can't become the county seat is that the people
behind the formation of Cambria County were big landholders in the
Beulah / Ebensburg area. It is written into the county charter by
the state that the county seat must be located within 10 miles of
the geographical center of the county. Can you imagine something like
that happening. Also, Beulah was the first choice for the county seat.
However, the split in the trails / roads ( current Rts 22 & 422) at
Ebensburg to go to Pittsburgh and Indiana sealed the fate of Beulah.