Bellefonte gets its name from a natural spring (la belle fonte, which means “the beautiful fountain”) and is located in Central Pennsylvania. It sits 12 miles northeast of State College and is part of the State College Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bellefonte is the county seat of Centre County and has a population of over 6,000 people.
Bellefonte began in the early 1800s with a single house and one cross road. After large limestone and iron deposits were found, the town grew into a major economic and cultural hub, becoming the most influential town between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
Bellefonte boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Pennsylvania. Many Bellefonte residents work in education, health care, construction and government. Some of the largest employers include the Bellefonte Area School District, the Centre County Government, Geisinger Health System, Graymont and Hilex Poly.
Bellefonte is famous for its rich Victorian architectural heritage. It is home to a large collection of well-maintianed 19th and early 20th century homes and buildings. The city also boasts eleven sites that have been named to the National Register of Historic Places, including the Bellefonte Historic District, the Bellefonte Armory, Brockerhoff Hotel, the Centre County Courthouse and the Gamble Mill.
Bellefonte is also known for its sense of community and cultural events. Residents gather each year for events like the Victorian Christmas Celebration, the Bellefonte Community Easter Egg Hunt, the Bellefonte Children’s Fair and the Big Spring Festival.
Bellefonte has produced a large number of cultural figures. The list of notable figures from Bellefonte includes actors such as Jonathan Frakes (famous for playing Commander William T. Riker on the popular television series Stark Trek: The Next Generation), sports figures such as Eric Milton (the popular baseball player who pitched a no-hitter for Phillies), and seven Pennsylvania governors.