The Ride Of Your Life To Raise Funds Supporting Our Wounded American Heroes
Pittsburgh to Ohiopyle/Confluence
(1) McKeesport (Day 1 mile 10) : a. The Bottoms and the Brick Alley locations down by the river were known for their late evening activities, a former town Mayor was quoted, “if you had enough cash you were guaranteed to get lucky”
b. Harmony Society, a Christian communal industrial society, settled here in 1804 generated bundles of cash but later dissolved because its members were celibate.
(2) Boston (Day 1 mile 12): a. It doesn’t look at all like its namesake up north. b. Fort field used to be a fort.
(3) West Newton (Day 1 mile 27): a. At one time had a large paper mill and at least 2 mines. b. Sites to see on the trail include a reconstructed Railway Station, an old passenger car and Gob Piles (The results from slate being dumped along with whatever coal that escaped the coal cleaning process.)
(4) Smithton (Day 1 mile 32): Known for “Stoney’s Beer”, William “Stoney” Jones, a Welsh immigrant and hotel owner, opened the Eureka Brewing Company Co. in 1907 and made Eureka Gold Crown Beer.
(5) Pittsburgh Coal Seam (Day 1 mile 47): a. The seam outcrop can be seen from the trail. It helped fuel the Industrial Revolution in Pittsburgh. b. “The Pittsburgh coal bed in the four states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and West Virginia has produced an output that, at mine prices, represents a greater value than any other single material deposit that the world has yielded” The Pittsburgh Coal Bed – Its Early History and Development, Howard N. Eavenson, 1938.
(6) Broadford Junction (Day 1 mile 49) The yellow brick buildings and chimney seen across the river belong to the Overholt Distillery, makers of Old Overholt rye whiskey (Sometimes referred to as “Old Overcoat” from the way you felt the morning after you drank it.)
(7) Connellsville (Day 1 mile 51): a. Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was arguably the richest (and often the most hated) man to ever come out of the Yough Valley. His Maternal Grandfather was a well-to-do Mennonite farmer, businessman, and “Old Overholt” distiller while his father was a ne’er-do-well from Ohio who knocked up Frick’s mother and had to marry her. Young Clay was a frail but hardworking kid who started clerking in a store at age 14. At 17 he started working at the family distillery which he later traded to get into the “Coke” beehive business (a process for creating a cleaner form of coal). He proceeded to buy up much of the coal property around Connellsville. He made his 1st million by the time he was 30. He was also known for setting up the “Company Store” and later went into partnership with Andrew Carnegie. They had falling out in 1900 after which Frick called Carnegie a “God damned thief”. Before Frick died Carnegie sent a mutual friend to ask if Frick would shake his hand one last time. Martha Sanger relates that Frick told the friend he would “see Carnegie in Hell which is where they are both going.” b. Millionaires Row can be found on Pittsburgh Street which has many Churches, Mansions, and the Carnegie Library. (Mostly built on Coal money.)
(8) Ohiopyle (Day 1 mile 72): a. Native American name for “white frothy water” b. Note that the “High” and “Low” bridges which are approximately 0.5 miles apart are crossing the same Youghiogheny River which passes under in the shape of a 2 mile U-turn (has excellent white water rafting).