Western Pennsylvania has much to Offer to History Buffs

Western Pennsylvania, consisting of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, has a history dating back to pre-colonial times. This area is home to Native American tradition, historic military encounters, and revolutions in industry. western Pennsylvania is an ideal destination for fans of American history and a perfect destination for family vacations. Here are the five best historical sites to visit when planning a trip to the area.

1. Fort Necessity

Fayette County is home to this national battlefield, which marked the beginning of the French and Indian War. This is also the site of Gen. George Washington’s first major military conflict. Located on over 900 acres of rolling hills, Fort Necessity offers five miles of walking trails, weapons demonstrations, and re-enactments of the battle which took place here in 1754.

2. Drake Well Museum and Park

Many people think of Texas or Alaska when it comes to American oil production, but the first commercial oil well in the Unites States was drilled not far from Pittsburgh, in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859. This historical site offers a full-scale replica of Col. Drake’s original well in addition to a museum devoted to the oil industry in Pennsylvania (after all, the “Quaker State”, a name synonymous with oil, is another nickname for Pennsylvania). The Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad offers scenic tours through Crawford County, making it a thrill for adults and children alike.

3. The Flight 93 National Memorial

While visiting Pittsburgh, make it a point to pay your respects to the victims of Flight 93 who valiantly lost their lives on the darkest day in modern American history. This site is maintained by the local residents of Somerset County.

4. Bushy Run Battlefield

In 1763, this was the site of a pivotal battle between 400 British troops and Native Americans which would come to be known as Pontiac’s War. Bushy Run is the only site in America dedicated to this important but often overlooked war.

5. Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

All Aboard! Just 30 minutes south of downtown Pittsburgh, visitors can enjoy a four-mile scenic ride on a restored streetcar or see nearly 50 restored antique trolleys which are displayed in the museum. This is a must-see for fans of model railroading, and is a sure bet to bring a smile to a child’s face. This site also features a picnic area and a museum gift shop.

From 18th century battles to the events of September 11, 200, western Pennsylvania holds a special place in America’s history.  A trip or vacation to this area will not only instill a strong sense of national pride, but will also provide visitors with innumerable hours of enjoyment.