Heritage Discovery Center

Heritage Discovery Center

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201 6th Ave
PA, 15906

Learn more about the Heritage Discovery Center!

Upcoming Events at This Location

January 25, 12:00 PM

Kids' Cultural Cooking: Baking edition!

Heritage Discovery Center

Are you sick of winter already? Do you miss festive holiday desserts? Join JAHA for a special Kid’s Cultural Cooking—BAKING EDITION! We will learn how to make sugar cookies and then decorate some of our very own winter themed cookies to bring home! Cost is $10 for nonmembers or $8 for members and admission is included.

Space is limited, so sign up today —  call 814-539-1889 for reservations!

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January 31, 5:30 PM

Last Friday at the Ethnic Social Club

Heritage Discovery Center

For our first Last Friday of the New Year, we’re delighted to present acoustic music from Justin Giuffre & the Pilgrimage!

Doors at 5:00, with music at 5:30. No cover.

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February 5, 6:30 PM

Banished from Johnstown: A presentation of the book

Heritage Discovery Center

In 1923, the mayor of Johnstown, Pa., ordered every African-American and Mexican who had lived there for less than seven years to leave town. The order came following the shooting of four police officers by an African-American man. The mayor was running for reelection, and he wanted to rally the Ku Klux Klan vote. More than 2,000 Mexicans and African-Americans left the community, penniless and scared. 

“Banished from Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania” tells the story of one of the worst racial injustices in our region’s history. Come see a presentation involving photos, research anecdotes and a talk about and invitation to participate in further research into the topic and era.

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February 15, 1:00 PM

African-American History Day

Heritage Discovery Center

The African-American Heritage Society, the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, and the History Department of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown will be hosting “African-American History Days” in February and March 2019.

The purpose of the events is to gather materials for AAHS and JAHA to tell Johnstown’s African-American History.

At the events, UPJ history majors and secondary education—social studies majors will be collecting videotaped oral histories; they will accept and accession donated and loaned artifacts; and they will digitally scan documents and photographs.

Participants in the Oral History Project will answer questions about the development of Johnstown’s African-American Community from the 1930s to the present. We invite all members of this community to share their story. UPJ History students will use participants’ stories in the future creation of historical documentary films. Topics discussed will include, work, community, churches, school, military service, neighborhoods, etc. Every member of this community has something important to add!

The AAHS and JAHA are seeking donation or loan of any physical artifacts that tell the story of the African-American experience in Johnstown, items related to work and employment, unions, African-American owned businesses, military, churches, sports, music, clubs, fraternal and sororal societies, clothing/fashion, popular culture, and more.

We invite participants to bring family documents such as marriage, birth, adoption, and death certificates, deeds, wills, certificates of naturalization, military induction or discharge papers, old driver licenses, passports, etc. Students will digitize these items, immediately return the originals, and provide digital copies to the participant free of charge.

We encourage participants to bring family photo albums and scrapbooks for scanning as well.

In addition to history collection, there will be a screening of the 1991 documentary “We’ll Make the Journey” at 1pm and 3pm. This twenty-five minute film detailed the “Great Migration” of African-Americans to Johnstown in the first third of the twentieth century, featuring interviews with many of Johnstown’s black pioneers.

More days are scheduled as follows:

  • Feb. 29, 10:00 am-2:00pm, Cambria County Library, 248 Main St., Johnstown. In addition to history collection, Alonna J. Carter, member of the African American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) and the National Council of Public History (NCPH), will make a presentation about genealogical research
  • Mar. 29, 1:00-5:00 pm at First Cambria AME Zion Church. 409 Haynes St. Johnstown. Program details tba.


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February 28, 5:30 PM

Last Friday at the Ethnic Social Club

Heritage Discovery Center

For this month’s Last Friday, we’re proud to present Jeff Webb & the Delectable Sound for the first time ever!

Doors at 5:00, music at 5:30. No cover.

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