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“Great look at local history”

Heritage Discovery Center
Ranked #4 of 16 things to do in Johnstown
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great look at local history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2013

The exhibit on immigration was very moving. It shows living conditions, working opportunities, transportation, clothing styles of the late 1800's. You hear actual voices talking in first person. Very interesting.
Also a nice play/inter- acting area for children . A play area, a general store, a coal mine, a game area,a kitchen area with tables and plastic food, etc.
Our family spent 2 1/2 hours one Wednesday afternoon. We all enjoyed the time.

Visited March 2013
Thank Lori Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
169 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Disappointing Discovery”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

Some things should be free.... Felt uncomfortable going in building even though I needed to use restroom. Was not going on walking tour. Was interesting to see where the "club" homes were and the lake prior to bursting.

Visited June 2013
Thank Sandra G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
91 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A must see!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

Really discover what built Johnstown and all its history. Interactive displays, plus plenty to keep the kids busy as well with special events and activities. Very reasonably priced as well.

Visited September 2012
Thank momoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, New Jersey
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Not Bad.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

The most prominent exhibit is about immigrants. It was interesting and I understand that the museum wanted to focus on a certain time period but it would have been more relatable for me at least if they had had a more varied group of immigrants. Unfortunatley the person I chose was a 9 year old girl who couldn't do very much and my friend chose a Jewish man who was turned away from most things because he was Jewish. I understand that is what really happened but for the purpose of showing what happened to immigrants we didn't learn much except that life sucked and we couldn't get a job. The interactive exhibits were a good concept though. You got an id card that you slid like a door key at certain points and people on screens would talk to you. There was an "Ellis Island" type who checked you in, a rich lady who helped you find your way, and an overseer who you were to ask for a job. I got varying degrees of "go away" everytime I tried to do something but as I said with a different card it might have been better.

The next floor had some exhibits on life in Johnstown and Johnstown facts but not a whole lot and the fifth floor had some things that were made in Johnstown, like radiator, ovens, pottery and benches.

The Children's museum would have been good for kids but since we are kids at heart we had to play a bit. I climbed through a fake coal mine to the top of the incline and took a super fast slide to the bottom. There was also a model of the incline that you could play with. I think there was a water exhibit about the flood but it was closed. There was also a rooftop Children's Garden with some local plants and a nice view of the city.

The Steel Gallery had a movie about the steel industry in Johnstown which was interesting and also some very nice pictures of the old steel mills.

It was a good museum but it seemed to me that it could have been better. The second and fifth floor could have been combined with room to spare and the immigrant experience would have been better if our immigrants had been more interesting.

Visited September 2012
2 Thank Laurel_Lye13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

Was glad it was free with the Johnstown Museum entry fee; otherwise would not have been worthwhile to pay to see it, Just not very interesting.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank travelweary55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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