Students new to campus can find worthy attractions

Erin Fowler, Staff Writer

UPJ freshmen may be a bit dazed and confused with a homework barrage, intimidating professors and making new friends. Respite, however, can be found in the area.

Johnstown is home to historical and interesting places.

If history is your thing, than a visit to the Old Cambria County jail should be on your list.

In 2001, the jail was converted into a museum. The museum, at Center and Sample streets in downtown Ebensburg, features historical artifacts, including weapons made by prisoners, nooses used in executions and prison ledgers.

The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The plot of the Unknown Dead is an historical site in Westmont Borough’s Grandview Cemetery.

It memorializes 750 victims of the 1889 flood whose bodies were never identified.

The Flood Museum,  along Washington Street in the city is one of the biggest attractions in the Johnstown area.

The museum depicts the horrors of the Johnstown flood through artifacts, a map of the flood’s path and an Academy Award-winning documentary.

Another haunting memorial of the Johnstown flood is the Old Stone Bridge.

In the Great Flood of 1889 most of the 2,200 killed burned to death when tapped in the debris at the bridge.

Yet another historic site associated with the 1889 flood, the greatest national disaster of its time, is the U.S. Park Service’s National Flood Memorial in South Fork 11 miles from campus.  It preserves the site of the dam that failed, causing the disaster after which Clara Barton established a national reputation for the American Red Cross.

If you’re into scenic Johnstown, then a trip to the Inclined Plane should be in order. Built after the 1889 flood, its original purpose was to connect Johnstown to the higher ground of Westmont Borough.

The Inclined Plane is the steepest of its kind in the world and each car can hold up to 65 people at a time. At the top there is a restaurant called “City View Bar and Grille” which has views of the city from above.

The Incline is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Richland Cinemas offers $5 movie tickets to students who buy them in advance at the Student Life Office.

The Galleria Mall is only a short drive away, and a great place to shop. The mall offers a variety of stores, including Sears, J.C. Penney and Boscov’s.

Planet Ice in Richland offers public skating sessions, drop-in hockey and skate rentals. It costs $6 for admission and $3 for skate rentals.

The Heritage Discovery Center, along Broad Street in the city, is an interactive museum that tells the story of immigrant life in Johnstown along with other exhibits. If you purchase tickets, they are also good for entry to the Flood

Museum for up to five days after purchase.

Lastly, Pitt Stop offers student discounts for restaurants and businesses in and around Johnstown,  including Szechuan East, Holiday Hair and Tonic Grille.