By Diane Acerni (Arcadia Publishing, 2009) Available at area bookstores and online at www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Long-time history buff and member of the Armstrong County Historical Society, Diane Acerni has produced the definitive local history book, "Kittanning."
"Kittanning" is a pictorial history illustrating the times and the people of this river town that became the center of Armstrong County's government and commerce. A well-seasoned writer for the Leader Times and the Valley News Dispatch, Acerni worked with the Armstrong County Historical Society to produce a history book showcasing 200 vintage photographs and personal stories from local residents and period gems from the archives of the Armstrong County Historical Society.
The book explores the river town's roots as an American Indian settlement dating to 1727 when the area was home to the Delaware Nation. In fact, the town got its name from American Indians, "Kit-han-ne" meaning "at the great river."
According to Acerni, "French traders documented visits to Kit-han-ne, or as they described it, "Kythenning River" as early as 1731. Dwellings were noted on both banks of the Allegheny River, with an estimation of 50 families and 150 men residing in Attique, the French name given to Kittanning."
The book also retells the town history during the French and Indian War. The photographs illustrate the river town's fabled history, including the flood of March 1936 where residents waded through water at Market and Jefferson streets. Other photos include family portraits and period shots of classic cars and other relics.
The faces of the past come alive with photos capturing basketball teams, the Kittanning High School Band and World War II Red Cross nursing volunteers.