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TO BE ANNOUNCED
COL. CRAWFORD STATUE
 CONNELLSVILLE HISTORY 

    The one constant that runs through our region's history is the Youghiogheny River.  This magnificent natural resource was what first attracted animals and then native Americans like the Delaware and the Kanhawhas into this region long before the Europeans arrived in North America.
    Our area was important for hunting and travel.  Several Indian trails, such as the Nemacolin and the Catawba, crossed through the area that is now Connellsville.  The heavily forested area was home to numerous species of fur bearing animals.  Once Europeans began moving into this region in the early 18th century, they found the potential for great wealth in fur trade.  Furs could be shipped back to Europe and sold for great profit.  The French, who first settled in Canada, had always been attracted by the furs and the network of rivers that made up the Ohio River system which included our Youghiogheny River.  Furs had to be transported to market, and rivers have always been nature's highways.  By the 1740s, French trappers had penetrated into our region.
    English long hunters and trappers and the Virginia based Ohio Company began to push across the Appalachian Mountains to explore, trap and to settle the Ohio Valley at approximately the same time.  One of the earliest pioneers in the Connellsville area was Christopher Gist, a surveyor for the Ohio Company.  He surveyed great areas around Connellsville and settled himself at what he called Mount Braddock, close to what is now the Joseph A. Hardy/Connellsville Airport along Route 119.
    Also the Stewart brothers from Virginia settled for a short period along the Youghiogheny and saw a chance to make some income by transporting travelers by flatboat across the Youghiogheny River.  Evidently, enough travelers headed to where this service was available that early maps of our region listed this river crossing as Stewart's Crossing (now Connellsville).  This crossing area is in the vicinity of today's Crawford's Cabin on the banks of the Youghiogheny River.

STEWART'S CROSSING

STEWART'S CROSSING AROUND 1908

    England and France, being the two main European super powers in the 18th century, became rivals for control of North America, particularly the Ohio River Valley due to its valuable fur trade and natural network of river transportation.
    The rivalry became the basis of the War for Empire known as the Seven Years War in Europe and the French and Indian War in America.  This war lasted from 1754 to 1763 in America.  This early world war began in our area at Jumonville where young Colonel George Washington, commanding Virginia troops along with Half King and his Indians, attacked a French scouting party in late May, 1754.  These were the opening shots of the French and Indian War.
    Other outstanding natural resources in the Connellsville area were the oak trees, iron ore and later coal that lay the foundation for an early iron and steel industry.  Early settlers went into the boat and barge construction business in the late 1700s as more people moved west.  People headed toward the Youghiogheny River at Stewart's Crossing, after crossing the Allegheny Mountains, to continue their westward travel by water.  Products such as skillets, tea kettles and spoons manufactured in the Connellsville area were shipped down the Youghiogheny to the Monongahela and then to the Ohio.  Some of these Connellsville goods eventually made the trip all the way to the Mississippi reaching New Orleans.  The Youghiogheny was our early artery that connected Connellsville industrialists with the outside world where we had the opportunity to share our area's wealth with the rest of the United States.
    This excellent location along the Youghiogheny River attracted Zachariah Connell, one of the earliest settlers to this region.  He was born in Virginia in 1741, and came to Fayette County after 1770.  Connell was employed as a surveyor and land agent for several people including Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia.  He was known as an able and highly respected judge of land.  Seeing this area as a natural stopping place for travelers who wanted to build rafts and float them down the river, Connell surveyed a tract od land on the east bank of the Youghiogheny for himself containing 147 acres which he called "Mud Island."  He also surveyed a new town composed of 180 quarteracre lots, and secured a charter for the borough of Connellsville on March 21, 1793.  The new town was named in honor of Zachariah Connell.  The Bill for the Incorporation of Connellsville became law by The Act of Assembly passed March 1, 1806.  The founder of Connellsville died in 1813, and is buried on a hill overlooking East Francis Avenue.
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1st CITY IN FAYETTE COUNTY, PA

CONNELLSVILLE AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
217 West Patterson Avenue
Connellsville, PA 15425


Phone: (724) 628-5344 (K. Hechler)

Phone: ‭(724) 603-3691‬ (S. Lewis)


Email: CHS@connellsvillehistoricalsociety.com

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. 


 


WE HAVE A SECOND CHANCE TO HEAR ABOUT SARAH B COCHRAN        TICKETS AVAILABLE $35/PER PERSON

Saturday, June 29, 2024
For those who wanted to join the Connellsville Historical Society to hear Kimberly Hess speak about Sarah B. Cochran, we can offer a second chance.

We will have a Lunch-Lecture at the Somerset Historic P&LE Train Station on the corner of 7th Street & West Crawford Ave in Connellsville.

We are grateful to Somerset Trust for this opportunity. A catered lunch will be served at noon followed by a lecture at 1:00pm.
The cost will be $35.00. You can send a check for tickets to 1103 Isabella Road. Connellsville, PA 15425.

Make the check out to Connellsville Area Historical Society. Enjoy this opportunity to visit the beauty of this renovated railroad station, enjoy a lovely lunch, and hear the story of a legendary woman, Sarah B. Cochran. Afterwards, visit the Annual Braddock’s Crossing Activities at the Crawford Cabin site on the banks of the Youghiogheny River.

Karen Hechler 724-628-5344


THE 21ST ANNUAL BRADDOCKS CROSSING

June 29th-30th, 2024

(MORE DETAILS TO COME)

●The actual Crossing of the Yough will be held each day @ 1:00pm (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) 

Saturday June 29th:
OPENING CEREMONY: 11:00AM

CROSSING: 1:00PM

Sunday June 30th
OPENING: 12:00PM

CROSSING: 1:00PM

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.


Annual Corn Roast

Wednesday, August 14th, 2024

The Connellsville Historical Society is planning for the Annual Corn Roast on Wednesday, August 14th, 2024, at 6:00 pm at Crawford’s Cabin located at the corner of N. 7th St. and Torrance Ave, Connellsville.

The menu includes: corn, hot dogs and sauerkraut, baked beans, fresh vegetables, dessert and soft drinks.

The cost is $7.00 per person.

To RSVP Call Karen Hechler, 724-628-5344
Reservations must be made by Saturday, August 3rd, 2024. You must bring your own table service to this event.

Anyone wishing to help set up for the event should be at Crawford Cabin by 1:00 pm on August 14th to husk corn and clean picnic tables.

Sign the Guest Book
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Name: Kyle Sepp Woods
Date: 02/10/2024
Message: Info on joining


Name: Simpson Jr Raymond R
Date: 02/09/2024
Message: Grew up in Leisenring # 1 ,,, Connellsville is home ,,,,


Name: Gary Overfield
Date: 01/06/2024
Message: Have an interest in Connellsville due to coal and the railroads. Also like the small town feel.


Name: Cheryl Beitzel-Barkey
Date: 01/21/2023
Message: I grew up going to Connellsville every year to visit my Aunt and Uncle, Pauline and Chelsie Eiford. They lived on Rock Ridge Rd. Some of my favorite memories are from Connellsville.


Name: Terry Ellen Ferl
Date: 10/05/2020
Message: The web site for your Society is very interesting and a great source for learning about the area. Congratulations on your upcoming new home, the Gibson House.


Name: Tom Latham
Date: 09/08/2020
Message: Hope someday I can visit the Crawford family cabin. Thank you


Name: Roger Buttermore
Date: 08/06/2019
Message: Looking for more info about Point of Rocks Cemetery and / or "Old Quaker graveyard" (Ellis, p. 393.


Name: Tom of the Yough
Date: 07/30/2019
Message: This is a great site

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