A variety of local experts and enthusiasts will lead free walking tours of downtown Huntingdon on Thursday mornings from June 15 to August 17. The tours will cover local art, architecture, ecology, and history — and a special evening tour on Monday, July 3, will focus on local ghosts.
The Thursday morning tours will begin at 10 a.m. in the park at Sixth and Penn Streets, and will take place rain or shine. No tickets or reservations are required — just show up prepared for a few blocks’ worth of walking. Free parking is available in the municipal lot across Sixth Street. The tours are organized by Huntingdon Landmarks, with help from the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Huntingdon Landmarks is welcome to do so.
June 15 — Huntingdon Churches with Lawrence Biemiller: Huntingdon’s downtown churches represent a spectacular range of architectural styles, from neo-Egyptian to red-brick Gothic. The group will visit as many as possible, and be welcomed inside of several. Biemiller writes a local-architecture column for the “Daily News.”
June 22 — Architecture Scavenger Hunt with Matt Price: Price, a Huntingdon Landmarks volunteer, will showcase the architecture of downtown buildings. On each block, participants will search for architectural elements shown in photographs.
June 29 — Women’s Suffrage with April Feagley: Huntingdon has a long legacy of remarkable women, including those who had prominent roles in getting American women the right to vote. Feagley, a local history buff, will share stories of our history’s fierce females.
Monday evening, July 3 — Ghost Tour with April Feagley and Lonnie Smith: Before the annual Independence Day fireworks display, take a walk downtown with our local historians and prepare to Shiver by the River. Enjoy some good old-fashioned ghost tales while learning local history. This tour will begin at 8 p.m. at Fourth and Allegheny Streets.
July 6 — Public Art with John Kearns: Within Huntingdon Borough is some great public art. This informative walk will examine art on Penn Street, in Portstown Park, and on Washington Street. Kearns is executive director of the Huntingdon County Arts Council.
July 13 — Victorian Mansions and Gardens with Tom Yoder: Step back in time to a 1905 house that is virtually unchanged from the turn of the century. Experience Queen Anne splendor and a beautiful secret garden right in Downtown Huntingdon. Yoder is Huntingdon Borough’s mayor.
July 20 — Urban Forestry with April Feagley: Don’t miss the forest for the streets! Learn about Huntingdon’s urban-forestry efforts with local tree aficionado April Feagley, and find out why our community has been recognized year after year by Tree City USA.
July 27 — River Ecology with Logan Stenger: This nature walk along the Juniata River will focus on the river’s ecology, on how it has changed, and on the direction in which it appears to be headed. Stenger is the Watershed Specialist for the Huntingdon County Conservation District.
August 3 — General MacAlevy with Matt Price: William McAlevy led troops as a colonel in the Revolutionary War, after which he was promoted to brigadier general. Always outspoken, he went on to lead a rebellion in Huntingdon against the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Price is a history buff and Huntingdon Landmarks volunteer.
August 10 — Civil War Connections with Fred Lang: While no battles took place here, Huntingdon County has many Civil War connections. This tour will visit sites associated with several key people, including Horace Porter, David McMurtrie Gregg, and Ellen Orbison Harris. Lang is vice president of the Huntingdon County Historical Society.
August 17 — Downtown Architecture with Lawrence Biemiller: Huntingdon’s buildings range from restrained 18th-century houses and elaborate 19th-century mansions to a courthouse that’s a pop quiz of different architectural styles. Biemiller writes “Buildings & Grounds,” a monthly local-architecture column in the “Daily News.”