Return to the Turn of a Century
For Visitors, The Area Can Be Easily Accessed
Between Brownsville and Greensburg lies a highway corridor. It is Route 70 which by joining at New Stanton with Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 8, connects the federally designated roads of Route 40 (The National Road) at Brownsville and Route 30 (The Lincoln Highway - The Modern Highway Story) at Greensburg with our local area. Including the Gateway towns of Brownsville, New Stanton and Greensburg, over 13 inact downtown districts exist with quaint shops and amenities along with major attractions, including the Yough and 5 Star Hike and Bike Trails.
All downtown districts and attractions are within 20 minutes of the byways of Route 51 and 70, Route 31 and 70, and Route 119 North and South at New Stanton, many are on or near the trails/rails.
An Aerial Overview
The Gate way cities along the route 70 corridor are:
Youngwood/Greensburg (Rt. 119 N-Rt. 30)
New Stanton (Exit 8 - PA Turnpike)
The by-way road loops and exits traveling east along the route 70 corridor are:
(Rt. 51): Belle Vernon, Smithton, Perryopolis, Smock
(Rt. 31): West Newton, Renaissance Festival
And the loops between Route 51 and Route 119 South via Route 819 lies Layten, Linden Hall and Dawson.
To visit the Fay-West "Century" area of the laurel highlands from:
Idewild Park/Fort Ligonier - take Rt. 30 west to Greensburg to 119 south.
Seven Springs - take route 30 west to Mt. Pleasant and Route 119.
Fallingwater/Ohiopyle State Park/Fort Necessity - Take Route 40 through Uniontown to Route 119 north, or route 40 to Brownsville.
The Trolley Museum at Washington, PA - Follow Route 70 east.
Organization of Towns and Attractions by Trail/Rail
(If you are interested in trail group bookings call Allegheny Valley Bicycle Tours, 724-824-3844, for rail group bookings or Return to the Turn of a Century multiple event touring, call 724-628-0776, for quietwater group rafting tours on the lower Yough, call Wilderness Yoyagers, 724-329-5517.
The Yough River Trail Towns
(coming up-river or south/east)
McKeesport, Boston, West Newton, Smithton, Perryopolis (under development), Layton, Dawson & Linden Hall, River's Edge Campgrounds, Connellsville, Dunbar (under development), Ohiopyle, and Confluence.
The 5 Star Trail Towns
Greensburg, New Stanton (under development), Youngwood (under development), Trail will end in Connellsville (under development)
Scottdale, Alverton, Youngwood, Mt. Pleasant, Connellsville (tours only)
Organizations of Towns and Attractions by Century Themes
15th CenturyGreensburg - Capitol of Westmoreland County boasts the Palace Theatre (724-836-8000) with live performances. The Amtrak Station is a preserved Pennsylvania Railroad Station - one of the busiest in Pennsylvania, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art (724-837-1500). The 5 Star Hike and Bike Trail begins here. The downtown district is bustling with shops and restuarants. (Take 119 north and go into town)
West Newton at the Route 70/31 Exit boasts the New Renaissance Festival Site (724-872-1670) with Jousts and Knights, weekends beginning June 28th. The town is also a major Yough Trail Access Area, and its downtown district houses numerous small shops.
Brownsville - Searights Toll House (724-439-4422) The National Road (Route 40), a must see is Nemacolin Castle (724-785-6882).
Perryopolis - George Washington's Grist Mill, Quaker Meeting Hourse, Fulling Mill, Beehive Oven converted to bread making. (724-736-4383) (Off Route 51 South from Route 70)
Youngwood - a major Pennsylvania Railroad town had the first Hump yard, and has a preserved Pennsylvania Railroad Station (724-925-7355) which is now a Museum with a gift shop, hobby shop, and an HO model railroad layout. Next to the Museum is Conrail Park, where picnic lunches and Barbecue's are available. (Take 119 north, follow signs at Station St.)
Journey Through Lost Patches of Black Diamonds and Fields of Fire
In 1909, 34,100 Coke Ovens created Dante's Inferno here. Visit the era of the Robber Barons and our rich heritage of the Patch Town, and the Coal (Black Diamonds) mines. Over 200,000 immigrants came to this area looking for a better life "For" as they were told, "the streets are paved with gold."
Travelers Tip! The area's towns and cities are graced with many beautiful homes from the Coal and Coke era, drive around the towns, its worth it!
Smithton has Stoney's Brewery (724-872-2337) (Of Northern Exposure TV fame) with weekday tours and a view of the original Giant Copper Brewing Kettle still used, and a gift shop. Town is also the home of the The Motordome - NASCAR Racing. (Off Route 51 at 70)
If you go "down the road a bit" from Stoney's, numerous Coke Oven Banks along the CSX main are visible on the left. River is also pretty close.
Smock has a preserved Company Store and was a Patch Town. (724-677-6528). (Off Route 51 a few miles past turnoff for Perryopolis)
Travelers Tip! For a continuous by-way driving experience, if you are not on route 51 you could take the loop described below or if you are coming from PA Turpike Exit 8 at New Stanton, you can take Route 819 Scottdale through town and follow this loop to route 51.
If you are on Route 51 and go through Perryopolis to Layton, you will drive through one lane tunnel and bridge! (former railroad right-of-way). On the way Hazelbaker's River Recreational Center (724-736-8155) can provide you with a relaxing trip on the river. At Layton, "The Silence of the Lambs" was partially filmed. Next, by followed signs you can drive on to Linden Hall and Dawson.
Linden Hall, Dawson, (724-529-7543) listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a AAA Attraction, has an exquisite English Tudor Mansion, built by Sarah B. Cochran, wife of Coal and Coke Baron Philip Cochran, which houses 3 Story Tiffany Windows, (rated among his top ten works), an eolian organ (one of three remaining), and a bowling alley in the basement! Jody Foster was the last person to sleep in the mansion during the filming of "The Silence of the Lambs". The mansion will be presented on A&E's "Great Castles" series this fall. Tours are weekdays from 11 AM to 3 PM. Weekend reservations only. An 18 hole golf course, lodging facility, a restuarant, swimming, tennis, bike rentals, and a fishing lake are also available, a Sunday Brunch is served in the Mansion. On the property is the Stonebridge mountain bike trail. A short walk down thr trail will bring you to a lookout 1800 feet above the river, there are practically no man-made structures visible, just a small portion of the CSX main where the Duquesne Train Wreck occured, (named for all the clergy who died after visiting a conference in Pittsburgh) and a farmhouse on your far left. You can see two broad river bends. If lucky and Hazelbaker's canoes are on the river this view is close to what the Iroquois saw (who under the Great Nations owned all the land. Their understanding of this was different than ours, it was a caretaker concept. We believe this concept to be critical in preserving our heritage).
Dawson has many beautifully restored Victorian homes as well as the Cochran Church, and a very pretty downtown area with many little shops. Browse! The Queen Anne Victorian Cochran Home has Tour, Tea or Lunch-reservations only (724-529-2368/529-0503), and the Pringle House Bed & Breakfast is the former William Cochran Mansion (724-529-2726).
Visitor Tip For Romantic Fun!
On Saturday's, take route 819 to Scottdale for a PM ride on the "Highlander" Steam Passenger Train. (For an adventure in the evening, return to Route 819 south (west) and take a left at the Mark I Lounge. At the Church, go straight and enjoy the tremendous view. Turn right at end of road. Follow this road to the Railroad Tracks, then go right and up the hill to the stop sign. Turn left and follow signs to Alretta's Restuarant, (724-887-6161) built by President of the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad as a hide-away to entertain his railroad guests. (The most recent Railroad President to eat here was Hal Harkness of the Laurel Highlands Railroad who had the line's volunteer recognition dinner here.) The view from the rear dining room is spectacular, the site sits 1750 feet high. (Tell Jim Scary, the owner that you read about him here, and if he is in the mood, he will tell you some great stories.) Upon leaving, there is an easier way to travel, go into the city of Connellsville and take Route 119 home.
At Scottdale, on Saturday, in addition to "The Highlander" you can visit West Overton - The Birthplace of Henry Clay Frick (724-887-7910) and then Shop Til You Drop! - in the town's downtown district, which boasts numerous attractive small gift and craft shops, and the 1st McCroy's 5&10, and now Soccor 17! The train, goes through Alverton, and Coke Oven Banks. Take "The Highlander" to Mt. Pleasant on Sunday and see Cook's Thomas the Tank Engine visit the train (Cook's Hobby Shop 724-547-5719 is the largest retailer of Thomas in the area.) Enjoy the music, clowns and the R & R Station Family Restuarant 724-547-7545 and its lovely tea room. Off Route 119 at Route 30, Mt. Pleasant also has a fine shopping district, with factory tours and outlets at Smith and Lenox Glass Plants. The Largest of the Frick Coke Oven Sites was here. If driving, enjoy the fine cuisine at Smillies Family Restuarant, off Route 819 South, 724-547-5611.
In Connellsville, visit the beautiful River Walk and Bike Trail access area just past the Route 119 bridge on your right. (Follow the signs to Colonel Crawford's Cabin.) Down the trail towards Dawson, is River's Edge Family Campground (724-628-4880). Near the river walk is the Youghiogheny Station-Stained Glass Factory and Gallery Outlet, (724-628-0332) in a preserved train station, featuring Tiffany lamps, and other stained glass pieces. You can go to Faris Distributors and get an Iron Horse Root Beer, the drink of the Laurel Highlands Railroad., (bottles made by Anchor Hocking-support our local industry! Help restore jobs!) or to Sheetz and grab a fast bite to eat. Colonel Crawford's Bike Rental Shop is also close by. The Carnegie Free Library in the town is on the National Register of Historic Places. The first Bee Hive Coke Oven was fired near here. Armstrong Cable Services is at 259 E. Crawford Ave. 724-628-5462. If biking, go across the 119 bridge, take the second road on right and follow the road to Pittsburgh Street, on your left you'll find The Golden Corral Restuarant - load up partner! Bud Murphy's above the Corral is a town legend for Pizza. If you continue on 119 South a few miles you're in for the best hamburgers around at Hutch's Inn. Tell Al, or his brother Rick, or his Mom Mary, that Jim sent you. They will be glad you came. No coupons, for what you pay, it's true value.