Thursday, June 27, 2013

Connecting with the past

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We had heavy rain most of the night. Never did have lightening and thunder or hail but we had plenty of rain! Ohiopyle is the Indian word for “rushing white water” – and that is what the water here looks like. There are rapids and lots of white water rafting enterprises in the park as well as biking and hiking trails. There is a very small town right past the park which has outfitters, rental of bikes etc and several eating establishments. The Campground is nice but the bathrooms are only adequate and could use a little upgrading!

We headed off towards Hopwood and Uniontown. Along the way we stopped at Fort Necessity National Battlefield. The battle was one of the first the George Washington took part in as a young Lt. in the British Forces. He was battling the French and Indians in the War of 1812.


The Visitor Center also had an interpretive display about the National Road. It was very well done. In looking through their resource materials, Jane found she already had a copy of the most complete book written about the National Road – a soft bound copy now sells for $33. We have a hard bound copy that also includes a 1916 Travelogue of the National Road. They did not have that in print there.

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The National Road Exhibit was very well done with several scenes to make you feel you were part of traveling the road.


Interesting quote from the museum

Also associated with the battlefield was the Mount Washington Tavern - a fully furnished Tavern and Inn of the 1800’s.



Mt. Washington Tavern and Inn, Tavern Room, and Barn for Wagons

It was very nice and furnished very appropriately. They even had a small barn to the rear much as the Inn’s of the Road had.


We continued on towards Uniontown and Stopped for Lunch at the Stone House Inn. An Inn of the 1800’s still operating today.  Ben had chicken and dumplings and Jane had a hamburger. The interesting thing about the lunch was the biscuit with the chicken and dumplings was a blue cheese biscuit.  Both were excellent. We also took a few photos of the lobby and dining room. We ate in the Tavern section and avoided a pretty heavy thunderstorm by eating inside.

We continued on towards Hopwood and Uniontown. Hopwood was really a suburb of Union Town. We had no addresses to look for so continued on to Uniontown and found both the location of the Tavern at the corner of Main and Arch. While we were not 100% sure which corner – it really would have made no difference. All corners were without buildings. We photographed all corners and the environs.

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We also had an address where Aaron Wyatt (Jane’s great great great grandfather) had lived – address was now a one block high rise public housing facility. But the next block still had some very old looking several story buildings that were probably mulit-family dwellings. Oh one will never know for sure...

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Above is newly constructed housing and below is nearby old building in poor repair.

We went to the Pennsylvania Room at the Uniontown Public Library and searched around in photos, maps, etc for about 2 hours. Two of their resource books, Jane’s mom had in her possession. The Nesmith family history they have was written by a distant Nesmith cousin – and Jane has a copy. So it appears Jean Beck did a pretty good job. Many many hours spent here might yield photos of the buildings we were looking for… but we did not have that much time. We already had wedding records, death records etc. So the day gave us the flavor of the community and the time when Jane’s relatives lived here, and the satisfaction of having been in these places.

Getting to be late afternoon we headed back to camp and sat around a while reading until we were hungry and then Jane whipped up a quick supper in the microwave. Does not look rain tonight but it is much cooler – in fact we have not even turned on the ac yet.

Tomorrow we move on to finish the last leg of this portion of our National Road journey.

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