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Tyrone native to release new book portraying the community’s captivating past

Jeffrey L. Adams, 48, is a native of Tyrone and a 1978 graduate of Tyrone High. His keen interest in local history comes naturally, beginning that interest in the historical aspect of the area when he was only eight-years-old.
The book is entitled Tyrone, printed by Arcadia Publishing. It’s part of Arcadia’s Images of America series, and the soft-cover book compiles 128 pages. It will be available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at or (888) 313-2665.
Tyrone is priced at $19.99, and its release date is set for Feb. 4.
Adams’ family first settled in what is present day Blair County prior to the American Revolution. His ancestors maintained plots all over the central Juniata region, including Tyrone.
Adams has collected all of the images for this book over a 35-year span. As a local historian, he has spent countless hours researching the people of the Juniata region, in particular, those of Tyrone.
“My reason for wanting to put together this book is the result of events that took place many years ago,” stated Adams. “As a youth, I worked for many of the elderly in town who had been prominent in the business community and their colorful stories of the community in ‘the old days’ put me on a path of discovery.”
In over 200 vintage photographs, Adams and R. Curt Chinnici, a collaborating author and editor, take readers down memory lane, from Tyrone’s time as a railroad terminus to today’s charming community.
Through postcards, images and photographs from famous Tyrone photographer R.K. Bonine, Tyrone chronicles the rich history of this community and the towns and villages that share its valleys.
The book presents the relationship between communities and how the prosperity of one provides the commerce for the others, revealing never before seen vintage photographs from both public and private collections.
Adams added, “Clippings and photographs that they [the elderly he worked for] gave me inspired me to study and research the development of the whole central region and the paths of transportation that led to our present day towns.”
Some of the images in the book were taken by rail workers and ancestors of Adams who lived railroading. The natural beauty of Tyrone’s growth is celebrated with the flip of every page with period photographs of decades upon decades of the town’s vibrant history.
The book focuses on the people; many are immigrants or their descendants that worked hard to create a community in a new country. It features the combination of the newly discovered science of photography in the middle 19th century and how the transportation industry, the Pennsylvania Railroad, motivated settlement of communities along its path.
In Chapter one of Tyrone, for example, is a twenty-mile photographic journey from the Juniata River to the Tyrone Gap through Huntingdon County.
Adams said he felt that Tyrone’s amazing story should be told one more time using photographic images spanning a 150-year timeline, and that his thousands of hours spent viewing maps, photographs and sketches under glass has given him an innate sense being a part of the whole picture.
Tyrone was founded in 1851 and since then has been a community of instrumental importance and natural beauty in PA. Its strategic location between the five valleys was the reason Tyrone played a role in the development of transportation, and the elements of architecture that evolved as an industry.
Tyrone’s central position also made it known as the “Hub of the Highways.”
Presently, Adams is a legal administrative specialist for the Social Security Administration. He is involved in many aspects of historical research; taking great pleasure in the compiling and editing of this photographic history of one of PA’s most interesting communities – Tyrone.
He has shared his insight with others interested in PA history and has put together an extensive library on the subject. Along with his editor, Chinnici, he keeps busy restoring a Civil War era townhouse in Philadelphia that includes unique PA furnishings.
Adams hopes this book brings a fresh and factual perspective using some images never before shared with the community, and descriptive accounts dating to Tyrone’s settlement. Each successive chapter represents another valley highlighting the settlements that each contain; coupled with well-researched captions, a factual and interesting tale is woven.
“I felt that people would want to own this book because of the fresh approach I have taken in presenting this region,” said Adams. “The views contained within illustrate a forgotten world when Juniata iron was king and Tyrone’s connection and influence with the world was the rail.”