Dwight H. Roberts Collection

What’s online?

The online collection contains a variety of images taken in different parts of Johnstown, PA, from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth century, depicting street scenes, significant buildings, personal gatherings, and more. Of note are several photographs taken in the aftermath of the 1889 Flood that highlight the destructive force of this event and its impact on the Johnstown community.

What’s in the entire collection?

The Dwight H. Roberts Collection consists of materials related to the Roberts / Von Lunen families and to the history of Johnstown. Correspondence, legal and insurance papers, documents related to land transactions, including hand-drawn maps, diaries of Dwight Roberts kept between 1899 and 1943, papers related to Charles Von Lunen (Justice of the Peace, Stony Creek, PA), extensive research notes and materials concerning the Forbes Road compiled by Roberts, including note cards, notebooks, scrapbooks, maps, drawings, transcripts and photocopies of correspondence, diaries, etc. The materials related to Johnstown history include: maps, sheet music, pamphlets, books, newspapers, prints, photographs, programs, letters and receipts covering a variety of subjects including the Allegheny Portage Railroad, the 1889 Flood, local elections, businesses and transportation systems.

About Dwight H. Roberts

Dwight H. Roberts (1864-1952), a prominent Johnstown citizen, lost both of his parents, Harold J. and Mary Swoyer Roberts, and his brother, Otis, in the 1889 Johnstown Flood. He married Annie Von Lunen, a member of a prominent Johnstown, with whom he had three children. Roberts worked as the cashier of the Johnstown Citizens Bank from 1890 to 1908, before leaving the banking business to run his own farm. Between 1920 and 1923 he served on the Cambria County Board of Commissioners. In addition to his career, Roberts was a prominent local historian and one of the most well-read individuals on the early history of Johnstown and Cambria County. Roberts lived in Johnstown all his life, passing away in 1952 at the age of eighty-seven.

About the Project

The digitization of the Dwight H. Roberts Collection represents a joint effort between the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA), the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s Multimedia and Digital Culture (MMDC) program, and the University of Pittsburgh Library System. The work was funded by a generous archival grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

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