CONNELLSVILLE AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Connellsville Area Historical Society is going on a field trip to Fort Ligonier for the September meeting. The event will take place on Wednesday, September 18th. We will be leaving Connellsville around 12:15 PM to arrive in Ligonier by 1:00 PM. We hope to car pool to Ligonier, and will be meeting at the parking lot of Brooks' Funeral Home. Several events will be included in our outing to the fort. We will be met by reenactors in period costumes. Participants will be involved in three short programs, visit the lower and upper fortifications, tour the museum and visit the gift shop. We will leave the fort around 4:30 PM and proceed to Carol and Dave's Roadhouse at 122 North Market Street in Ligonier for dinner. The cost at the fort will be $15.00 per person, and the dinner is at your own expense. Please call 724-628-5344 to make reservations by Monday, September 16th. If you are willing to drive some of our members, please contact 724-628-5344 as soon as possible. The number we can transport will be based on the space we have in the drivers' cars.
Karen Hechler, President
Connellsville Area Historical Society
HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOKS
The Society has a nice collection of Connellsville High School yearbooks archived at the Gibson House for review or research. But we do not have any yearbooks of Immaculate Conception High School or Geibel Catholic High School. If you have either school yearbook and would be willing to donate it to the Society, we will catalogue it and add it to our collection. Please call 724-628-5344 for more information.
The Gibson House (right), located at 217 West Patterson Avenue, is the home of the Connellsville Area Historical Society. We can be reached by telephone at 724-628-5640. The house dates back to at least 1818 and maybe even earlier. The house was scheduled for demolition but the Historical Society could see the historical significance of the structure and purchased it for $12,000. Under the supervision of society member Harry Porter, the house has undergone restoration to bring it back to its original beauty.
When restoration is complete, the Gibson House will be the permanent home to the Historical Society's offices. Period rooms and a gift shop will also be available.
Tax deductable donations are accepted to help with the renovations. We are a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization. We are also accepting new members who wish to help preserve Connellsville's history. Annual membership fee is $15.00.
Our hours of operation at the Gibson House are: Wednesday - 10 AM to 3 PM
Saturday - 10 AM to 3 PM
COL. WILLIAM CRAWFORD'S CABIN AT YOUGH RIVER PARK
Col. William Crawford
Col. William Crawford, outstanding local pioneer leader, was born in Virginia in 1732, the same year as his good friend, George Washington. He came to this area in 1758, as an officer of the army of Gen. John Forbes as it marched westward in the second attempt to capture Fort Duquesne at the forks of the Ohio River. Colonel Crawford was so impressed with the area, he decided to return once the Indian hostilities died down.
He and his half-brother, Hugh Stephenson, came over the mountains in 1765 on horseback and decided once they reached the second crossing of the Youghiogheny River, at what was known as Stewart's Crossings, now Connellsville, that this was where he would bring his family to live. He purchased 376 1/4 acres of meadow land in the bend of the river and took his family into the cabin in 1766. Col. Crawford's name for his residence was originally "Spring Garden" but was widely known as "Crawford's Place" by the locals. He also had a Spring House on his property, which was torn down in June of 1905.
The Crawford family: the Colonel, his wife Hannah and their four children lived a very active life on the frontier. The Crawford family was known for its hospitality. Included among the visitors were George Washington and Lord Dunsmore, the Governor of Virginia. In fact, George Washington taught Crawford the art of surveying when they were young men. Col. Crawford surveyed and purchased land in the local area (Perryopolis) for George Washington.
Colonel Crawford recruited soldiers for the Revolutionary War from his home on the banks of the Youghiogheny River. These soldiers saw action in the battles of Long Island, Trenton and Princeton.
Col. Crawford was with an expedition in 1782 to put down the hostile Indian tribes in what is now Ohio. He got separated from his army and was captured by Delaware Indians. He died a horrible death when he was burned at the stake in Upper Sandusky, Ohio on June 11, 1782.
Click on the link above (a new window will open) to view the newly installed stained glass window depicting the Mt. Vernon Iron Furnace placed in the Society's future home - THE GIBSON HOUSE on West Patterson Avenue. It was designed and crafted by Society Member and Fayette County Cultural Trust Executive Director Daniel Cocks. The stained glass was purchased through Youghiogheny Opalescent Glass in Connellsville and Dan donated his skill, craftsmanship and time. It was installed by Dan and Michael Edwards on Saturday, April 25, 2009.