Frankstown, in Frankstown Township, is one of the oldest communities in Blair County. Named after Frank Stevens, who operated a trading post nearby, the junction of the Juniata and the Kittanning Trail became a noted gathering and commercial center in the 1730s before being gradually abandoned in the following decade as fur trading opportunities arose elsewhere.
It became reoccupied in the 1780s, when militia erected a blockhouse at Frankstown, and in June 1781 militia troops engaged British-inspired Seneca Indians nearby. Several men were killed and captured before the tribesmen withdrew.
Following the Revolutionary War, Frankstown developed into a major regional trade center; in 1820 it stood astride the Huntingdon, Cambria, and Indiana Turnpike and contained 20 homes, as well as a tannery, a sawmill, a gristmill, and several distilleries. Later selected as the western terminus of the Juniata Division of the canal, Frankstown surrendered that distinction after a resident refused to sell land for the project.