Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Additional Johnstown Sites

Johnstown's Inclined Plane

The Steepest Vehicular Inclined Plane in the WORLD!

The unique draw of the Inclined Plane's story...

             Johnstown sits at the confluence of the Stonycreek and Little Conemaugh rivers.  This union forms the Conemaugh River, which continues through the valley and eventually empties in to the Kiskiminetas.  At this confluence, the rivers are surrounded on all sides by steep hills which leave little flat ground for buildings.  Johnstown is well known for its catastrophic flood of 1889, but this city also has a positive claim to fame.  It is the home of the Johnstown Inclined Plane, the steepest vehicular inclined plane in the world.  An inclined plane is a short railway that runs up the side of a steep hill and raises and lowers cars on cables.  The Johnstown Inclined Plane is a vehicular inclined plane because the cars are large enough for automobiles to be taken up and down the hill

      (Continue reading the Inclined Plane's history.)


Activities in this curriculum

Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) has created flexible thematic threads for use with several historical sites located in Johnstown. Threads focus on different disciplines and topic areas to help you tailor class visits to meet your instructional goals. Each thread includes discussion topics, primary sources, and learning activities for students before your visit, during your visit, and further exploration after your visit. With extensive galleries of artifacts, photos, and documents from the JAHA collections, even classes outside of western Pennsylvania should be able to complete most of the learning activities located on this website.

The curricular thread for the Inclined Plane pulls from many different disciplines.  These materials are targeted at older elementary students, since most teachers are quite adept at adapting instruction up or down, to meet the ability levels of different aged students.   JAHA has also referenced standards from all subjects that touch upon the topics discussed here.  The referenced standards are available for each of JAHA's curricular threads.

Please let us know your suggestions and experiences working with these materials. We look forward to seeing you and your class!

Before your visit

During your visit

After your visit

**  Don't forget to visit the photo galleries!  **


Funding Credits

Made possible through a generous grant from the Inclined Plane.

Teachers' Guide Production Credits

Overall Project

Project Director

Richard Burkert, Executive Director, Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Project Coordinator

Danielle Miller, Museum Educator


Historical Content Research

Dan Ingram, Curator, Johnstown Area Heritage Association;

Richard Burkert, Executive Director, Johnstown Area Heritage Association;


Standards Matrix


Danielle Miller, Museum Educator


Curriculum Design, Development, Writing

Susan K. Donley, Learning Design

Curriculum Design, Development, and Writing

Danielle Miller, Museum Educator

About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2005 Johnstown Area Heritage Association