One of Connellsville's First Veterans
The first white man in what is now Connellsville was William Crawford. He was a farmer/surveyor/soldier who was a friend of George Washington and had served with him in the Virginia militia. In the fall of 1765, he came over the mountains on horseback with his half-brother Hugh Stephenson. When they saw the beautiful meadowlands in the bend of the Youghiogheny River, Crawford decided to build his home there. The two men surveyed a tract of little over 376 acres and put up a log cabin. The next year, he moved his family into the cabin after a very hazardous trip over the mountains. Hannah, his wife, and their four children, had to follow what was little better than a path that was exceedingly rough and dangerous in places. As they had just packhorses to carry their possessions, only the essentials could be brought along.
The Connellsville Area Historical Society and the Fayette County Commissioners reconstructed the log home of William Crawford in 1976. The cabin is 14 X 16 feet and contains one room. Even though the cabin was small for a family of six, their hospitality was legendary. George Washington, Lord Dunmor (the governor of Virginia), and many other passing travelers found a hospitable welcome there. Over the years, William Crawford played an important role in the life of the area. During an Indian scare, he helped plan the defense of the area by having the settlers build several forts to protect themselves. He recruited and led a battalion of southwestern Pennsylvanians to fight in the Revolution and served as a Justice of the Peace for many years. While leading an expedition against the Delaware Indians in Ohio, he was captured and burned at the stake in 1782.
The reconstructed home of Colonel William Crawford sits on the west bank of the Youghiogheny River in Connellsville. The peaceful setting allows visitors to view the river and
Provided by the Connellsville Area Historical Society. Added to the site on February 2, 2000.