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Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
Hollidaysburg skyline
Hollidaysburg skyline
Location of Hollidaysburg in Blair County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Hollidaysburg in Blair County, Pennsylvania.
Map of Blair County highlighting Hollidaysburg
Map of Blair County highlighting Hollidaysburg
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Blair County
Settled 1768
Incorporated (borough) 1836
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 2.33 sq mi (6.05 km2)
 • Land 2.33 sq mi (6.05 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total 5,641
 • Density 2,429.98/sq mi (938.32/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Zip code
Area code(s) 814
FIPS code 42-35224
2008 03 30 - Hollidaysburg - Blair St 2
Allegheny Street
2008 05 25 - Holidaysburg - Blair St 2
Allegheny Street

Hollidaysburg is a borough in and the county seat of Blair County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is located on the Juniata River, 5 miles (8 km) south of Altoona and is part of the Altoona, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1900, 2,998 people lived in the borough, in 1910, 3,734 lived there, and in 1940, 5,910 residents were counted. The population was 5,641 at the 2020 census. Coal, iron ore, ganister, and limestone are found in the vicinity. In the past, the borough had foundries and machine shops, a silk mill, car works and classification yards.

From 1834 to 1854, the borough was an important port on Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, where the Juniata Division Canal connected to the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

The center of Hollidaysburg is frequently referred to as "The Diamond," where the buildings and parking spaces form a diamond. This area serves as the hub for parades, festivals and other town celebrations.


The borough of Hollidaysburg was first laid out in 1796 and was named after Adam and William Holliday, Irish immigrants who founded the settlement; by 1814 it consisted of several houses and a tavern. Hollidaysburg became the main transfer point between the Pennsylvania Canal and the Portage Railroad, a gateway to western Pennsylvania. The canal and Portage Railroad spurred industrial and commercial development in Hollidaysburg in the 1830s. In 1836, Hollidaysburg was established as a borough.

When Blair County was organized in 1846, the Borough of Hollidaysburg was designated the county seat. This designation allowed the borough to prosper when politicians and attorneys became attracted to the borough.

In 1903, the Pennsylvania Railroad constructed a large switching yard and US Route 22 was directed through the borough. In addition, The Pennsylvania Railroad Constructed the Hollidaysburg Car shop to help ease the bustling of the Altoona Shops. Years later, Conrail also built a car reclamation plant on the property. Hollidaysburg Reclamation plant and car shop are currently still operational and operated by Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation.

Historic district

The Borough of Hollidaysburg established a local Historic District in 1989 and implemented a historic district ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve the unique architectural and historical qualities of the borough. This ordinance regulates alterations, additions, new construction and demolition in the district. The Hollidaysburg Historic District encompasses the central part of the Borough. There are roughly 400 structures in the District. These structures are classified as Significant, Contributing, and Non-Contributing.

The Historical and Architectural Review Board is responsible for the review and regulation of changes within the district. This advisory board consists of seven members. The process involves making an application to get a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). HARB Application. This application is then reviewed by the Board at its regular monthly meeting. HARB/HPC Meeting Agenda The HARB makes a recommendation to the Borough Council, who reviews the request and makes a final decision at its regular monthly meeting. If approved, a Certificate of Appropriateness is awarded and a zoning permit will be issued for the work. The charge for a COA is $10.00. There can be additional charges per the zoning permit, depending upon the type of project.

The Hollidaysburg Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Located in the district and separately listed are the Blair County Courthouse and Highland Hall.


Hollidaysburg is located at 40°25′54″N 78°23′32″W / 40.43167°N 78.39222°W / 40.43167; -78.39222 (40.431772, -78.392085). According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,896
1850 2,430 28.2%
1860 2,469 1.6%
1870 2,952 19.6%
1880 3,150 6.7%
1890 2,975 −5.6%
1900 2,998 0.8%
1910 3,734 24.5%
1920 4,071 9.0%
1930 5,969 46.6%
1940 5,910 −1.0%
1950 6,483 9.7%
1960 6,475 −0.1%
1970 6,262 −3.3%
1980 5,892 −5.9%
1990 5,624 −4.5%
2000 5,368 −4.6%
2010 5,791 7.9%
2020 5,641 −2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,368 people, 2,224 households, and 1,349 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,261.0 inhabitants per square mile (873.0/km2). There were 2,392 housing units at an average density of 1,007.5/sq mi (389.0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.19% White, 0.82% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

There were 2,224 households, out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 20.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $36,758, and the median income for a family was $43,209. Males had a median income of $33,315 versus $24,627 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,634. About 5.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

  • Charlie Brenneman — mixed martial arts fighter
  • Jeff Bower (basketball) — NBA executive/coach
  • James S. Frazer — Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court
  • Hedda HopperHollywood gossip columnist
  • Maxwell Hunter — aerospace engineer
  • Adam Huber; actor
  • Harold L. Ickes — Secretary of the Interior for Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Sam Lafferty — NHL player for the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Wallace McCamant — jurist
  • Samuel Rea — president of the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1913–1925
  • Luke Rhodes — Indianapolis Colts long snapper
  • Wade Schalles — 2-time NCAA Collegiate wrestling champion (set records for most high school and collegiate pins and pin percentage), entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and coach
  • Daniel Hale Williams — African-American surgeon and a pioneer in the field of cardiac surgery
  • Red Whittaker — roboticist
  • Pat Francis Dodson — Podcaster
  • Michael Strueber— Artist

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Hollidaysburg para niños

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