Western Pennsylvania Tour➤
My friend Patty and I hit the road in October of 2022 for a tour of the Western Pennsylvania NPS units. The National Parks of Western Pennsylvania (WEPA) includes the following five parks: Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Friendship Hill National Historic Site.
We decided to start the circuit at the southernmost unit, Friendship Hill, and work our way North. Along the way we also toured a Frank Lloyd Wright UNESCO Heritage Site and Ohiopyle State Park. The next stop after Friendship Hill was Fort Necessity National Battlefield, including Mount Washington Tavern.
Mount Washington Tavern➤
The Fort Necessity visitor center also serves as the interpretive center for the National Road. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson believed that a trans-Appalachian road was necessary for unifying America. President Jefferson signed the act establishing the National Road in 1806, connecting Cumberland, Maryland to the Ohio River. It was the first federally funded road in U.S. history. Today, sections of The National Road still exist as Route 40.
In 1770 George Washington purchased the land on which he had commanded his first battle. The National Road ran through it when the federal government constructed the road in the early 1800s. In the 1830s, Judge Nathanial Ewing built the Mount Washington Tavern on a hill near the Fort Necessity battleground.
The Mount Washington Tavern was one of many roadside inns built along the National Road. The tavern changed hands a few times until the railroad boom slowed the traffic on the National Road. The Fazenbaker family bought the property in 1855 and used it as a private residence for the next 75 years.
The National Park Service restored the Tavern to its original appearance and maintains it as part of the Fort Necessity National Battlefield. The first floor features a barroom and gathering place. Upstairs are the dormitory-style bedrooms.
Western PA Posts➤
- Friendship Hill
- Fort Necessity
- Mount Washington Tavern
- Flight 93
- Flight 93 Tower
- Johnstown Flood
- Allegheny Portage
Location: National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437
Designation: National Battlefield
Date designated/established: March 4, 1931
Date of my visit: October 9, 2022