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    Back in 1971, some active members of the Connellsville Chamber of Commerce, alarmed that local history, including Connellsville as the COKE CAPITAL of the world, was being ignored and lost, decided to form a local historical society.  Under the leadership of William Balsley, a meeting was called for all interested parties to organize a historical society.  A meeting was held with Bill Balsley being elected the 1st President.  Other Officers were: 1st Vice-President Mrs. Barbara Keefer, 2nd Vice-President Hubert Reidman, Recording Secretary Karen Hechler and Treasurer Louise Balsley.  A charter was applied for and granted by Fayette County Common Pleas Judge John Munson and the Society was officially in business.  The Society was incorporated in 1972.

    One of the first community projects was an antiques show held at the Connellsville National Guard Armory on Washington Avenue.  This was so successful that it was continued for a number of years, subsequently changing from strictly antiques to antiques and crafts and finally all crafts.  Its locale also changed from the Armory to New Haven Hose Fire Hall on 7th Street West Side.  Finally, its novelty having worn off, the last show was held in October, 1998.

    During the Bi-Centennial of the United States in 1976, it was decided to build a replica of Col. William Crawford's log cabin home and springhouse.  It was built near the original spot of his residence on the banks of the Youghiogheny River.  It serves as an attraction for visitors to Yough River Park on Connellsville's West Side.  A view of the one room structure can be activated by a bell on the river side, giving a short narration of his life and times.  Flags of the United States, England and France were flown on the Memorial Bridge (Route 119) during the celebration.

    Mindful of its mission to preserve and disseminate local history, the Society decided to reprint local history books, principally "The Centennial History of Connellsville" and "Fayette County History by Ellis" together with other histories including Braddock's Trail.  All are available at the Society's office in the Gibson House or by mail.  (See the "ITEMS FOR SALE" tab)  Along with numerous other items is a coverlet depicting Connellsville's history.  All make wonderful gifts.  The Society's picnic pavilion and grounds where the cabin stands at Yough River Park are available for rent.  One of the newest projects is Original Prints of local sites by artist Donna Campbell Allen and sold through the Society.  Our Society has also sponsored numerous National Registry of Historic Places listings such as the P & L E and Western Maryland Railroad Station, the United States Post Office and others.  Connellsville is the home of six (6) listings in the National Registry of Historic Places.

    The Society maintains an office at the Gibson House located at 217 West Patterson Avenue, Connellsville, PA 15425.  Our telephone number is 724-628-5344.  Our hours of operation are Saturdays from 9 AM to 4 PM.  The current President is Karen Hechler.

    Presently, having purchased the 1870 Gibson House on West Patterson Avenue in Connellsville, the Society is trying to restore the burned out house to make room for an office, information center, West Penn Railway display, Veterans display and railroad display.  We also hope to be able to hold small receptions at the house.  Research has led us to believe this to be the original Ironmasters house.  The house was built by a son of Joseph Gibson of Ruble stone, L-shaped, two stories high and is typical of the architecture of the period.  It overlooked both Connell Run and Gibsonville, site of the present Connellsville High School Football Stadium.

    The Society holds a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designating it a non-profit, charitable organization under Code 501 (c) (3), making your donation tax deductible.  We welcome new members, safe in the knowledge that you will find some area of local history to satisfy you.  A newsletter is sent periodically to paid-up members.


Stewart's Crossing
Sign Guest Book  View Guest Book 

217 West Patterson Avenue
Connellsville, PA 15425

Phone: (724) 628-5344 (K. Hechler)

Phone: ‭(724) 603-3691‬ (S. Lewis)


Content, including images, displayed on this website is protected by copyright laws. Downloading, republication, retransmission or reproduction of content on this website is strictly prohibited. 


THE History Of Connellsville Streetcars

Historical Society Member Ed Demuth will host a history of Connellsville street cars. 
at the Connellsville Canteen Monday April 29th from 5:30pm-7pm
Reservations are $10 per person
RSVP 724-603-2093
Only 50 Spots Available!

The Unexpected Life of Sareh B. Cochran      SOLD OUT

Friday June 28th @5:30pm-9:00pm

Our Most recent addition to the Crossing weekend is a Dinner-Lecture calling attention to a local historical event or person held Friday evening before the week-end event at Crawford’s Cabin site.

This event will require a reservation.
Amount is $35/ per person
DINNER is Included

This year, 2024, will be the third Dinner-Lecture bringing an acknowledged historian to Connellsville as the kick-off event of the annual Braddock’s Crossing week-end.
This year the speaker will be Kimberly Hess, author of A LESSER MORTAL:
Ms. Hess (Author) will share stories of this amazing woman, Sarah B. Cochran, and her great influence on local history


June 29th-30th, 2024


●The actual Crossing of the Yough will be held each day @ 1pm (Depending on the condition of the Youghiogheny.)

●(If the river is too high, swift and muddy, we will not attempt to cross.)

●We Will Have A Crossing (Weather Permitting) (More Details To Come)

Saturday June 29th:

Sunday June 30th

●Our Guests This Year:
-Tri Town Historical Society
-Redstone Rangers
-Valerie Skinner

-Shawn Baird (Rifleman)
-Julie Rossington
-The Homestead Bath House
-Stone Forge & Tissage
-Dunbar Historical Society

●Refreshments are available on site both days. The Historical Society has historical items for sale. Come to the River Crossing and support the Connellsville Area Historical Society.

Sign the Guest Book

Name: Ladislav Cekovsky
Date: 01/18/2013
Message: Hi, I'm looking for information about the Cekovsky family. My ancestors Matthew Cekovsky and his brother John lived in Connellsville. I have some pretty old photos of Connellsville they sent in those days. If somebody have any info contact me, please. I can send the photos or provide details to compare. mail to:

Name: Craig Gibson
Date: 12/12/2012
Message: Has someone search the local area records of who has owned the Gibson house? Might be interesting. I think Nathaniel Gibson was one of the first owners, but being from Phoenix I don't think the records are online...

Name: Louise Bungard Forsberg
Date: 10/25/2012
Message: I am looking for info on my ancestors the Bungard Family of Connellsville, Fayette County, PA

Name: Jim Gibson
Date: 10/12/2012
Message:  well, my brother Craig, is looking for info, regarding genealogy.

Name: Diane (moore) Kerr
Date: 06/07/2012
Message: Very nice website. thabjyou for your work and time.

Name: Susan Taubert
Date: 04/02/2012
Message: I was raised in the Gibson Terrace from 1950 to 1968 by my grand parents Ernest and Susan Bower any one remembering them please contact me at my home email thanks Susan Mettert Taubert

Name: Robert Lindsay
Date: 03/07/2012
Message: I believe David Lindsay was the original owner of the property Connellsville now occupies! Would anyone there wish to discuss this information?

Name: Thomas Keefer
Date: 01/06/2012
Message: Nice website. My father John Keefer is buried in Connellsville.

Name: Marlene J. Ford
Date: 10/05/2011
Message: Helen Ford McCarthy died in 1923. She was buried in Hill Grove Cemetery. How can I find the exact date of her death? Headstone only has year on it.

Name: Patricia Dixon Filoni
Date: 06/17/2011
Message:  Nice site. Now know more. Will attend Crossing event on Sat. Did'nt know about the park.