Stackhouse Park has been in existence since the 1920s but was gifted to the City of Johnstown in 1930 by Powell Stackhouse’s father, in remembrance of his son, who at the time, was the president of Cambria Iron Works. During an age when the popularity of weekend picnics was at its peak, families would travel to the park on foot and by horseback. Between 1935 and 1936, company 1397 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1397 focused its efforts on the park. The young men who made up the corps constructed the buildings, approximately 26 fire pits and 2-1/2-miles of knapped road. All of these sites can be seen in the park today.
The 1936 Johnstown Flood changed the lives of the city’s residents and the future of the park forever.
The CCC was called away to complete other work, and the park was turned over to the city, which had no provisions for maintaining it. For 50 years, Stackhouse Park decayed. Several attempted restorations failed. In 1986, Stackhouse Park Inc. was formed by a group of concerned citizens interested in restoring the natural gem. One year later, Jim Pasco joined the founding members and embarked on a mission that can only be labeled as incredible — the successful and ongoing work to return the park to its 1930s glory days. Pacso remains the Park Ranger and has become the face of the park to visitors who have come know him well. Pasco is the historian, the hands-on caretaker and the backbone of Powell Stackhouse Park. Finally, thanks to the foresight of Mr. Stackhouse, the deed to the land stipulates that the land may never be timbered for profit and may never be developed. Stackhouse must remain a recreational facility.