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The Rail Archived
Treasures Along The Rail Archived Issues
Fall & Winter 1997
Fall and Winter 1997

DAWSON
Take A "Brake" On the Trail
A Welcome by the Merchants of Historical & Friendly Dawson

We would like to introduce you to the legacy provided to our area by the Cochran family, and in particular, a very special woman, Sarah B. Cochran who constructed and lived in the mansion, Linden Hall, which will be on A&E Channel's "Great Castles" Series this fall.

Before we do that however, we need to cover a little geography. For Trail Users, Dawson is just across the Route 819 bridge. At one time, this was a toll bridge (which will be covered in another issue). For River Boaters, use the river access area below the bridge. For cars, Dawson can be accessed via Route 819 from Scottdale, or from Connellsville via Route 201 to Route 819, or by the marked side roads from Linden Hall if coming from Perryopolis via Route 51. To access Dickerson Run or Vanderbilt from Dawson, follow Route 819 across the bridge. If on the Trail take Route 819 in opposite direction of bridge.

The original "Mansion Road" between the town and Sarah's exquisite Tudor Mansion Linden Hall, which sits above us on a river crest 1800 feet high, had deteriorated and has recently been converted into the Stone Bridge Mountain Trail to permit trail access into Linden Hall. Car access to Linden Hall is longer, as one follows roads which essentially go around the 870 acre former estate, and enter the property from the rear. When the mansion was built, the trees which now block the mansion's river view were not present. Sarah used the "Mansion Road" to come into Dawson to access the railroad, or to go to her Church which she generously beautified. Other beautiful Victorian homes such as the Queen Anne Victorian Cochran House also grace the town of Dawson. Linden Hall is currently owned by the US Steel Workers, and has many amenities for the public.

Dawson was at the heart of the great Coal and Coke empire of Philip Cochran, who, by selling Coke (at 7 cents a bushel according to local legend) amassed a fortune in a short period of time. Philip and his wife Sarah B. Cochran had one son. Philip died at a relatively early age, leaving his wife Sarah B. and son to manage the empire.

 
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