Juniata County is a quiet, rural American area. Juniata County is the home of fertile limestone valleys enriched by the beautiful blue Tuscarora Creek and Juniata River, which are enclosed by majestic rolling slate rock hills and mountains. Juniata County is a major destination for outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy the trout, smallmouth bass and muskie filled waters as well as the grand game of every kind roaming the forests, valleys and mountains of beautiful Juniata County.
Geographically, Juniata County lies on the great central transition formation that runs through the center of Pennsylvania. The County is bordered on the South by Tuscarora Mountain and on the North by Shade Mountain.
Prior to western civilization appearing in Pennsylvania, Juniata County was inhabited by multiple Indian tribes, including the Delawares, Monseys, Shawnees, and Tuscaroras. The first white European settlers appeared in 1749. These first settlers, the Scot-Irish, crossed the Tuscarora at “Jinny’s Gap.” Today many nationalities and religions are represented in our area. Amish and Mennonite groups are strongly noticeable in both the agricultural and carpentry industries.
The County, formed from act signed by Governor Wolf, separated “the people below the Narrows” from Mifflin County on March 2, 1831. The county received its name from the Juniata River. The word “Juniata” is of Iroquois Indian origin for “blue water.”
Juniata County is only 12 miles wide and 52 miles long. It contains 247,860 acres, 386.3 sq. miles with 24,636 inhabitants as of Census 2010. The 2007 estimated population was 23,168. The Conrail/Amtrak Mainline, Juniata River and U.S. Highway Route 22-322 parallel one another, East to West, and bisect the county near the center. Mifflintown, the municipality with the highest population density, is the County seat.
Dairy, poultry, farming and fruit are predominant industries throughout the County. The largest industry in Juniata County is Empire Kosher. Founded in Liberty, NY in 1938, it is the world’s largest kosher poultry processing plant. Empire has its own hatchery, feed mill and network of local contract farmers who grow free roaming chickens and turkeys for kosher processing. Their product line encompasses 650 different strictly kosher items, from fresh chicken cutlets and fat free cooked turkey breast to pizza. Distributed to kosher butcher shops, supermarkets, delis and gourmet stores nationwide, Empire also exports its premium quality products to five continents.
Though the farming industry and Empire Kosher are stalwarts in the County, Juniata County has seen a continually expanding Industrial Park that provides an ever increasing number of manufacturing jobs in the county.
The people of Juniata County are friendly and hospitable. They are enthusiastic about their home areas and love the rural environment. Hunting and fishing are favorite sports of many residents and visitors. Many visitors in years past have now made Juniata County their permanent or part time home. If you are planning a historic and interesting vacation trip, tour Juniata County and visit us. You will be glad you did!