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Historical Perspective
Fayette County > Planning and Zoning

 

 

General Overview

Fayette County was officially established on September 26, 1783.  It was delineated from a portion of Westmoreland County in an area of Southwestern Pennsylvania that, although rural in nature, had already experienced its share of historic events.  The region that would come to be known as Fayette County was the domain of American Indians as much as one thousand years ago[1].  In addition to building “fort”[2] settlements throughout the Monongahela River Valley, Native Americans established the earliest trade and travel routes.  Indian trails, most notably Nemacolin’s Trail, became the catalyst for bringing people, especially white traders and French-Canadian fur trappers, into the area in the late 1600’s.  Nemacolin’s Trail was the most prominent path in the Monongahela Valley region, crossing the Monongahela River in a southeast to northwest direction at the town of Brownsville[3].  It earned its name from Nemacolin, a well-known Delaware Indian, who was recruited by white traders to mark a pathway in the early 1750’s.  These transportation routes were later used by a succession of people for their efficiency and reliability in moving throughout a new frontier.  Today, former Indian trails and abandoned railroad lines are being used for recreational purposes such as hiking and biking.  The Catawba Trail, Youghiogheny River Trail, and Sheepskin Trail are three such multi-use trails, which are bringing new opportunities for recreation, tourism, and economic development in Fayette County.

 

Due to its location in the Monongahela River Valley, the soon-to-be land of Fayette County was a hotbed for territorial disputes and military entanglements between the French and British.  Many military men crossed through the region during this period, most notably George Washington and General Edward Braddock, who were allied with British military efforts[4].  The 1744 Lancaster Treaty, struck between the British and the tribes of the Iroquois Nation, officially pulled the local Indians into the escalating and highly political land disputes.  The regional conflicts came to a crest in 1754 with the onset of the French and Indian War.  General Braddock’s army was defeated by the French and Indians after a surprise attack along the Monongahela River.  Braddock was mortally wounded in the battle and died along Braddock’s Road in Fayette County on his way back to Cumberland, Maryland.  The site is recognized as Braddock’s Grave National Historic Site. 

By the year 1783, when Fayette County was officially named in honor of the Marquis de la Fayette, the French and Indian War had ended and the wholly agrarian society had begun to shift from subsistence agriculture to a market-based economy (1790-1815).  Immigration was on the rise and frontier life was slowly giving way to small towns, especially along the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers.  The first estates were cropping up at this time.  Christopher Gist, a scout of George Washington, established a plantation known as the Meason House that is a National Historic Landmark.  In 1789 Jacob Bowman built Nemacolin’s Castle as a simple trading post in Brownsville, but later he constructed the castle as it is viewed today: a twenty-two room palatial estate representing several architectural trends from the past two hundred years.  Nemacolin’s Castle is Brownsville’s most widely recognized historic landmark.  An estate that was even more exceptional for the time was Friendship Hill, built by Albert Gallatin in 1788 on 640 acres of land near New Geneva in southern Fayette County.  Gallatin, a Swiss immigrant, became a successful businessman and later an important U.S. politician and diplomat.  The elegant Friendship Hill estate was used as a resort by political leaders during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson (Baldwin, 1939).  Today Friendship Hill is a National Historic Park.

 

Blessed by an abundance of natural resources, Fayette County developed progressively into a manufacturing economy, using its two prominent rivers to move local goods throughout the region and into the markets of Pittsburgh.  Small riverboats were an essential part of moving settlers and goods to various markets.  Boats at this time were mostly single-trip vessels to be dismantled at their destination point, with the exception of keelboats, which were pushed upstream by men setting poles into the mud and shoving the boats along.  Settlers were also entering the region via Nemacolin’s Trail, which was renamed Braddock’s Road after he improved the route for better military access.  Mills, tanneries, and distilleries were high growth industries in the late 1700s, as were glass and ceramics.  Hammondville, Albany, Nilan, and South Connellsville are examples of places that were identified as having a historical association with the glass industry (Fayette County Historic Resource Reconnaissance Survey, 1996).  Greensboro and New Geneva were known for their stoneware pottery (Schaltenbrand, 1996)[5].  Scattered remains of the early nineteenth century iron industry can be found along the Chestnut Ridge, where iron ore was readily mined.

 

The role of cottage industries in the economy of Fayette County gave farmers a newfound sense of pride and financial stability during the era of early trade and manufacturing (1790-1815).  A prime example of the newly established economic presence that was permeating the countryside was the rise of whiskey as a valuable commodity and important trading item throughout the States of the Union.  The notorious Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, a social uprising against the taxes imposed upon whiskey, indicates the degree of emotion that was centered on local cottage industries.  The Whiskey Rebellion challenged the U.S. Constitution for the first time and pitted countrymen against the urban elite, resulting in violent demonstrations and secretive backroom meetings by so-called ‘whiskey rebels’ to organize against government taxation[6].  Today, Fayette County is recognized as one of the most outspoken and heated areas in the country during the 1794 protest[7].  Several taverns, homes, and backroom meeting places for whiskey rebels are recognized as historic landmarks in Fayette County.  The Black Horse Tavern in Brownsville is one such example.

In western Pennsylvania, the coal industry expanded steadily from the 1760s to 1860s as a primary source of energy used in manufacturing.  This had the effect of drawing more settlers and an even greater need for a formal road across the mountains and into southwestern Pennsylvania.  The famed National Road, a federally funded project, was the first route to overcome the mountains and open the west for settlement.  From 1818 to the 1850s the National Road was the lifeline of social and commercial development.  The demand for overland movement was so strong that stage lines were running three times a week within its first year of operation (Day, 1996).

 

Steel manufacturing entered the local scene after Henry Bessemer discovered a way to make steel out of pig iron in 1856.  The demand for coal grew exponentially.  Blessed by an exceptionally high quality seam of bituminous coal, Fayette and Westmoreland Counties became the top two producers of coal in western Pennsylvania, giving rise to company-owned towns and more immigration (National Park Service, 1992).  The interconnectedness of mining, river trade, railroad development, and coking of coal to make steel redefined the vernacular landscape.  Changes could be seen in the population of Fayette County, its demographic composition, the social and cultural and economic character of the county, and its influence on state and national politics.

 

The process of making coke was one of the first technological innovations of the second industrial revolution.  By the 1840s it was recognized that the coal extracted around Connellsville, Fayette County was particularly good for coking and thus as early as the 1860s the era of Big Steel was in bloom.  The advent of Big Steel greatly influenced the lay out of the land[8].  Beehive coke ovens, bank ovens, block ovens, and rectangular ovens peppered the landscape.  Steel production also enabled rapid railroad development, which in turn edged out the National Road as a primary means for transporting products and people.  As coal and coke operations flourished, railroad lines expanded to serve the network of mines and coking operations.  Connector lines were the essential link to small coal patch towns throughout Fayette County.  The expansion of the rail lines increased significantly with the opening of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1852, but it was the successful completion of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad that had the most local repercussions because of its direct links to the east and west.  Aside from the basic movement of goods and resources, the expansion of railroad lines following the Civil War created a vibrant niche for job opportunities, which in turn attracted large numbers of southern blacks and Europeans, primarily eastern and southern, into the area.

 

The waves of African-American and European immigrants depended quite heavily on housing provided by the coal mining companies.  Specially constructed coal towns, colloquially referred to as coal patches, were located next to mines and coke works, and usually consisted of fifty to one hundred square, frame dwellings.  The towns were built, owned, and controlled by a coal or coke company and the homes generally contained two apartments per structure[9].  Homes were laid out in rows in a grid pattern (sometimes on a hillside) with the houses set at the front of long narrow lots.  Outhouses and sheds were generally placed at the back of the lot near the alley (Fayette County Historic Resource Reconnaissance Survey, 1996).  The impact of coal mining and its associated industries was so profound in Fayette County that it dominates the county’s historic profile today.

 

A decline in the coal and coke industry occurred following WWII when it became apparent that the domestic market could not sustain a long-term demand for steel production at WWII levels.  It was also a time to evaluate the extent of damage done to the environment during the approximately one hundred years known as the Coal and Coke Era (1860s-1960s).  The intensity of these industrial operations in Fayette County degraded the rivers and riverbanks, most severely the Monongahela River, and scarred the landscape.  Undermining, strip mining, coal processing, and the eventual abandonment of mines has caused a plethora of environmental issues that are an on-going challenge for Fayette County, its local municipalities, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 

 

Nevertheless, the issues facing Fayette County are not limited to environmental remediation.  The decline of the coal and coke industries in Fayette County strained the economy on a number of fronts.  Local municipalities, coal patch towns, and even the cities of Connellsville and Uniontown are working to develop new ways to strengthen and expand their economic base.  Local initiatives are underway to capitalize on the history, culture, and natural resources of the county.  Examples of such initiatives include: converting abandoned railroad lines to multi-use recreational trails (e.g., Youghiogheny River Trail and Sheepskin Trail), recognizing the historical and cultural significance of coal patch communities, conducting a National Heritage Inventory of the county, addressing issues of acid mine drainage and mining-related concerns, and developing an up-to-date Land Use Plan for the county.

 

The history of Fayette County is one that is intrinsically connected to its natural resources.  The beautiful rivers and their tributaries, the Laurel Highlands (home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater), Chestnut Ridge, abundant agricultural land, and resource deposits have attracted a mosaic of people throughout the centuries.  As it enters the Twenty-first Century, Fayette County can draw upon its rich historical legacy and the lessons of its past to re-establish a county that is diverse, prosperous, and appreciative of its natural and historic resources.

 

Unique Historical Resources

Although all of the County’s resources are valued and appreciated, there are a number of historical resources in Fayette County that are of special interest.  A few of these resources are highlighted here to emphasize the potential for reuse of historic resources in new and creative ways.

 

Trails

Trails are quickly becoming historical resources with a new significance in Fayette County.  With help and guidance, old passages are being converted into valuable recreational resources.  Whether they held a place in history as former Indian trails or abandoned railroad lines that were instrumental in the coal and coke era, the development of trails is a creative way to breath new life into underutilized resources.

 

One of the oldest trails the Catawba or Cherokee Trail spanned the eastern United States from Florida to Canada.  It was the main route from New England to the Carolinas, said to make warriors out of the young men of each tribe (Greene County Conservation District, 1997).  It traversed Western Pennsylvania, and a portion of this historic trail, from Rices Landing south through West Virginia, was preserved for recreational hiking.

 

The Youghiogheny River Trail (YRT) is a multi-use recreational trail designed for hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers, fishermen, and horseback riders.  During 1996, the YRT drew just over 200,000 people and in 1997, more than 300,000 users were expected (Regional Trail Corporation [RTC])[10].  In 1997, 28 miles of trail were completed between Connellsville and Boston, with the remaining 15 miles expected to be complete by the year 2000.

 

The Sheepskin Trail is the newest addition to recreational trails in Fayette County.  Formerly part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Sheepskin Trail will eventually span approximately 34 miles in Fayette County from Dunbar Borough to Point Marion, and will include eight (8) spur trails with one connecting to the Youghiogheny River Trail.  The Sheepskin Trail is currently in the final phases of planning and development.

 

Sites of Military Importance

There are a number of sites within Fayette County that are recognized for their involvement in military battles.  Others are recognized for their contact with famous military leaders, such as George Washington and Edward Braddock.  Places of military importance include taverns and homes, battle sites, and river crossings.  Three sites in particular are National Historic Areas: Jumonville Glen (Washington’s skirmish), Braddock’s Grave, and Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

 

Coal Patch Towns

Unique in their development and role in immigrant housing, Coal Company built and operated coal patch towns are not only special within the context of county history, but also unique in the problems and issues that are facing them today.  The remaining coal patch towns are deteriorating and are faced with issues of isolation, multiple ownership, lack of initiative and funds for preservation.  The wide range of coal patch towns existing in Fayette County embodies a unique aspect of local culture, ethnicity, and county history.  A list of fourteen (14) coal patches (1880-1920) that are considered as candidates for preservation/rehabilitation were identified by representatives from the Patch/Work Voices Coal and Coke Project of the Penn State Fayette Campus.  The most favorable locations were Shoaf and Lemont Furnace.  The total list follows:

 

1.      Smock, currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places

2.      Shoaf, currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places

3.     Youngstown

4.      Lemont Furnace, currently on the Bureau of Historic Preservation’s Determined Eligible List

5.      Allison

6.      Leisenring #1

7.      Phillips

8.      Keisterville, currently on the Bureau of Historic Preservation’s Determined Eligible List

9.      Footedale

10.   Whitsett, currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places

11.   Star Junction, currently on the Bureau of Historic Preservation’s Determined Eligible List

12.    Palmer

13.    Ronco

14.    Coal Brook

 

Boat Building

Boat building was a unique part of Fayette County’s history and economy in the 1800s.  Riverboat towns were economic and cultural hubs of the boat-building craft.  Some of the boat-building centers in Fayette County were home to craftsmen recognized for their skill as far away as New Orleans.  In fact, shipyards on the Monongahela grew to a scale of production that exceeded both the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers.  The second steamboat in history, The Comet, was built in Brownsville, Fayette County in 1813.  Another steamboat, the Enterprise, built in 1814 in Brownsville, was the first to go on power from Brownsville to New Orleans and back again.  Brownsville continued to operate a successful boat-building industry for more than a century and was the first and most important center for steamboat building on the Monongahela.  Accessory industries flourished to feed the boat-building economy during the early to mid 1800’s.  Currently, there is a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a Steamboat Museum in Brownsville.

 

Bridges

Due to the heavy emphasis on transporting coal and coke throughout the region, Fayette County has numerous bridges that are recognized as historical landmarks.  Brownsville, Fayette County is home to the first cast iron bridge in America, which traverses Dunlap Creek and is still in use today.  Another National Register structure in Brownsville is the Brownsville Intercounty Bridge, constructed in 1914.  Bridges in Fayette County take different shapes and sizes and were built and reserved exclusively for trains.  The decrease in railroad use over the past fifty years has left some of these historical landmarks vacant.

 

The Whiskey Rebellion (1794)

The Whiskey Rebellion was a significant event in national history because it challenged the U.S. Constitution for the first time and pitted countrymen against the urban elite.  The conflict was a result of what were interpreted as gross injustices imposed on countrymen through the taxing of one of their most valued commodities – whiskey.  Southwestern Pennsylvania played a major role in the rebellion, particularly the counties of Greene, Westmoreland, and Fayette.  For this reason, the resources that represent this period of social uprising are unique in Fayette County because they secured a place in our nation’s history.

 

Key Transportation Corridors

 

The National Road

The story of the National Road is about the evolution of transportation and America’s movement westward.  The construction of the National Road incorporated many unique bridges and highway markers, some of which remain today.  There are two remaining tollhouses along the length of the National Road, as well as taverns and mile markers.  The National Road remains one of the few active traces of America’s movement westward and is conserved as the National Road Heritage Park in Pennsylvania (Rhodeside & Harwell, Inc., 1994).  A Management Action Plan for the National Road Heritage Park was completed in 1994 and outlines strategies for preserving and enhancing this unique county resource.  Some of the resources that were identified as the best candidates for preservation by a representative of the National Road Heritage Park are:

 

Site

Municipality

Age

Relevance

Peter Cooley’s Tavern

Brier Hill

1798

Tavern along the National Road

Grace Schoolhouse

 

1847-1927

One of the last school houses along the National Road

Old West Schoolhouse

Uniontown

1800s

One of the last remaining schoolhouses

Wilkes Brown Tavern

Redstone Two

1817

The ruins need to be stabilized

Brier Hill Post Office

Brier Hill

 

Last small Post Office

Rush House Tavern

Farmington

1830

Significant tavern of National Road Era

Honor Roll

Brier Hill

 

World War II significance

Service Station

Brier Hill

c.1920

Near Jackson Farm

Main Street

Uniontown

 

Important to the National Road Era

Route 40 Diner

 

 

 

Basil Brown House

Redstone Twp

c. 1800

 

 

The Rivers

Fayette County has two large and scenic rivers: the Monongahela and the Youghiogheny.  Not only are the rivers and their tributaries important transportation corridors, they are important to commerce, recreation, and quality of life.  The rivers have played a major role in the history of Fayette County and many of the historic resources in the county are inherently related to the rivers.  Some examples include: the remnants of coal mining seen in now abandoned coal tipples and conveyors; abandoned ferry terminals and crossing; old river dams; and bridges.

To reflect the importance of rivers in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s industrial past, the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation created Rivers of Steel, a multifaceted program to promote tourism and economic development.  The program is based on the region’s historical industrial saga, including the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers, and is recognized as a National Heritage Park.  Landing sites are proposed at points along the rivers as gateways into the local communities that will allow for the opportunity to interconnect the on land historical resources with those of the river, namely industrial towns, railroads, ethnic churches, union halls, coke ovens, etc.  The Rivers of Steel Management Action Plan explains the strategy for achieving its vision as a National Heritage Park.  It is anticipated that the Brownsville Landing site, for example, will lead to a renaissance of the town and surrounding areas.

 

Fayette County Survey of Boroughs and Unincorporated Settlements

The reconnaissance survey of boroughs and unincorporated settlements was undertaken to identify concentrations of historic buildings that appear to meet the National Register of Historic Places criteria.  Following BHP staff review in 1997, it was determined that there are 48 potentially eligible historic districts in Fayette County which could be nominated for consideration to be listed in the National Register.  They are indicated as follows:

            Boroughs:        

 

1.     Belle Vernon Borough

2.     Dawson Borough (Draft NR nomination received by BHP 1997)

3.     Dunbar Borough

4.     Everson Borough

5.     Fairchance Borough

6.     Masontown Borough

7.     Newell Borough

8.     Ohiopyle Borough

9.     Point Marion Borough

10.  Smithfield Borough

11.  South Connellsville Borough

12.  Vanderbilt Borough

 

Townships

 

   Connellsville Township:

13.          North Connellsville (Poplar Grove)

 

Dunbar Township:

14.          Juniata (Juniataville)

15.          Leisenring

16.          Liberty

17.          Monarch (Leisenring No. 2)

18.          Trotter

19.          West Leisenring

 

Georges Township:

20.          Newcomer (Continental No. 3)

21.          Oliphant Furnace

 

German Township:

22.          Edenborn

23.          Footdale

24.          Leckrone No. 1 and 2

25.          Ralph

 

Jefferson Township:

26.          Grindstone (Old Hill Section)

 

Luzerne Township:

27.          Allison No. 1 and 2

28.          Merritstown (Newtown)

29.          Thompson No. 2/Tower Hill No. 2

 

Menallen Township:

30.          New Salem

31.          Searights

32.          Buffington

 

Nicholson Township:

33.          Martin

 

North Union Township

34.          Butte (Bute)

35.          Jumonville

36.          Lemont Furnace

37.          Oliver

38.          Youngstown (Strambaugh)

39.          Phillips

 

Perry Township:

40.          Star Junction

 

Redstone Township:

41.          Republic

42.          Rowes Run (Colonial No. 3)

43.          Royal (Chestnut Ridge, including Rainey Coke Ovens)

44.          Filbert/Herbert

 

Saltlick Township

45.          Melcroft

 

South Union Township

46.          Continental No. 2

47.          Leith

 

Springhill Township

48.          Lake Lynn (Cheat Haven)

 

National Register of Historic Places

There are approximately forty-three structures/sites and eight districts currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  See Table 1.

Table 1

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Bureau of Historic Preservation

National Register of Historic Places

Individual Properties and Districts in Fayette County

as of June 17, 1997

Historic Name

Municipality

Address

Date

Bowman’s (Nemacolin Castle)

Brownsville

Front Street

03-03-75

Brownsville Bridge

Brownsville

L.R. 268 over Monongahela River

06-22-88

Brownsville Commercial Historic District

Brownsville

105-128 Brownsville Ave. & 1-145 Marke

08-02-93

Brownsville Northside Historic District

Brownsville

Front St., Broadway, Shaffner Rd, and

08-02-93

Dunlap’s Creek Bridge

Brownsville

Over Dunlap’s Creek, National Road (Old)

07-31-78

Church of  St. Peter

Brownsville

Church Street at Shaffner

10-15-80

Mount Vernon Furnace

Bullskin

TR 819 (Eutsey Road) near Wooddale

09-06-91

Carnegie Free Library

Connellsville

South Pittsburgh Street

10-08-81

Connellsville Armory

Connellsville

108 W. Washington St.

11-14-91

Connellsville U.S. Post Office

Connellsville

114 N. Arch St.

06-24-93

Cochran, Philip G. Memorial United Methodist

Dawson

Howell & Griscom St.

06-04-84

Meason, Isaac House Christopher Gist Plantation

Dunbar

U.S. Rt. 119 North, Mount Braddock

01-25-71

Smock Historic District

Franklin

Redstone Cemetery, Colonial Mine No. 1

06-03-94

Shoaf Historic District

Georges

Nos. 1-170 First St., Second St.

06-03-94

Rabb, Andrew House

German

Off Rt. 166 N. of Masontown

11-12-92

Francis Farm Petroglyphs Site

Jefferson

 

05-10-84

Linden Hall at St. James Park

Lower Tyrone

Rural Route 26051

10-11-89

Brown-Moore Blacksmith Shop

Luzerne

0.1 Miles West of SR 4020

05-07-92

Penn-Craft Historic District

Luzerne

LR 26004, S. or SR 4020 & E. of Juncture

05-18-89

Searights Tollhouse

Menallen

U.S. 40, 1-¾ mi. North of Haddenville

06-19-73

Abel Colley Tavern

Menallen

U.S. Rt.  40 Near Searights Crossroads

11-27-95

Frost, Josiah House

Menallen

U.S. 40 Near Junc. W/LR-26154

10-24-96

Springer, Levi Farm

N. Union

Rt. 31, ¼ mi. E. of Fan Hollow Rd.

07-23-82

Deffenbaugh Site

Nicholson

 

05-14-84

New Geneva Historic District

Nicholson

PA Rt. 166 at New Geneva

08-20-96

Layton Bridge

Perry

LR 26191 Over Youghiogheny River

06-22-88

Alliance Furnace/Iron Works

Perry

Jacob’s Creek E. of Tunnel Hill, 1 mi. O

09-06-91

Whitsett Historic District

Perry

T495 Along Youghiogheny River

07-21-95

Searights Fulling Mill

Perryopolis

Cemetery Road

06-19-73

Brier Hill

Redstone

On U.S. 40, South Side

07-02-73

Colley, Peter Tavern, and Barn

Redstone

U.S. 40, Brier Hill

07-24-73

Laughlin, Hugh House

Redstone

T-422

04-30-87

Johnston-Hatfield Tavern

Redstone

U.S. Rt. 40 Near Brier Hill

11-27-95

Wallace/Bailey Tavern

Redstone

U.S. Rt. 40 Near Brownsville

11-27-95

Gaddis, Thomas Homestead

S. Union

Off U.S. 119, S. of Uniontown

04-26-74

Hair, German Tavern

S. Union

Main & Paul Sts., Hopwood

11-27-95

Miller Tavern

S. Union

Main St., Hopwood

11-27-95

Monroe House

S. Union

Main St. & Furnace Rd., Hopwood

11-27-95

Gallatin, Albert House (Friendship Hill)

Springhill

Rt. 166, 3 mi. N. of Point Marion

10-15-66

Fallingwater

Stewart

Off PA Route 381

08-04-74

Conn Family Home

Uniontown

84 Ben Lomond St.

07-28-88

Douglas, John S. House

Uniontown

136 North Gallatin Ave.

02-04-94

Nutt, Adam Clarke Mansion

Uniontown

26 Nutt Ave.

10-25-90

Uniontown Downtown Historic District

Uniontown

Main St., Morgantown St., E. Church St.

05-19-80

Cook, Colonel Edward House

Washington

R.D. #3, Box 94, E. of Belle Vernon

03-29-78

Locus 7 Site (36 PA 395)

Washington

 

03-20-80

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Wharton

On U.S. 40

10-15-66

Rush House

Wharton

Corner Rt. 40 & Rt. 381, Farmington

03-08-78

Wharton Furnace

Wharton

Wharton Furnace/Hull Rd., S.R. 2003 1 mi

09-06-91

Downer House

Wharton

U.S. Rt. 40 at Chalk Hill

11-27-95

Fayette Springs Hotel

Wharton

U.S. 40, 5 mi. E. of Chalk Hill

11-27-95

Property Determined Eligible by the Bureau of Historic Preservation

There are approximately seventy-one structures/sites and four historic districts currently considered eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.  See Table 2.

 

Table 2

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Bureau of Historic Preservation

National Register of Historic Places

Properties Determined Eligible by the Bureau of Historic Preservation

as of 6-17-97

Historic Name

Municipality

Address

Date

101-102 Main Street

Belle Vernon

101-102 Main Street

07-30-86

Belle Vernon Coke Works

Belle Vernon

Rt. 906

06-30-92

Monongahela Hotel

Brownsville

Market St.

12-10-90

Monongahela Railway Brownsville

Brownsville

Along Monongahela River

04-19-90

Monongahela Railway Freight

Brownsville

Near Market Street

04-26-91

Near Brownsville Avenue

Brownsville

Near Brownsville Avenue

05-31-90

Prospect Street School

Brownsville

Prospect St.

10-21-91

Thompson House

Brownsville

815 Water Street

 

Across Dunlap Creek at Jackson

Brownsville

Across Dunlap Creek at Jackson St.

05-31-90

Brashear Tavern

Brownsville

519 Market St.

10-24-90

Three Kegs Tavern

Brownsville

710 Lewis St.

08-15-85

Central Auto Co.

Brownsville

141 Market St.

12-10-90

Max Goldman’s Modern Garage

Brownsville

418 Market St.

12-10-90

400 Market St.

Brownsville

400 Market St.

12-10-90

McDonough Restaurant

Brownsville

National Pike East & Union Street

12-10-90

Gas Station/Tax Parcel 03-

Brownsville

National Pike East Near Union Street

12-10-90

National Pike Garage

Brownsville

301 National Pike East

12-10-90

Fairmont, Morgantown, & Pittsburgh Branch

Connellsville

Connellsville to Point Marion

04-28-92

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad

Connellsville

900 West Crawford Ave.

06-30-94

Third Ward School

Connellsville

301-321 Jefferson St.

06-14-94

Troutman Building

Connellsville

E. Crawford St.

04-25-86

Dawson Borough Historic District

Dawson

 

05-17-96

Britt, Robert House

Georges

Northside of TR 375

04-07-93

Gaskill, Elwood House

Georges

Southside of TR 331

04-07-93

Gates, John Log House

Georges

Southside of T-311

04-07-93

Swaney Clark House

Georges

T-365, 200 Feet E. of I-375

11-24-92

Poisel, Jules House

Georges

E. Side S.R. 0857

01-15-93

Lardin House

German

2 mi. NW of Masontown on PA Rt. 21

03-12-90

Leckrone Coal Company

German

PA 3012

07-15-91

Mt. Sterling Coke Ovens

German

T-708 near Masontown

12-04-91

Brown’s Tavern (Old Trail Inn)

Henry Clay

U.S. Rt. 40 Near Markleysburg

11-19-82

Leber’s Log Cottages

Henry Clay

U.S. Rt. 40 at Flat Rock

12-10-90

Little Redstone/Red Lion V.

Jefferson

Rts. 4019, 4040, 201

04-29-93

Isabella Coal River Barge

Luzerne

T-364

10-05-93

Tower Hill No. 2 South Mine

Luzerne

PA 4020

01-31-90

Keisterville Historic District

Menallen

Keisterville

03-08-93

Searights Garage

Menallen

U.S. Rt. 40 at LR 26154

12-10-90

Searights Service Station

Menallen

U.S. Rt. 40 at LR 26030

12-10-90

House

Menallen

192 Buffington

09-04-95

Oakhill Estate (Mt. Saint)

N. Union

U.S. Rt. 40 Near Uniontown

04-13-87

McKean, Thompson House

N. Union

Jumonville Rd.

10-08-91

Lamont Coke Ovens

N. Union

West of Lamont Furnace

08-03-95

Hugh Rankin House

N. Union

30 Vances Mill Road

05-25-95

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad

Newell

Adjacent to Monongahela River, Just N.E.

03-13-90

T-374

Nicholson

T-364

12-19-94

Providence Quaker Cemetery

Perry

Quaker Church Rd., Near Intersection SR

04-29-93

Star Junction Historic District

Perry

Along Rt. 51, E. & W. Sides

05-20-92

Karolcik Building

Perryopolis

Liberty St.

09-23-92

Sisley Blacksmith Shop

Perryopolis

Corner of Federal & Columbia Sts.

09-23-92

Youghiogheny Bank of Penns

Perryopolis

Liberty St.

06-16-93

St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic

Perryopolis

Liberty St. at Railroad St.

09-23-92

Campbell Farm Site 36FA26

Redstone

LR 26162 near Brownsville

02-08-84

Rainey, W.J. Coke Company

Redstone

LR 260222

02-17-88

Tipple & Shafts

Redstone

LR 26005, 1 mi. SW of Village of Tower

02-17-88

Zeager, Jacob Farm

Redstone

200 Simpson Rd.

12-09-92

Coke Ovens, Rainey, W.J.C.

S. Union

1 mi. E. of Village of Revere

02-17-88

Barnes Estate

S. Union

S. Side of Rt. 40

11-07-88

Clement House/Shipley Hotel

S. Union

Main St., Hopwood

10-24-90

Melcroft Coal Mine Trestle

Saltlick

Intersection of Rts. 711 & 1007

04-28-93

Conn, John L. Farm

Springhill

Eastside of TR-303

04-07-93

Darby, Noah House

Springhill

Northside of SR 3004

04-07-93

Stauffer, Abraham House

U. Tyrone

205 Dexter Rd.

09-01-93

First National Bank Bldg.

Uniontown

Corner of Pittsburgh and W. Main Sts.

10-31-88

Gallatin School

Uniontown

155 North Gallatin Ave.

01-08-93

State Music Hall

Uniontown

27 E. Main St.

01-17-85

Thompson-Ruby Building

Uniontown

Main & Morgantown

09-03-85

White Swan Hotel

Uniontown

111-123 W. Main St.

12-10-90

147 E. Main St.

Uniontown

147 E. Main St.

12-03-90

221 E. Main St.

Uniontown

221 E. Main St.

12-10-90

PRR Freight Station

Uniontown

157 Pittsburgh St.

05-25-95

Southside Historic District

Uniontown

S. Beeson Ave., Charles St.

01-18-96

Braddock Inn

Wharton

U.S. Rt. 40, 1 mi. E. of Chalk Hill

12-10-90

Fraser, Samuel Tavern

Wharton

U.S. 40 at Farmington

10-24-90

Rush Service Station

Wharton

U.S. Rt. 40 at Farmington

12-10-90

Ft. Necessity Monument

Wharton

U.S. Rt. 40, 1 mi. W. of Farmington

12-20-90



[1]  The Monongahela Indians lived in the Monongahela River basin between 900 and 1600 AD but disappeared inexplicably before white settlers entered the area.  Archeologists have traced basic human settlement in the Monongahela River Valley back 10,000 years, which includes the remains of a people known as Mound Builders (Monongahela Culture, 1998).

[2] Villages established by Native Americans were referred to as ‘old forts’. Many forts were later taken over by white settlers as convenient locations to settle or to set-up trading posts. Brownsville, formerly called “Redstone Old Fort” is an example of this (Veech, 1971).

[3] Nemacolin’s Trail was later used and improved by George Washington and General Braddock for military purposes because it was an efficient route through the area.  The route was thus renamed Braddock’s Road, which it retained until it became part of the National Road in the early 1800s.  Most recently, the section of the National Road through the Brownsville area has been upgraded and renamed again thereby concluding its evolution from Nemacolin’s Trail to Braddock’s Road to the National Road to Route 40.

[4] George Washington was sent into the area with the Virginia Militia at age 21 to deliver a message from Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia to the French at Fort LeBoeuf (Palmer, 1984).  He returned a number of times on military missions.  General Edward Braddock who was commander of all British forces in America, crossed the river in his military endeavor to defeat the French.

[5] The stoneware pottery industry was estimated at nearly fifty individual firms in the Monongahela Valley at which 150 potters and skilled craftsmen were employed (Schaltenbrad, 1996).  Greensboro eventually became home to the largest and best known stoneware manufactories west of the Allegheny Mountains (Schaltenbrand, 1996).

[6] Pennsylvania had at least 19 laws or supplementing acts imposing taxes on liquor from the time the colony was founded to 1791, but before the end of the Revolution there seemed to have been no regular collection of the excise on domestic liquor in the west (Baldwin, 1939).

[7] The legacy of the Whiskey Rebellion, which lasted only eight weeks, was significant to American history.  Trials of the arrested insurgents were held in 1795 with many being arraigned for treason, but most of the trials ended in acquittals for lack of evidence (Baldwin, 1939).

[8] Regional development took on a whole new force with large-scale steel production.  Locally-produced steel was transformed into bridge beams, building frames, and rails to be transported to locations around the country for new, sophisticated structural designs; notably the Golden Gate Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, St. Louis Bridge, and Empire State Building.

[9] This information was obtained from a paper written by Evelyn Hovanec, Project Director, Center for the Study of Southwestern Pennsylvania Coal and Coke Heritage.

[10]  Information taken from an interview conducted in August 1997 for the Youghiogheny River Conservation Plan.