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Connellsville and South Connellsville

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Connellsville, PA History

Information Images

- One of our First Veterans
- Colonel William Crawford's Cabin
- A Town Begins
- Became a Booming Manufacturing Town
- John Woodruff, Connellsville's Olympic Champion
- Stewart's Crossing
- Zachariah Connell
- Streetcars in Connellsville
1956 Souvenir Program
- As Time Marches On - 1
- As Time Marches On - 2
- As Time Marches On - 3
- As Time Marches On - 4
- First White Settlers
- First City of Fayette County
- Monument Honors Pioneer Hero
- Zach Connell May Come Home
- Coke Became KING Here
- Generations To Come
- City Keeps Abreast Of Air Age
- For Comfort Of All
- Walking Tour

Connellsville Walking Tour

Carnegie Free Library
S. Pittsburgh Street - Connellsville, PA

Carnegie Library
The Carnegie Free Library was built in 1903 with funds donated by Andrew Cargenie, a famous steel manufacturer and philanthropist. The building is of Ohio Buff stone and has Italian Renaissance architecture. It was open on April 30, 1903 with only 2,000 books. The auditorium on the second floor has hosted many cultural activities including the famous orator William Jennings Bryan whose speech caused such turmoil that the library's trustees declared that politicians would no longer be invited to speak.

The second floor also houses the office of the Historical Society and the Zachariah Connell Reference Room (known as the Pennsylvania Room). All materials in this room pertain to the state of Pennsylvania and local history. This toom was refurbished by the Connellsville Historical Society.

** Notice directly across the street is the Masonic Temple. It was under construction in 1906 during Connellsville's Centennial.

First Christian Church - Disciples Of Christ
212 S. Pittsburgh Street - Connellsville, PA

The First Christian congregation was founded in 1832. The current building of buff brick was erected in 1897 with the beautiful sanctuary being completed in 1898. The church was dedicated on the Sabbath of June 26, 1898.

The congregation was originally located at the St. John's German Lutheran Church on South St. which the Christian congregation built. When it was sold to the German Lutherans, the First Christian congregation moved to a location on N. Pittsburgh St. until the present building was erected.

First Baptist Church
301 S. Pittsburgh Street - Connellsville, PA

This congregation was organized on June 26, 1796. It is the oldest ecclesiastical organization in Connellsville and the fourth oldest Baptist Church in Fayette County.

This fine stone structure of old English Gothic architecture was built in 1900. Including all furnishings and the organ, the building cost an estimated $40,000. The auditorium with its massive columns, symmetrical arches, and beautiful decorations presents a very pleasing and attractive appearance.

First Presbyterian Church of Connellsville
711 S. Pittsburgh Street - Connellsville, PA

This congregation was organized in October of 1831. For their first seven years, church services were held in various halls and in the New Haven School House. From January 6, 1839 until May 5, 1913, the church was located on Main St. In 1911, the lot on the corner of Green and Pittsburgh St. was purchased. The church and manse (patronage) were built at a cost of $18,500.

Pennsylvania National Guard Armory
108 W. Washington Ave. - Connellsville, PA

Members of the Armory were appointed on September 20, 1905. This board was headed by the then governor of Pennsylvania, Edwin S. Stuart. The board reported in favor of erecting the Armory on January 10, 1906. The citizens of Connellsville raised an additional sum of $10,000 to add to state appropriations and make the total amount available to build $30,000. The Armory was placed on the National Historical Register in June of 1993.

At this time, you may want to branch off from our tour and visit Connellsville Stadium, named for the Campbell family that owned the land on which the stadium was built. The stadium was built between 1936 and 1938 by the WPA (Workers Progress Administration). Located here is also the Olympic Oak, which was brought back from Germany by Mr. John Woodruff. Woodruff is a Connellsville native who won the gold medal in the 800 meter run at Berlin, Germany in the 1936 Olympic Games. Trees were presented to the winners and Mr. Woodruff then presented it to the city.

NOTE: Former Connellsville sports editor Jim Kriek once determined that Connellsville is the only city in the United States to have produced a Heisman Trophy winner and an Olympic Gold medalist (John Lujack and John Woodruff). This statement still holds true today and is stated so in a Trivial Pursuit Game.

Faith Bible
(formerly St. Emory Hungarian Cathloc Church)
425 S. Arch Street

In January of 1903, steps were taken to establish a church of Hungarians of Magyar Cathlocs of the Connellsville vicinity. On March 31, 1904, Rev. Adalert Lorick arrived in Connellsville from Budapest, Hungary, to lead the congregation which was organized on May 8, 1904. The building of the church began on August 1 of the same year. It was dedicated on July 16, 1905. The building is a one story brick structure with a spire surmounted by a cutglass mosaic cross. The congregation was originally composed of about 130 Hungarian families living in Fayette and Westmoreland Counties.

First National Bank Building
E. Crawford Ave.

After much planning and discussion, it was decided to build a six-story bank office, and store building. Work began on May 1, 1901, and the new building was formally occupied by the bank on February of 1903. At this time, Wright-Metzler department store and offices also occupied the building. In 1926, Troutman's, a major department store, moved into the building and occupied the first two floors until 1985. Since this time, it has remained empty.

The building is of French Renaissance style and constructed of polished pink milford granite, white marble, and red pressed brick. An elaborate massive cornice of copper surmounts the front and sides of the building, while handsomely wrought copper panels are used in the front arches.

Atkins Building
166 W. Crawford Ave.
Built in 1892

The building has housed Atkins Music Store since 1960. Prior to this, it was home to Arrows Furniture, part of the Home Hotel, and many other businesses.

Pizza Supreme Building
172 W. Crawford Ave.

Built in 1808 by brothers Samuel and Caleb Trevor to be used as a store room and dwelling. The Trevor brothers were the first successful merchants of the town. The building has been remodeled to such an extent and altered in appearance by the regrading of the street that it can scarcely be recognized as the old Trevor store. Over the years, it has been occupied by many speciality shops, such as Sam Simon, Tailor, Wagnetta's Under Fashions, and Marguerite's Religious Store to name a few. At present, it is occupied by a restuarant.

United States Post Office
115 N. Arch Street

The Post Office was built in 1904, and is constructed of marble. The building was dedicated on January 5, 1913. On June 24, 1993, Congressman John Murtha informed the Connellsville Area Historical Society that the Post Office was listed by the National Register of Historical Places.

Before turning on to Apple St., you may want to walk a little further down Arch Street and view the patriotic mural which was painted by Gerald Metzger and his son Kevin. They were hired by Attorney Carmine Molinaro to do this bicentennial painting as his contribution to the town.

Markell Building
142 N. Pittsburgh Street

This building held the Citizens National Bank which was chartered in the summer of 1902. Mr. F.E. Markell was the first president of the bank, and also owned the pharmacy in the building. At one time, the top floor was a huge ballroom. Over the years, this building has housed many businesses and at present, houses the Double Dragon Chinese Restuarant.

Directly across the street, is the Aaron building which was built in 1906 by A.E. Aaron and Aaron Furniture. Aaron Furniture is the only business to ever operate in the building. Diagonally, across the street, the now Charles Oppy building was originally Rosenburg Furniture. The buildings on Pittsburgh Street, from Apple Street south to Crawford Avenue, were all built around the turn of the century.

Title and Trust Building
Corner of Crawford & Pittsburgh

This building was first occupied on May 1, 1901. It is constructed of Pompeian brick and Native sandstone. The interior of the building is of mahohany, marble, and bronze.

On this corner in 1845 stood a brick house which held a general store, owned by Thomas Ewing and his father. The Ewings were great Democrats, and the political discussions that took place there often grew so hot and sulfurous that people began to call it "Brimstone Corner". Brimstone is another name for sulfur which burns very hot.

Leche Building
W. Crawford Ave.

This building, dated 1893, originally housed a dry goods store. This building has a pressed metal front, one of the six buildings remaining in Western Pennsylvania with such a front. Over the years, this building has been occupied by Brooks Shoe Store, Raub's Shoe Store and a restuarant.

Colonial National Bank
101 South Pittsburgh Street

This building, which was originally a bank, was built in 1906 of white marble and pink milford granite. At present, it houses a beauty salon and an insurance agency.

Immaculate Conception Church
148 East Crawford Avenue

The original church building burned in 1892, the present building was erected in 1896 and dedicated on September 13, 1897. This building is Gothic in style and cruciform in shape. A pipe organ was installed in 1920, and is made up of over 1600 pipes. The many magnificent stained glass windows were purchased from the Franz Mayer Company of Munich, Germany, in the 1920's.

Community Center
201 E. Fairview Avenue

Connellsville Community Center was erected in 1916 to be the new high school, replacing the Cameron High School which no longer stands. After the high school, it stood empty for a number of years becoming the Connelsville Community Center.

Trinity Episcopal Church
136 East Fairview Avenue

This building was originally the home of Edwin Porter, who was one of the first businessmen in the motion picture industry.

* Notice there is an historical marker at the corner of East Fairview and Pittsburgh Street which tells of Edwin Porter.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
126 East Fairview Avenue

This congregation was organized on September 16, 1884. At first services were held in various storerooms and halls. They then built a brick church on Apple Street which was decided to buy a site and build a new church. Work began on April 1, 1910 at the new site on the corner of East Fairview and Carnegie Avenue. The new structure was built of hard, white silica stone from a quarry in South Connellsville. The outside walls are 18" thick, and the entire building is trimmed in Indiana Limestone. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, July 3, 1910, and in it were placed (1) a copy of the church directory, (2) a copy of the church history, (3) The Daily Courier and Connellsville News for the day, (4) a picture of the original brick church, and (5) church papers. The new church was dedicated on Sunday, September 10, 1911.

The Tri-Uni theme, which means trinity is carried out through the church. At the front church entrance, there are three stone arches to speak for the trinity, and above it is engraved Martin Luther's quote "A Mighty Fortress if Our God."

The interior of the Church also carries the trinity theme. The woodwork is mostly dark stained oak, and the floors throughout are hardwood.

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
144 East South Street

This congregation was organized in the spring of 1871. It was a German-English congregation and continued that way until 1884 when the English Lutherans formed their own church (Trinity Lutheran #18). Most of the Germans came to Connellsville to find work in the B&O Yards and repair shops.

In 1874, the Disciples of Christ Church on South Alley and what is now Carnegie Avenue was purchased. This was a modest, one story stone meeting house, which in 1884 became an exclusively German church. This was due to the arrival of large numbers of German coal miners who sought work in the coke region.

In the spring of 1901, a new church was decided upon and the cornerstone was laid on September 4th of that year. The new church was built on the old site using the east and west stone walls of the original church. An addition of fourteen feet in the front of the building formed the vestibule and the two corner towers. The addition of 10 feet in the rear formed the Chancel area. The main entrance tower was tapped with a spire and cross.

The church is Gothic in style and built of red and yellow brick. the windows were of imported stained glass, highly decorative and depicting biblical scenes.

Around 1905, the original cross was replaced with a large electric frosted cross. However, it was blown down by high windows in 1946. The spire was then removed, and the tower was finished in brick.

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