Living history in Bedford, Pennsylvania

Bedford, a pocket of the preserved past, gives visitors a vivid history experience that allows him to walk paths that his ancestors threw, inspect several important houses and forts and even live in the very resort that prompted it.

Covered with a cessation of rolling hills, meadows and forests, the former frontier asked a soul to exercise its inherent characteristics of creation on it, as evidenced by the forts that had risen from the Harris Ferry along the Susquehanna River east of Logstown at The Ohio River to the west during the French and Indian War from 1754 to 1763. They marked the expansion of the British to the west as a series of GPS waypoints and bore the names of Lyttleton, Loudon, Frederick, Raystown / Bedford, Cumberland, Ligonier, Necessity and Pitt / Duquesne. However, the two with the two names should be the most instrumental in the development of the area.

Where transport trails meet, settlements usually rise, as did the town of Bedford in the form of a fort erected by the British during its 1758 campaign against the French along Forbes Road, which had previously been a continuous collection of Indian trails. They would later develop into the first trans-Pennsylvania toll artery, facilitating horse and carriage transportation.

Constructed by Colonel Henry Boquet, General John Forbes’s deputy, the irregularly shaped fortification, covering 7,000 square feet, sported five bastions. A four to five feet deep by three feet wide, V-shaped ditch that encircles its perimeter supported 18 feet long, side by side laid beams, cut from the surrounding oak forests and cut flat and tightly interconnected before being inserted, while a loopholed gallery expands from the central bastion on its north front down to the water’s edge. Swivel cannons guarded the corners.
Entry was provided by three gates – one main on its south side parallel to today’s Pitt Street; another, less west-facing; and a poster north.

Perfect on a flood-prone bluff, the originally designated Fort Raystown served as a staging post for 6,790 westbound troops exposed to attacks during their crossing of the impressive Allegheny Mountains, but was filled with necessary supplies before continuing on to Fort Pitt / Duquesne, the stronghold of the French.

The British strategy proved successful: their opponents were defeated, effectively removing the obstacle to English-speaking control over the Ohio Valley and ultimately America.

Redesigned “Fort Bedford” in late 1758 after the Fourth Duke of Bedford, England, the bastion served the secondary purpose of providing a sense of security against Indian attacks, and its security promoted the settlement of people in search of agricultural valleys and timber. abundant mountains. It thus produced the seed from which the named village eventually grew, becoming the first county seat west of the Tuscarora Mountains and, for a time, all of western Pennsylvania, strategically located on the interstate highway.

Released in 1766 and incorporated 29 years later, on March 13.

The county’s development, parallel to that of the city, was spurred by the discovery of coal on Broad Top Mountain, which gave rise to the rails needed to transport it to the area’s burgeoning iron foundries, triggering a 100 percent population growth between 1870 and 1890. alone. Rail networks facilitating iron, timber and passenger transportation were later supplemented and eventually followed by Lincoln Highway (Route 30) connecting Bedford with the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Turnpike.

A short hike into the city itself allows visitors to go back to its history in several important buildings.

The National Museum of American Coverlet, for example, is housed in the Common School, which itself was built in 1859 at a cost of $ 7,000 and opened with an initial 211 student enrollment the following year. It operated as a school until it was sold to private interests in 1999, and includes a significant portion of its original structure, including its center section, ventilation system, and the surrounding iron fence.

The Bedford County Court House, built by Solomon Filler between 1828 and 1829 at a cost of $ 7500, radiates just like originality, especially in the tower-mounted watch that had to be hand-wound after a sharp rise until electrified in 1975, and its two internal, self-supporting, circular stairs leading to the second floor, portrait-lined courtroom. The pillar pair, which characterizes its facade, later donated by Filler himself, represents God on the left and justice on the right.

The man at the monument, located at the intersection of Juliana and Penn streets, was erected in 1890 to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Civil War, incorporating more than 20,000 pennies school children had collected. It was moved to its current location in 1957.

Behind it is the site of the city’s first courthouse and prison, constructed of blue limestone between 1774 and 1775.

One of the most striking structures – so much, in fact, that it was named a national historic landmark in 1984 – is Espy House. Owned by Colonel and Mrs. David Espy, it served as George Washington’s headquarters during the 1794 Whiskey rebellion, with farmers in western Pennsylvania protesting the excise duty imposed on the alcohol by Treasury Hamilton. Unlike Washington’s 13,000-strong Federal Army, which had demanded the surrounding plains for its own overnight stay, it marked the first and only time that a U.S. president had commanded an army in the field.

The rebels dispersed in the hills in October, demonstrating defeat.

The National House, which opened its doors to weary travelers as a hotel for nearly its entire existence, was strategically located on Forbes Road, now designated “Pitt Street.”

The Anderson House was built as Court House by Solomon Filler and stands on land acquired from the state-owned William Penn and used as a medical office on the front and Allegheny Bank of Pennsylvania on the back. It served as the only such public depot between Pittsburgh and Chandersburg.

Fort Bedford Museum:

The original fort’s importance was short-lived and the site of only one historically significant event: Attempting to release the prisoners held there, James Smith and his black boys captured on September 17, 1769, but after the French and Indian War, its garrison had already been reduced to a weak 12, and in 1775, when the frontier had moved to Pittsburgh, it quickly spiraled into a state of disrepair.

To commemorate Bedford’s two-century structure, a blockade-style structure, formed of beams and bucket, rose from the site of the original fort 200 years after it was built in 1958, still lying on a bluff overlooking the Raystown the branch of the Juniata River. Part of its north wall was added in 2006 next to what is now the Fort Bedford Museum.

Subdivided into a main gallery, a transportation room, a rear gallery, a mezzanine and a gift shop, the blockhouse building exudes internal Western Pennsylvania’s New Frontier atmosphere and displays some of the 2,000 artifacts in its collection, including Native American gear, civilian and military items, household items, flintlock rifles, antique hand tools, 19th century women’s clothing, a Civil War cannon, a Conestoga wagon, a stoneware hook, documents signed by the Penn family, and a Bedford Springs Resort ledger showing President Buchanan’s signature.

Its focal point is a large-scale model of the original fort depicting Forbes Road, the Juniata River and its surrounding area. But perhaps the rarest piece in the collection is an original 1758 flag. A gift to British forces at the still-appointed Fort Raystown of England’s Fourth Duke of Bedford, the hand-sewn, red silk satin-damask flag, giving rise to a 23- to 24-inch union jack canton in the upper left corner the fort renamed Bedford in late 1758 in his honor. Although no evidence exists as to whether this was its official one, it was hung in Officer’s Quarters and was shown only on special occasions.
Nevertheless, patriots from a British officer seized it when freedom from English rule, expressed as the Declaration of Independence, orally traveled to Bedford.

The museum’s example is the only known British red fly that has survived from the French and Indian War.

Old Bedford Village:

The Fort Bedford Museum offers only a single taste of the city’s past. But the more than 40 original and rendered log, frame and stone structures, made up of Old Bedford Village, allow visitors to step into the shoes of citizens of the past and walk their paths and interpret the early pocket of Pennsylvania life that is preserved here.

A drive through the Claycomb Covered Bridge and a short pass through the Welcome Center return him to Pennsylvania dawn as a colony where horse-drawn carriages are pulled over gravel paths, plum of smoke from the logs, people wearing period dress and the sounds of striking metal echoing from the blacksmith shop.

The village offers several examples of honor homes. Biddle House, for example, is a two-story log structure, originally built a few miles away in Dutch Corner, and is one of the earliest within the complex. Its V-shaped, double fireplace provided both heat and a method of cooking.

The Kegg-Blasko House next door contains a hybrid of homes and contains the remains of a structure built by Thomas Kinton in 1768 and James Heydon in 1790, both located in Bedford County.

An act of 1802 identifies the village’s Semanek house as the “log house” which originally stood in the village of Ryot in West St. Clair Township. It now employed nearly extinct chestnut in its construction.

The Williams cabin is typical of the cabins that most first-generation settlers lived in until now and its establishment enabled them to construct more significant, while the contrasting Anderson Victorian House, assembled from Anandale Hotel’s timber, evokes the name-baked Victorian period .

Two schools are represented: Kniseley School, of standard configuration, was built near Pleasantville in 1869 and used until the 1930s, while the aptly named 8 Square School, an octagonal building erected in 1851 by Nat Hoover in East St. Clair Township, tended to be frequented by children from wealthier families.

There are several shops and services where costumed citizens still use original methods. Ice Cream Parlor has a 17th-century cottage style building and Feather’s Bakery, believed to have been built by William Nichols in 1808, still produces obtainable baked goods in ovens such as “Old Bedford Village Bakery”, as evidenced by the aromas emanating from its opened door. Light lunches can also be enjoyed in the dark, wooden booth-equipped interior of the Pendergrass Tavern, whose original counterpart had been located just off the wall of Fort Bedford in the 1750s.

Other life necessities from the period could be obtained from Chandler (candles), Furry’s Basket Shop, Cooper Shop (barrels and casks), General Store and Post Office, Old Bedford Village Press, Bedford County Rifles, Carriage Shop, Fisher’s Ceramics, Blacksmith (Tin) and Broom Shop.
Human power propelled all the village machines as hinted at with the foot-pedaled laith and bike-like puzzles in Heming’s Furniture and Wood Store and in Antonson Blacksmithing, where the tools needed for many other craftsmanship took shape, including the shoes themselves needed to run today’s engine – The horse.

The village also provided for man’s inaccurate, earthly behavior in prison, which represents the type used before 1800 in a county seat, and ensured that his heavenly soul would not become an ashtray in Christ Church, a copy of Union Church from 1806 which is made of beams and still standing west of Schellsburg.

Educational programs that employ the village’s rich resources and involve crafting, teaching, depicting and demonstrating 18th and 19th century Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania using quilting, light dipping, cooperating, blacksmithing, basket making, spinning, wheat weaving, leatherwork, tin forging, tassel making, Maize Pappouse doll making and buggy riding in a variety of classes, lectures and tours. Village-made crafts are commercially available at the Welcome Center’s gift shop.

Seasons and holidays mark special events, such as exhibitions in colonial crafts; festivals with historical customs, costumes and cuisine; shotguns with nose loading; Reinstatements of Civil and French and Indian War Old West weekends; murder mystery evenings; pumpkinfests; and old-fashioned Christmas evenings, which see the village ablaze with candles.

Bedford Springs Resort:

Bedford’s many important houses and forts allow visitors to glimpse its history, but Bedford Springs Resort allows him to live it.

Although the original Bedford Fort and Broad Top Mountain discovered coal had attracted people to the area, there had been another important feature: mineral springs.

As far back as 1796, Dr. discovered John Anderson, what Native Americans had long known, namely drinking and bathing in the water from the area’s seven limestones, limestone, sulfur and sweaty springs, yielded both restorative and healing results. By incorporating these otherwise free resources into his own medical practice, I have chosen to purchase the 2,200 acres that surround them and build his own home on them. But his privacy in this idyllic place was short-lived.

Traveling to Cumberland, Maryland, and then making the final 21-mile trip to Bedford by horse and carriage, a growing number of visitors were drawn to the area in search of the healing powers of the springs, and Dr. Anderson initially engaged them in improvised tents, drafting customized prescriptions based on individual health requirements. Bathing facilities were formed in 1802.

But the unblinking thirst required rapid replacement of the temporary tents with more permanent and area-guided housing – in the form of the Stone Inn four years later, if much building blocks such as the waters were freely supplied by the springs- Next to the mountains and oxen pulled down along sides. Permanently on site, it was only temporarily fulfilling its purpose, as the number of guests requesting it quickly exceeded its capacity.

According to a voyage written by Joshua Galpin in 1809, when Stone House had already been assembled by Crackford and a forerunner of Evitt House, the facilities included a “large spacious house and several smaller ones for families – hot and cold baths and a billiard room.”

The Swiss building and others quickly rose from the once priceless expanse.

It became increasingly known for its comfortable accommodations, cuisine and activities that highlight its natural surroundings, and consistently attracted guests from the industrialization of East Coast cities as well as a growing list of wealthy, prominent honors. For example, the future U.S. president and native of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, visited Bedford Springs in 1821 and would eventually spend 40 summers there dubbing it his “Summer White House.” In 1848, James K. Polk became one of ten presidents to stay there, followed by Taylor, Taft, Polk, Harding and Eisenhower, among others, along with nine Supreme Court attorneys and countless celebrities. Buchanan even received the first transatlantic cable, sent by England’s Queen Victoria, to the city ten years later.

The journey to Bedford became much easier in 1872, when railroad access linked the growing area to power centers such as Philadelphia, Washington and New York for the first time.

The development of one of America’s major resorts in the late 19th century reflected the golden age of the era of leaflets, bridges, gates and paths, and the transatlantic cable was to serve as the first of many resort-associated innovations: it introduced, for example, one of the country’s first golf courses, designed by Spencer Oldham, in 1895, and it was followed a decade later by the first indoor, mineral-filled pool, complete with solarium and hydrotherapy room.

Although medical progress tipped the scales away from Bedford Springs original purpose, its reputation as a luxurious resort serving a prestigious clientele was firm access to the area that had created it – so much so, in fact, that a central colonnade now connected the main dining room with a pillar pavilion at Magnesia Springs across Schober’s Run.

Its role, still retaining a luxurious touch, shifted between 1941 and 1943 when the US Navy occupying the resort trained about 7,000 sailors in radio operations, and it then served as a detention center for nearly 200 Japanese diplomats captured in Germany. during World War II until they were exchanged with American prisoners of war held in Asia.

Modern influences were again exerted in the 1950s with the installation of environmental control and sprinkler systems.

Inevitably, popularity struggled with purpose. Travel trends shifted, and despite being designated a national historic landmark in 1984, it continued to decline until it closed two years later. A subsequent flood destroyed its 200-year-old wooden walls.

But Bedford Springs Partners, still discovering its glimpse of glory, bought the once grand lady of property for $ 8 million and subjected it to a massive $ 120 million restoration to resurrect and bring it back to its 1905 golden age decoration and reopening of its doors on July 12, 2007, after an eighth mineral spring was periodically discovered. After a secondary acquisition two years later, it was renamed “Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa.” “

Its self-proclaimed mission is to “open the door of history.”

Located in the Allegheny Mountain region of southern central Pennsylvania, Bedford Springs Resort overlooks the Cumberland Valley and is accessed by driving down a small hill back to history to a sanctuary preserved in time and then passing the white porch- lined facade of a scattered mansion. By negotiating manicured lawns and formal gardens amidst the audible snark of streams and springs, visitors enter the circular driveway approaching the double-story, brick, ante-bellum Colonnade. Aside from being a national historic landmark, the resort is both a Triple-A property with four diamonds and ranks as one of the historic hotels in America.

The colonnade, which serves as the core of connecting to the mix of adjacent building styles, even houses the guest reception embellished with an original, 39-star American flag; the lobby location of the daily complementary afternoon tea service; and the stairs leading to the ballroom. One of its wings leads to the Stone Inn with its Frontier Tavern and 1796 Room restaurants, while the other leads past the Crystal Room Restaurant, through the library, past the Che Sara Sara snack stand, the indoor pool and the lined corridor to the spa.

The resort’s 216 rooms and four suites, housed in either the historic or new Spa Wing, are shrouded in history and tradition, yet offer modern luxuries with authentic patterns and textures, marble floors and vanities in their bathrooms, Egyptian linens and authentic, gone. time reminiscent of hiking sticks.

There are several restaurants.

The Crystal Room, for example, had previously served as the Music Room and had also been used as the Ladies’ Parlor. Renovated in 1905 during the resort’s major campaign, it replaced the significantly larger facility upstairs, which then became the Colonnade Ballroom. Now with a display of classic Doric columns on each side, it sports original, name-reflecting crystal chandeliers; gilded mirrors; Victorian, reclining chairs; four shades of blue; for rotisserie; an exhibition kitchen; a wine cellar of 1,500 bottles; and a collection of guest photographs taken between 1892 and 1898. It opens on to the private Daniel Webster Room.

The Frontier Tavern, located in the hotel’s Stone Inn section, had been a stagecoach stop from which Bedford Springs earliest guests had been transported to the original tavern three miles away for dinner. Decorated with artifacts from the period, such as a bear trap, tools, a wood stove and colorful porcelain, it also sports a bar and billiards table.

The room from 1796, also located in the Stone Inn section, reflects the year in which Dr. John Anderson first bought the Bedford Springs property and exudes this 18th-century atmosphere with a US colonial menu of steaks-and-chops, which also includes selections such as bison, deer, rabbit, boar, quail, game pie and mountain trout.

The indoor pool, which is spring-fed with mines, returned to its 1905 appearance, the sports orchestra pit, where guests had been entertained more than a century ago.

The 30,000-square-foot Springs Eternal Spa includes wet and dry treatment rooms, aromatherapy, massages, facials, a garden and an actual mineral water with boutique used for all treatments.

The convention center is two-thirds of its 20,000 square feet.

The 18-hole, “Old Course” designed golf course, reflecting the 1923 Donald Ross-designed rendition, is the third such creation after that of Spencer Oldham in 1895 and the intermittent, nine-hole AW Tillinghast version of 1912th

In addition to golf, Bedford Springs Resort offers a variety of activities including indoor and outdoor swimming, hiking and biking on 25 miles of trails, fishing in a gold medal trout, kayaking, river rafting and cross-country skiing, and hosts a wide range of features, from reunions to horse-and-carriage weddings.