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Why is it “Happy Valley?”

Why is it “Happy Valley?”

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Fireworks illuminated the night sky over Beaver Stadium on July 4 as the Central PA 4th Fest culminated with a spectacular pyrotechnics show.
THON moraler Brittany Robbins, a Sophomore studying Speech Pathology at Penn State, greets dancers making their way into the Bryce Jordan Center for the first day of THON on February 20, 2015. The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately known as THON, is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer.
Students on hiking trail in PA

Good question! Is it the friendly people? The safety of the area? Is it because it is ranked one of the least stressful places to live in America? Or could it be the beautiful nature surrounding the campus? Of course these are true, but the name actually comes from a specific period in time. During the economic depression of the 1930s (called the Great Depression), the area of Happy Valley was not as affected as other parts of the country because of the stability of Penn State University.

This region of Pennsylvania was inhabited by Shawnee and Delaware Native Americans. The documented history of Happy Valley goes back to the mid-1700s, when the first European settler came to the area. The traditions of these settlers still can be seen in this area in the iron furnaces that dot the landscape, and in some Pennsylvanian cuisine.