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Juniata Class Project Results in Community Web Site for Former River Resort

(Posted July 31, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- As part of a series of senior projects in environmental science, 2007 Juniata College graduate Maggie Morgan was assigned to create a Web site on any topic. Luckily for a small river community along the Juniata River, the Everett, Pa. native decided to focus her site on publicizing the town of Cypher, Pa. \"I had moved there three years ago when I was a sophomore and I was immediately interested in the long history the town had, especially as a resort,\" Morgan says. Morgan\'s Web site has turned into a community project, garnering photographs, local history and other relevant facts and activities at www.cypherbeach.com. She remains the editor for the site, but she has found that other locals have contributed articles or photographs to flesh out the site\'s content. The Web site address is: www.cypherbeach.com. \"In the 1920s and 1930s many people from the surrounding area had summer homes in Cypher, in addition to the people who lived there year-round,\" Morgan explains. \"As well as homes, there was a large dock for mooring boats and a roller rink.\" The roller rink, which was torn down in 2007, closed in 1986. The small town also had a rail station served by the Broad Top Railroad. According to Morgan, the station served travelers to Philadelphia and Baltimore and also was a freight station. In the late 1930s, some of the concrete used to build the tunnels on the original section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was shipped to Cypher Station. \"I was amazed at the level of interest in the Web site,\" Morgan says, who did a little self-marketing in the community by posting signs around the town and on the strip of riverfront known as Cypher Beach, inviting residents to sign onto the Web site. \"The reaction of the people was incredible, I just kept getting calls from everyone.\" Morgan has gleaned an impressive amount of local photographs, including photos of the town after Cypher was devastated by the 1936 flood that inundated Johnstown and many other central Pennsylvania communities. \"I like the idea of getting down the history of a small place,\" Morgan says. \"A lot of families still hold reunions along the river and a lot of people met their spouses at the roller rink.\"

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.