by Karen Fetter
While traveling through Westmoreland County, one pleasant surprise awaiting visitors is the borough of Mount Pleasant. With a population of about 5,000, Mount Pleasant is close to Routes 119, 31, and 981, making it easy to get to from any part of Westmoreland County or its surrounding communities. Located in the foothills of the Laurel Highlands, Mount Pleasant has a lot to offer to residents and visitors alike. Its location makes it perfect for relaxation, as well as the enjoyment of great food, local history, and shopping.
Originally a coal-mining town, Mount Pleasant is better known today for the manufacture of glass and crystal products from such world renowned companies as Sony Engineering/Manufacturing of America, L.E. Smith Glass Co., and Lenox Crystal.
In the center of town stands the statue of a soldier commonly referred to as the Dough Boy. This is not the only tribute to veterans in this patriotic community, as there is also a Veterans Park in the center of town, and a Wall of Honor dedicated to area soldiers who have lost their lives in war.
Plans are underway for downtown Mt. Pleasant to define and preserve a major portion of Mt. Pleasant as a Historic District. The district will include approximately 250 buildings, and the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is acting to preserve this district through National Register listing.
While Mount Pleasant sits away from the commercial traffic that surrounds many of the towns in Westmoreland County, it flourishes because of its strong community. Residents promote the area and keep economic development alive through its unique shops and attractions
The earliest records for the Mount Pleasant area date back to the Revolutionary War. While the origin of the name Mount Pleasant is unclear, one theory holds that the town received its name due to its pleasant atmosphere and location. Another possibility relates to the Redstone Presbytery, which organized the Mount Pleasant Church in 1774. The town, in turn, may have taken its name from this historic old church.
Further steps in the development of Mt. Pleasant included a public inn, erected by Michael Smith in 1793. But it wasnt until 1797 that Andrew McCready laid out the town on land he purchased from Nathaniel Marshall.
By 1810, there were about 34 log houses in the village. The first brick house in Mount Pleasant was built in 1812 and used as a store-room known locally as Isaac Stauffer’s.
Mount Pleasant was incorporated on February 7, 1828. The town lay along a road known as the Glade that was built by the State. This road provided the main east-west corridor at the time, connecting Somerset, West Newton, and Pittsburgh.
Mount Pleasant is home to many wonderful businesses that help bring economic development to the area and provide great service to local residents and visitors alike. Lets take a look at a few local treasures that make Mount Pleasant so pleasant.
One great place to go in town is the R and R Station Restaurant and Inn located on West Main Street. This 121-year-old hotel has 17 rooms and offers home-style cooking, historic photographs, and memorabilia from Mt. Pleasant and surrounding areas. There is also a Victorian Tea Room available for private banquets and the Caboose Lounge, which serves your favorite cocktails!
Another favorite eating place is Leos Pub and Grille on North Diamond. This restaurant offers a large variety of domestic and import beers and a take out six pack shop. The menu includes items such as chicken and pasta, seafood, sandwiches, and famous burger platters.
And after eating a great meal its always good to satisfy your sweet tooth, so why not stop in Sugar Plum Chocolates. Here you will find a variety of chocolate covered items to choose from, including more exotic favorites like chocolate covered Oreos and chocolate covered pickles! The store is located at 101 N. Church St.
Glass Factory Outlets
Of course, Mt. Pleasant is famous for its glass companies, so you definitely want to take the time to stop in at L.E. Smith Glass Company located at 1900 Liberty St. and the Lennox Outlet Store on Route 31 East. L.E. Smith Glass has been producing fine glassware for over 90 years! You can tour the factory, purchase first-rate quality, and discount priced ‘seconds’.
Sandhill Berry Farm
Sandhill Berry Farm is both an experience and a treat. This family-owned farm began producing products such as pies, jellies and jams in 1991. All products are made on the farm in their own kitchen. In 1986, Sand Hill Berries began with 5 acres of red raspberries and 2 acres of black raspberries. Thirteen years later, everything was removed in the fall and replanted with raspberries, blackberries, red currants, gooseberries, black currants, heirloom apples, strawberries, and a few stone fruits, and seedless grapes. They hope to add a consistent kiwiberry crop, blueberries, and perhaps more grapes. If you are looking for quality, fresh berries and pies, take a trip to this farm to see how it is done first-hand. Call 724-547-4760 for more information. Store Hours are 10:00 – 5:00 Monday to Saturday and Noon – 5:00 Sunday. Visit the website at www.sandhillberries.com.
Mount Pleasant Historical Society
The Mount Pleasant Historical Society was formed in 1995. The society’s purpose is to provide a public forum for the review and discussion of historical issues, to promote the history and culture of Mount Pleasant and the surrounding region, to preserve and collect local artifacts, and to further develop the resources of the area.
Any person or business interested in joining The Mount Pleasant Historical Society is encouraged to contact the Society at 724-547-9115. Regular meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at their office located in the In-Town Shops on Main Street. For more information, you can also visit their webpage at www.mtpleasantpa.com/histsoc.html.
Mount Pleasant Public Library
The Mount Pleasant Public Library is a great resource for the area. In addition to the regular services it provides, the Library offers special programming such as nature appreciation, Stage Right! Productions, a weekly story hour for children, a summer reading program, weekly teen program, and a book discussion.
- Nature Appreciation
- Stage Right! Productions
- Weekly story hour for children 3-5 years old. Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Summer reading program
- Weekly teen program held Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Book Group Discussion-held the last Monday of every month: 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
The Library is located at 120 S. Church Street and the hours are Monday through Thursday 11 – 8 p.m., Friday 11-5 p.m., Saturday 9:30 – 4:30 p.m. The Library is closed on Sunday. Visit their website at www.mountpleasantpalibrary.org.
Frick Hospital, a 153-bed hospital with 18 skilled care beds has served Mount Pleasant for over 100 years. The hospital offers general acute care, cardiac services, cancer care, emergency services, inpatient and outpatient surgery and rehabilitative services. Frick Hospital also offers a variety of services in the community setting such as home health care, physical, speech and occupational therapy.
Mount Pleasant belongs to a regional chamber of commerce known as the Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce. However, Mt. Pleasant is fortunate to have the office located in the heart of town at 537 West Main Street. LHHC membership is comprised of local merchants, manufacturers, agriculture, finance, health, media, elected officials, churches, service clubs, and individuals.
The Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization established to promote the Fay-West region: which consists of Southern Westmoreland, Northern Fayette, and Western Somerset Counties. With over 380 members, the LHCC is an active, growing organization working to promote the economic and regional interests of their membership. You may visit the website at www.laurelhighlandschamber.com.
In addition to several parades held through the center of town, a major event each year for Mount Pleasant residents is the annual community picnic that is held at Idlewild Park. The date for 2006 is July 10. All those interested in tickets should contact the Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce at 724-547-7521.
There is also the Mt. Pleasant Ethnic and Glass Festival, celebrating its 20th year in 2006. Including contests, activities, parades, and entertainment such as the Vogues and the Poverty Neck Hillbillies this year, the Mt. Pleasant Ethnic Festival is one of the highlights of fall in this great Westmoreland County community. For more information, please visit the website at www.mtpleasantglassandethnicfestival.com.
Take a day and enjoy a drive to Mount Pleasant. With plenty of stops to make while you are there, you are sure to find out why it is so pleasant in this wonderful Westmoreland County town.
For more information about Mount Pleasant, you might also visit www.mtpleasantpa.com, where we learned some of the facts and history included in this article.
Mt. Pleasant , Westmoreland County, PA
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