Collectible medallions featuring local landmarks available from Bellwood-Antes Historical Society

The Bellwood-Antes Historical Society is currently producing a series of collectible medallions featuring local historical landmarks.
Each collectible also comes with a written history.
One new medallion is created each year, the first being produced in 2003. The back of each item lists Bellwood-Antes Historical Society along with the edition and year.
The first medallion features the Bellwood Station (1905-1956) and the second shows the race track in Tipton and reads Altoona – Tyrone – Tipton Speedway (1922-1929).
Bland’s Park (1907-2000) is featured on the third medallion and the park’s carousel is pictured. The fourth medallion shows the covered bridge at Fuoss Mills which was built in 1874 and burned down in 1967.
Currently, the historical society has released the fifth medallion depicting Elizabeth Furnace (1832-1892).
According to B-A Historical Society president Mary Brunner, besides a picture of the furnace, the medallion also features the inscription reading “Elizabeth Furnace – Sabbath Rest – Pinecroft”.
She explained the three names and the reason for so many changes throughout history.
According to Brunner, the area was originally known as Elizabeth Furnace because of the working furnace located there with the same name.
Originally the furnace worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That was later changed when Martin Bell took over and Sunday became considered as a day of rest, resulting in the name, Sabbath Rest.
Finally, the area changed once more, when it became known as Pinecroft. This was also related to the furnace. When wood was cut from the area to feed the furnace, the pine trees were not used and therefore were always left standing.
Elizabeth Furnace is located along Sandy Run, off the Little Juniata River in Pinecroft, Antis Township.
Built in 1832, it was owned at one time by Martin and Edward Bell.
In 1836 Elizabeth Furnace utilized its gases for steam, and it is thought to be the first blast furnace in Pennsylvania to do so. The furnace stood between 30 and 34 feet high. Previous researchers found the furnace to be in excellent condition in the 1960s, however by 2003, it was found to be only in fair condition.
The historical society has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this medallion to the Elizabeth Furnace restoration project.
All five medallions are available to the public at a cost of $8. Interested individuals can purchase them at any Bellwood-Antes Historical Society meeting or by contacting Mary Brunner at 684-4884.
The collectible medallions will also be on display during Tyrone Community Day at DelGrosso’s Park on August 4.
The Bellwood-Antes Historical Society meets the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library.
Each month a special guest speaker is featured. In August, Dave Seidel will talk about the trolley cars that ran from Altoona to Tyrone. The public is invited to attend.