Bedford, Pennsylvania - Encyclopedia

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BEDFORD, a borough and the county-seat of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the Raystown branch of the Juniata river, about 35 m. south by west of Altoona. Pop. (1890) 2242; 1 Called "guinea-pigs." (1900) 2167. Bedford is served by the Bedford branch of the Pennsylvania railway. It lies in a beautiful valley. In the borough are some interesting old houses, erected in the latter part of the 18th century, an art gallery and a soldiers' monument. There are deposits of hematite and limestone near the borough, and less than 2 m. south of it are the widely-known Bedford Mineral Springs - a magnesia spring, a limestone spring, a sulphur spring, and a "sweet-water" spring - which attract many visitors during the summer season. There are also chalybeate and other less important springs about the same distance east of the borough, and a white sulphur spring 10 m. south-west of it. Bedford has a large wholesale grocery trade, manufactures flour, dressed lumber, kegs and handles, and is situated in a fine fruitgrowing district, especially known for its apples and plums. The borough owns and operates the water works. A temporary settlement was made on or near the site of the present borough about 1750 by an Indian trader named Ray, and for a few years the place was known as Raystown; the present name was adopted not later than 1759. In July 1758 Fort Bedford, for many years an important military post on the frontier, was constructed, and here, later in the year, General John Forbes brought together his troops preparatory to advancing against Fort Duquesne. The town of Bedford was laid out in 1769, and in 1771 it was made the county-seat of Bedford county, which was organized in that year. The borough was incorporated in 1 795, and received a new charter in 1817. Washington came here in 1794 to review the army sent to quell the Whisky Insurrection, and the Espy house, which he then occupied, is still standing.

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