Armstrong County, centrally located in the rolling (gentle) hills of Western Pennsylvania and divided north to south by the picturesque Allegheny River, is a region where early American history shakes hands with a promising future. Delaware Indians first established their principle town of Kit-Han-Ne in the 1730s at present day Kittanning, the county seat. During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), colonial troops under Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong destroyed the village in reprisal for Indian raids east of the Allegheny Mountains. In his honor the county was named “Armstrong” when it was incorporated in 1800. The Allegheny River, first named “La Belle” River by French explorers in the 1680s, has served as Armstrong County’s “highway” to the outside world, especially metropolitan Pittsburgh 40 miles to the south. The river and its tributaries have served more than 300 years of recorded commerce from French and English traders to an occasional barge load of coal seen today heading to factories and power stations downriver. Armstrong County boasts many natural resources including of coal, timber, oil, and natural gas. Situated in the heart of the Eastern Marcellus Shale field, the county is experiencing a boom in natural gas production. Additionally, the county is stepping into the 21st century in the high-tech industry. Armstrong County is home to an emerging electro-optic field of science and technology, developing products for the Department of Defense and U.S. industry.