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Overview

Connellsville, a small town on the Youghiogheny River (Yuck-a-GAY-nee, often referred to as "the Yuck") in southwestern Pennsylvania, is close to four notable destinations: two world-famous homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (one features a remarkable collection of sculpture); verdant Ohiopyle State Park, famed for whitewater rafting on the Yuck; and Fort Necessity Battlefield, the site of George Washington’s first battle — and the only time he ever surrendered to an enemy. The battle at Fort Necessity in 1754 was the beginning of the French and Indian War, fought for control of the North American continent. The French retained control ...

Connellsville, a small town on the Youghiogheny River (Yuck-a-GAY-nee, often referred to as "the Yuck") in southwestern Pennsylvania, is close to four notable destinations: two world-famous homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (one features a remarkable collection of sculpture); verdant Ohiopyle State Park, famed for whitewater rafting on the Yuck; and Fort Necessity Battlefield, the site of George Washington’s first battle — and the only time he ever surrendered to an enemy. The battle at Fort Necessity in 1754 was the beginning of the French and Indian War, fought for control of the North American continent. The French retained control of “the forks of the Ohio” (modern day Pittsburgh) for several years after Washington’s surrender. Now, the peaceful park is a favorite with autumn visitors.

Connellsville was the world center for coke production at the turn of the 20th century. Coke, a product made from coal processed in bee-hive-shaped ovens, was a primary ingredient of steel production, and immigrants flocked to the town to work in the mines and mills. In 1903, Andrew Carnegie gave a free library to the town, and the impressive sandstone Italianate building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still meets the needs of local readers. A drum from the 142nd infantry formed in 1862 is proudly displayed in the library. The instrument saw service during several notable Civil War battles, including the pursuit of General Lee to Appomattox Court House.

Joanne Miller
About the Expert

Joanne Miller is the author of several Moon guidebooks, including Pennsylvania Handbook, Chesapeake Bay Handbook, and Maryland/Delaware Handbook.

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Joanne Miller for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and autumn are spectacular in this part of the Laurel Highlands. Spring is the best time for high water on the Yuck — as the summer wears on, the water level drops for more whitewater thrills.