by Karen Fetter
Westmoreland County residents have a few wonderful choices for relaxation in their own backyard. One great choice for the summer season is Scottdale. Its convenient location, charm, and history make it a perfect spot for a road trip or weekend getaway.
Scottdale gives meaning to the words small town charm. Only 1.2 square miles in area, Scottdale has a population of fewer than 5,000. It is very rare that you can find a picture-perfect town that still thrives with dining and shopping, but that is not all Scottdale has to offer. The tree-lined streets and brick-covered roads are filled with Victorian mansions and other marvelous displays of 19th and early 20th Century architecture. Not to mention the six family friendly parks located throughout town.
Walking through Scottdale will take you back to a more peaceful time, and just possibly encourage a call to your real estate agent! And in Scottdale the crime rate is well below half the national average.
If you are thinking about making this summer a Scottdale Summer you would have everything at your fingertips fine dining, lodging, shopping, exercise, and historical surroundings! But most of all you would be able to participate in two exceptional activities offered in Scottdale in the summer the self-guided Walking House Tour and the Lunch in the Park program.
Self-Guided House Tour through Scottdale Historic District
Scottdale’s self-guided Walking Tour takes you through the historic district where you will encounter 29 homes in styles of various periods such as the Second Empire (1860-1890), Queen Anne (1880-1910), Colonial Revival (1880-1920), Neo-Classical (1910-1940), and Arts and Crafts (1900-1925). This peaceful and informative walk reveals some of the best residential architecture of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
The walk is one mile and takes approximately one hour to complete. Pick a morning, afternoon or evening and walk the tree-lined streets for a day you will never forget. All homes are private and are not open to the public. For more information contact the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce. You can visit their new website at www.scottdale.com
Lunch in the Park
Being able to enjoy a lunch outside in a park is a privilege that not everyone can experience. However, Scottdale makes it a reality with its Lunch in the Park program from May until August. On the second Tuesday of each month at 11:30 a.m., local church members and businesses prepare homemade food for the crowd. The event takes place at the Gazebo. The Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the event and door prizes and entertainment are available. Anyone interested in participating as a vendor or sponsor can contact Mayor Patricia Walker at 724-887-8220. This is just one more reason to make it a Scottdale Summer.
Prior to becoming the borough of Scottdale, this picturesque area was named Fountain Mills. The name was not changed until 1874, when the town was renamed in honor of Colonel Thomas A. Scott, who was assistant secretary of war during the Civil War. Colonel Scott was later president of the Pennsylvania Railroad when it opened its Scottdale branch in the spring of 1873. The borough was incorporated on February 5, 1874.
The railroad and the coal and coke industry played a major role in Scottdales development, and due to their success Scottdale was once one of the wealthiest towns in the county. This combination of industries and Scottdales location to Pittsburgh and hundreds of other mining companies made the town thrive. At one time there were 30,000 coke ovens in the area that used the railroad to ship products to various industrial markets throughout the country.
Today this exceptional town has a beautiful atmosphere that would make any visitor feel welcomed and at home. There are shops, history, tree-lined streets, and beautiful Victorian architecture.
Linden Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. It is an elegant English Tudor Mansion that was the creation of Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran. It was restored to its original beauty and elegance and the Mansion opened for the first visitors in June 1977. There are 35 rooms, 27 fireplaces, 13 bath and powder rooms, a finished white tiled basement with a game room complete with billiard tables and bowling alleys. The Mansion has 8, 720 sq. ft. to each of its four floors and is 188 ft. long by 40 ft. wide.
Bring your children, family, and friends to Stuffins Bearmill for more than 45 types of stuffed animals and dolls that they can make themselves. All of our stuffed creations include a pre-recorded sound chip with a special message, a make a wish star, a guardian angel, and a heart. All bears, animals, and dolls receive their own birth certificate and come with a box or cradle to be carried home in.
Ohiopyle State Park
Ohiopyle State Parks focal point is the more than 14 miles of the Youghiogheny River Gorge that passes through the heart of the park. The Yough provides some of the best whitewater boating in the Eastern U. S. as well as spectacular scenery. The famous Lower Yough begins after the Ohiopyle Falls and flows seven miles downstream to the Bruner Run Take-out. This is the busiest section of whitewater east of the Mississippi River.
West Overton Museum
West Overton Museum gives a complete explanation of the coal and coke process. A replica of a coke oven is on display in the museum yard. All of the exhibits are a part of the regular museum tour. West Overton Village was named to the National Register of Historic Districts in 1985 as an outstanding example of a 19th century rural industrial village.
Making your summer a Scottdale Summer is easy because the towns strategic location. Situated between Morgantown, W.V. and Pittsburgh, Scottdale is close to the Pennsylvania Turnpikes New Stanton exit at Interstate 70.
Scottdale is also linked to Routes 31, 51, 40, 119 and toll roads 66 and 43. However, despite this prime location, Scottdale manages to remain a hidden treasure by not being directly off any major route. As a result, visitors have to make it a point to stop by and enjoy the beauty and activities Scottdale has to offer.
But roads and location are not the only positives for making it a Scottdale Summer. Scottdale is also a part of the Laurel Highlands, which is an area encompassing Southwestern Pennsylvania, including Westmoreland, Fayette, and Somerset counties. Within the Laurel Highlands there is much history and culture along with outdoor adventure. Major sites to see are Seven Springs Resort, Ohiopyle, Falling Water, Hidden Valley, various wineries, and bike trails, just to name a few. Scottdale makes a wonderful base from which to enjoy your exploration of the Laurel Highlands.
For more information about the Laurel Highlands and what there is to do visit www.laurelhighlands.org.
Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce
The Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce is a partnership among downtown businesses, political and community leaders, area merchants, and downtown property owners who care about the future of Scottdale and want to insure the vitality of the downtown commercial district.
The Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce offers a wide array of services and programs that help enhance economic growth and development of the community. Some of the activities include: the Scottie Scholar Program, Lunch in the Park, The Annual Easter Egg Hunt, and Christmas Parade. The Chamber recently purchased new Christmas lights and banners, and other downtown beautification projects are being planned.
Scottdale Public Library
Scottdale takes great pride in its library facilities. The current location of the Scottdale Public Library is on Pittsburgh Street. The library serves over 12,000 people in Scottdale and East Huntingdon Township, but the existing facilities have become inadequate and more space is needed. As a result a new library is being built. The new location will be on Spring Street where the former YMCA building was located. The site will be completely renovated and much larger than the current building.
The library offers many free programs to the public. including computers with Internet service, audiotapes, DVDs and videos, new titles, and a growing collection of large print books. There is also a mini bookstore that sells books the library receives as donations. The cost per book is .25 to $1.00.
Also, the Scottdale Public Library has three book clubs for youth. Bookworms are in grades 1 and 2. Team Read is for grades 3-5, and Teen Club is for grades 6 and up. The goal of these clubs is to encourage a love of reading in children and to encourage reading with comprehension. Books are provided by the Scottdale Public Library. Children must pre-register in order to insure a book is available for their use.
Scottdale has a variety of community events for the public to participate in during the summer months. Below are activities and events for May and June. For a complete list visit the Things to Do page of the Scottdale Area Chamber of Commerce website.
Scottdale, Westmoreland County, PA
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