The Walters Family and The Duncan Family

Along old route 22 in the middle of Duncansville, PA is the first structure built in the borough.  The log cabin was built circa 1820.

The Walters family settled in the area before the canal days, which began in the early 1830's.  They came out of Lancaster county as many families did and traveled west through Pennsylvania.  Route 22 was one of the earliest routes coming from the east.  Coming out of Harrisburg, route 22 was an Indian path which followed the Juniata River which began outside of Harrisburg.

Along the route, all of the little towns, along the river, are about fifteen miles apart.  The average travel for a conestoga wagon coming west was about fifteen miles a day.  they would stop every fifteen mikes until they would reach their destination.

The reason that Duncansville was an early settlement was because as families were coming west in the early 1800's, this was still Indian country.  They didn't settle here until they felt that the Indians had moved westward.

Legend has it that as the wagons came west into the area, they saw the mountains up ahead and said that this was as far as they were going.  That is why the Walters family settled here.  They ended up building several log cabins in the immediate area.  The lone remaining cabin was the largest one.

The Walters family settled on the east side of the Blair River and then The Duncan Family had settled on the west side of the river.  As a result, you had Walterstown on the east side and Duncansville on the west side of the river.

In the early 1830's, the canal started ending in Hollidaysburg. As more and more people were moving in, building homes and settling, they decided to rename the area one name.  Legend has it that both the Walters family and the Duncan family met at the bridge in Duncansville.  They flipped a coin.  Heads it would be Duncansville and tails it would be Walterstown.  It came up heads.  So, the town has been known as Duncansville since 1836....

 

**To read the complete article, check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County Volume 2

 

**Information for this article was obtained through an in person interview with local historian Dave Czuba

 

**Pictures for this article are from the author's collection..

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