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town Turnpike. Later came the great trunk railroad whose express trains now go roaring down the valley.
    Johnstown is -- nay, Johnstown was! -- a busy and industrious place. The people of the town were the employees of the Cambria Iron and Steel Company, their families, and small storekeepers. There was not one rich man in the town. Three-quarters of the 28,000 people lived in small frame tenement housses on the flats by the river around the works of the Cambria Company. The Cambria Company owns almost all the land, and the business and professional men and the superintendents of the company live on the hills away up from the creeks. The creeks become the Conemaugh river right at the end of the town, near where the big stone Pennsylvania Railroad bridge crosses the river.
    The borough of Johnstown was on the south bank of Conemaugh creek, and the east bank of Stony creek, right in the fork. It had only about a third of the population of the place. It had never been incorporated with the surrounding villages, as the Cambria Company, which owned most of the villages and only part of Johnstown, did not wish to have them consolidated into one city.
    Conemaugh was the largest village on the creek between the lake and Johnstown. It is often

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen