Skip to main content


Johnstown:1 City (1990 pop. 9,058), seat of Fulton co., E central N.Y.; founded 1772, inc. 1895. Its leather-glove industry dates back to 1800; other leather and knitted goods are also made. Johnson Hall was built by the city's founder, Sir William Johnson. Other notable buildings include the county courthouse (1774) and Fort Johnstown (1771), the county jail. The last Revolutionary battle in New York was fought in Johnstown on Oct. 25, 1781. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in the city.

2 City (1990 pop. 28,134), Cambria co., SW Pa., on the Conemaugh River at the mouth of Stony Creek; settled 1770, inc. as a city 1936. Formerly one of the great centers of U.S. heavy industry, its manufactures now include metal products, apparel, dairy products, machinery, furniture, and ice rinks. Branches of U.S. Steel and Bethlehem Steel were there before the decline of the steel industry in the 1970s and 80s. The first Kelly pneumatic converter for the transformation of crude iron into steel was built there in 1862. On May 31, 1889, South Fork Dam with its large upriver reservoir c.12 mi (19 km) above Johnstown broke as a result of heavy rains, and the city was flooded, with the devastating loss of nearly 2,200 lives; this was one of the greatest disasters of 19th-century America. The river was later channeled (completed 1943) for flood prevention. The Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the National Drug Intelligence Center, and a state rehabilitation center are in the city. Part of an abandoned steel plant now houses a heritage museum in the city. Johnstown Flood National Memorial and Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site are nearby (see National Parks and Monuments, table).

See D. McCullough, The Johnstown Flood (1968, repr. 1987).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Johnstown." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 9 Dec. 2018 <>.

"Johnstown." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (December 9, 2018).

"Johnstown." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.