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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)


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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: Ken & Linda Parkany
Date: 04/05/2011
Message: Thank you for preserving your city's history. Will have to visit personally as we're doing genealogy on Linda's family. 1900 census found her grandmother living there, age 3, one of ten kids and father employed as a 'day laborer'. We have many questions needing answered.

Name: colette secrest
Date: 10/16/2010
Message: hello. my name is colette secrest and i would like to join your mailing list because i love history and such. thank you.

Name: Lcpl Sherwood J.R
Date: 09/13/2009
Message: I grew up in connnellsville. Spent 20 years of my life there. While i was there i must admit i thought i hated it. But once i got out and have had a chance to see the world i realize we have a very special little city. There is nothing like it i've been too. I do miss it dearly but im sure im partial do to the fact that i grew up there. It's nice to get a little more history of our city. It would be nice if they would go more indepth in CAHS on the history of Connellsville. Can't wait to move back and maybe see some more history made.... Semper Fi

Name: Victoria Riste-Dillon
Date: 08/21/2009
Message: Iam the gggranddaughter of Catherine Freed Garver on one side and John and Sarah Sherrick Rist on the other. I would love to hear from anyone that knows the lines. I would like to find John Rist's dad who we think was John Rist married to Christina Strickler. Could have been married before. Thanks, Vikki

Name: Diana Mansberry
Date: 07/14/2009
Message: Just looking around to see Family History

Name: rhonda laughlin
Date: 07/02/2009
Message: looking for registration form for 5k

Name: Michael Quinn
Date: 03/06/2009
Message: Very impressive site. I grew up in Connellsville (West Side) but have lived here in Northern Virginia for 30+ years. Enjoyed the site.

Name: George John Prinkey
Date: 02/21/2009
Message: I am looking for information on the Prinkey family who are from Connellsville. Particularly George W. Prinkey who was living there in 1910 with his wife Loretta. In 1910 he was living under the name of Means.

Date: 10/17/2008
Message: I am a descendant of swain family. old cyrus swain farm, etc. will share info with anyone searching that name there or Mt. Pleasant

Name: Nancy Soisson-Glista
Date: 10/07/2008
Message: Looking for any history of the Wm. R. Soisson family line. I'd love to hear from lost cousins that knew my grandfather. He died in 1974 and I only remember meeting him one time.