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Gallitzin is a borough in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is bordered by Gallitzin Township and Tunnelhill, all of which sit astride the Eastern continental divide. Tunnel Hill and Gallitzin both are pierced by railroad tunnels shortening the necessary ascent for rails crossing the Allegheny Front onto the Allegheny Plateau which encompasses the towns terrains. Topping the gaps of the Allegheny, the area is one of only five major breaks in the Appalachians allowing east-west transportation corridors before the advent of 20th century technologies.
Dutch traders and trappers friendly to the Susquehannock may have visited the region about 1620, as the town sits atop a mountain pass through which the ancient Amerindian trails later renamed the Kittanning Path transited. The plateau atop the escarpment was the domain of the Iroquoian confederations of the Erie people and the Susquehannock peoples, both sharing the byways and hunting lands of the Allegheny Mountains until about the mid-1650s. The Susquehannock and Erie people are known to have traded through the area, one of the few avenues the Erie, who dominated the hunting lands west of the Alleghenies had to obtain fire arms, though by all accounts, all the tribes in contact with the numerous Erie were reluctant to trade them fire arms. Further, Susquehannocks are quoted to have expected 800 Erie warriors in 1662 to join in their war with the Iroquois. By 1675 both the Susquehannocks and Erie tribes would both fall to rampant multiple-years of epidemic diseases in combination with the vicious multi-decade internecine territorial bloodletting known as the Beaver Wars which left the Alleghenies a remote hunting ground of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederation.
As English and British colonists began their multi-decade onslaught of deal breaking and genocide, by the early 1700s the Delaware people still living along the eastern seaboard were increasingly treated as bad or worse than slaves, and displaced clear across the breadth of Pennsylvania, to beyond the Allegheny Front, where they settled along the rivers of Western Pennsylvania. One of their larger settlements, and closest to the gaps of the Allegheny, was the Amerindian town of Kittanning along the middle reaches of the Allegheny River.
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