The story of GREENE COUNTY...
Farmland, forests, wild turkeys, a centuries-old Indian trail and the lure of some of the best hunting in Pennsylvania can be found and enjoyed in Greene County, the cornerstone of the keystone state.
Named for General Nathaniel Greene on February 9, 1796, the county was born when John Minor sponsored a biU which legislated that this southern portion of Washington County become a separate county.
Waynesburg, the county seat, is named after General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who led the army in 1784 to defeat the Indians in the Northwest Territory, what today is Ohio.
The original county courthouse, built in 1796, still stands on Greene Street in Waynesburg. The log structure was purchased for renovation by the Greene County Historical Society, then the county bought it and it has since been restored and now the home of the Cornerstone Genealogical Society and the Society's records of the families who have lived in the county.
Greene County hosts two historical districts. One, in Waynesburg, includes Waynesburg College, a small liberal arts school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The college has a museum of rare local pottery, native American artifacts and local contributions of memorabilia and family heirlooms.
The other historical district in Rices Landing lies along the Monongahela River. The town was once a hub for cargo for Greene County during the turn of the century. During the heyday of coal-fired steel production in Pittsburgh, more tonnage of coal passed through the Monongahela River's locks at Rices Landing than tonnage of any product that passed through the Panama Canal at the same time.
Rices Landing has another treasure in the century-old W. A. Young Machine Shop and Foundry, which has been described by a curator from the Smithsonian Institute as one of the greatest remaining foundries of its kind in the nation. It is open for tours.
The community of Greensboro, also along the Mon, has been noted for its glassmaking and salt glazed pottery. Greensboro crocks are tremendously popular with some antique collectors. A short-lived pottery in Rices Landing produced crockery that has become quite rare and therefore quite valuable.
The Greene Academy in Carmichaels, the first institution of higher learning west of the Alleghenies and the Thomas Hughes House in Jefferson, which was reported to be part of the underground railroad, are additional attractions. The Historical Society Museum, on old Rt. 21 outside of Waynesburg, stands in a rambling brick house that once was the county's poor farm. Indian artifacts, fine period furnishings, collections of antique tools, an authentic general store and a watch repair shop are all housed there.
Greene County's greatest charms lie outside of the towns. As you drive through the countryside you can identify a wide array of native trees and shrubs covering the hillsides. The autumn foliage is as beautiful as any in the northeast. Winding valley roads snake their way past corn fields, through covered bridges over clear streams and along side rustic barns.
Recreational facilities in the county include more than 20 parks and close to 7,000 acres of state gamelands. These gamelands not only provide hunting, but have roads and trails for hiking during the off season and on Sundays.
Ryerson Station State Park, in western Greene County, offers fishing, swimming, boating and hiking.
The Mason-Dixon Historical Park, a recreational park, is located on the most famous boundary in America. Completed in 1767, the Mason-Dixon Line became the division between the North and the South during the Civil War.
Two Indian trails, the Warrior and the Catawba, run through rural areas of the county providing distance-walking challenges to the active hiker or back packer.
Greene County supports a population of 39,550. Coal mining, oil, gas and sheep production have all been major industries here. The first oil well to fire the steel mills was drilled in 1868. Eight coal mines still operate in the county, all with high productivity reputations. The towns of Mather and Nemacolin were built as model mining towns.
Whether you love the hills, the excitement of the riverfront, antique hunting, or numerous top quality artisans, Greene County has plenty to offer the curious visitor or long term resident alike.
Some Greene County annual events:
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