The historic district is the original area of the town (which was roughly Main St., between Court St. and Mill St.). Uniontown was founded July 4, 1776 (so Independence Day is a double birthday here - the country and the town). Uniontown became the county seat of the new county of Fayette in 1783.
The original historic district was expanded in the 90s to an area between 9 E Peter St. 18 N Beeson St.
Walking tour brochures are available by contacting the Uniontown Downtown Business Authority. Historic buildings, churches, and houses date back to two eras of great prosperity, National Road days, 1818-1853; and the Coal and Coke Boom, 1880-1950. There are 234 buildings identified as being within the district, but not all of them are historic.
Some of the special buildings include (alphabetically) the
John P. Conn House built in the Colonial Revival style at 84 Ben Lomond St., Uniontown
John S. Douglas House (AKA Dolfi Funeral Home) at 136 N. Gallatin Ave. It was built in the Romanesque style in 1901.
Gallatin School at 165 Gallatin Ave.
Architect, builder, or engineer: Harry W. Altman, and Andrew P. Cooper. It was built in the Classical Revival style and is currently not in use.
Adam Clarke Nutt Mansion is a Queen Anne, Second Empire Style building at 26 Nutt Ave., Period of Significance: 1875-1899
Outside of Uniontown is the Thomas Gaddis Homestead also known as Fort Gaddis which is S of Uniontown off U.S. 119. It was built around 1798
The battle at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the opening action of the French and Indian War. This war was a clash of British, French and American Indian cultures. It ended with the removal of French power from North America. The stage was set for the American Revolution.
Fort Necessity is located in a natural clearing. There is a ground sepage that prevents trees from growing in this clearing. It was a natural place of defense when Braddock and his men, needed a place to rest, while escaping the Indiana attacks caused by Braddock's attempt conquest of Fort Dusquene (Pittsburgh).
Here in the natural opening, the men, quickly built a stockade. Because the field is natural, they did not have to take time to clear the area for a clear view of any hostile Indians. After a few days, they moved away in the dark.
For images of what it may have looked like in 1754, see my travelogue
Albert Gallatin is best remembered for his thirteen year tenure as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. In that time he reduced the national debt, purchased the Louisiana Territory and funded the Lewis & Clark exploration. Gallatin's accomplishments and contributions are highlighted in his restored country estate, Friendship Hill.
Friendship Hill is located 15 miles (25 km) southwest of Uniontown. The easiest route is State Route 21 to Masontown and then the river road south along the east bank of the Monongahela River towards Point Marion.
Uniontown is the birthplace and boyhood home of General George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff in World War II, Secretary of State and Defense, and Nobel Prize winner. It is now the VFW Home.
A memorial in his honor has been built on the triangular plot across the Street from the VFW Home, across from the World War I "doughboy" monument.
Both sites were decorated with flags because it was Memorial Day.
A 90-mile stretch of the Historic National Road in Pennsylvania has been designated as the National Road State Heritage Corridor. The National Road was the first federally funded road in the United States. A portion of the road is currently known as Route 40. There are four historic eras:
- Early Trails & Military Roads (pre-1800) Nemacolin's Trail and Mingo's Path. Some of this road was originally built by Washington prior to the French and Indian War.
- Construction of the National Road (1806-1835). In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson signed the Act to construct this highway, with strong urging of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury and the "father" of the National Road.
Gallatin was a Swiss imigrant who served thirteen years as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. In that time he reduced the national debt, purchased the Louisiana Territory and funded the Lewis & Clark exploration in addition to getting the National Road funded. His home is a museum near Uniontown.
- Toll Road Era (1836-1900)
- Automobile Era (1900s)
In Pennsylvania, the corridor passes through the historic districts of Uniontown, Brownsville and Washington. Other small communities (formerly pike towns) include Addison, Beallsville, Centerville, Claysville, Hopwood, Scenery Hill and West Alexandria.
In Brownsville, the restored Flatiron Building has exhibits which teach about the National Road and the Rivers of Steel Heritage Areas
The annual National Road Festival is held every year on the third weekend in May. A wagon train comes into town, which sounds really interesting.