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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Mineral Point in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Allegheny Portage Railroad

To Staple Bend Tunnel

 
 
Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, April 27, 2018
1. Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker
Inscription.  Workers hired to build the Allegheny Portage Railroad in the 1830's created the pathway before you. They dug, filled, and leveled the land, and built a flat railroad bed between here and the Staple Bend Tunnel. This now-abandoned trace, called the Long Level by railroad employees, provides a 2.1-mile trail to the nation's first railroad tunnel.
As you hike toward the tunnel, look for the remains of this pioneering railroad. Workers, including many immigrants from Ireland and Wales, quarried stone from trailside rock outcrops. Masons used these stones to build culverts that kept the roadbed dry. They trimmed sandstone into rectangular blocks, called sleepers, to support the railroad tracks. A few culverts and many sleepers are still in place. Stone foundations near the tunnel mark the sites of workshops, houses for workers, and probably a small store.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 40° 22.583′ N, 78° 50.172′ W. Marker is in Mineral Point, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County
Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, April 27, 2018
2. Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker
Surveyors played a critical role in plotting the railroad's course and keeping the roadbed relatively flat.
. Located at Staple Bend Tunnel Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1189 Beech Hill Road, Mineral Point PA 15942, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Path of the Flood (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Allegheny Portage Railroad (here, next to this marker); Staple Bend Tunnel (approx. 1.6 miles away); Johnstown Flood (approx. 3.4 miles away); Sgt. Michael Strank (approx. 3.4 miles away); The South Fork Dam (approx. 3.7 miles away); The Unger House (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Dam Melts Away (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mineral Point.
 
Also see . . .  Staple Bend Tunnel Park. (Submitted on December 28, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
 
Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, April 27, 2018
3. Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker
The ornamental stone pilasters that adorned the Staple Bend Tunnel still flank the west entrance.

Staple Bend Tunnel 1880's photo courtesy of John Fritz Collection National Canal Museum Easton, PA.
Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, April 27, 2018
4. Allegheny Portage Railroad Marker
2001 preserved east entrance of Staple Bend Tunnel. Documentary evidence suggests the east and west entrance facades were similarly constructed.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 28, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 24 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 28, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Distant shot of marker and its surroundings. Also photos of tunnel itself. Time constraints limited me to walking the trail to the tunnel. • Can you help?
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Feb. 26, 2021