Tyrone Teacher Makes History His Business


The creators of Local Historia Dustin Elder(left) and Matt Maris(right).

Anyone born and raised in a small town knows that locals take great pride in their community. While that can mean how many football games their team has won, it can also mean learning about and appreciating local history.

Tyrone native, alumni, and high school social studies teacher Dustin Elder along with a former colleague, Matt Maris, have capitalized on hometown pride to start a business specializing in telling stories and preserving the history of central Pennsylvania.

Their company is called Local Historia, and according to Elder, “We try to connect people with their own local stories and get them engaged in their own communities.”

There are a lot of things people should know [about their communities] and things they should be proud of.”

— Dustin Elder

Local Historia provides local history-themed walking tours in Tyrone, Bellefonte, State College, and Altoona.

Their next local event will be this Friday, November 11, in Altoona.  Local Historia will partner with historian Jared Frederick to offer a Civil War walking tour in Altoona.

The cost is $12 per person, but veterans can take the tour for free. The 60-75 minute lantern-led tour will start and finishes at Laws Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Downtown Altoona Veterans Mall.

Participants are invited to bring their own lanterns and dress for the occasion. Comfortable shoes and warm clothes are advised as the tour is outside and follows public sidewalks and streets.

Tickets must be purchased prior to the event and all sales are final. Online payment can be made with traditional bank cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Tickets can only be purchased online.  Click HERE to order.

Veterans can email [email protected] for their free tickets.

According to their website, “we are passionate about researching and sharing local history. In the process, we strive to give back to our community by working to preserve historical sites and stories.”

The walking tours are the most common way for Local Historia to best influence their communities. In this way, they bring people closer to their communities and teach them about the things the people may have never known.

According to Elder one of the biggest goals of their business is to reconnect local people to their communities.

“There are a lot of things people should know [about their communities] and things they should be proud of,” said Elder.

To learn more about the company, the founders, and upcoming events go to their website here.