Go West, Young Man (and Woman and Boy and Girl)!
Go West, young man, and grow up with the country.
--Horace Greeley







Frank Lloyd Wright

Pretty much due west of Shanksville, Pittsburgh, despite being the home of the Steelers, seems to be a beautiful city. Pittsburgh would probably best be a day trip all it's own. I still haven't been out there for pleasure, though I can now get to UPMC/Children's Hospital asleep and blindfolded. I will update this once I've seen some of the other sites in the city. The city center of Pittsburgh is about a 2-hour drive from here on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

For day trips not centered on Pittsburgh, once you've visited the Flight 93 Memorial, there are several attractions to the north and west of Shanksville to consider for your tour.

  • Not far from Shanksville in the town of Somerset, you'll find the Quecreek Mine Rescue Site (corner photo above), where 9 miners trapped underground for 5 days all survived in what is undoubtedly a modern miracle. This happened less than 11 months after 9/11 in the same county as the Flight 93 crash. Plans are underway for an extensive memorial and exhibit center honoring not just the rescuers at Quecreek but rescuers from many other disasters in the mining industry, as well.
  • Further afield to the southwest, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright. Fallingwater is considered to be the foremost example of American architecture and should be viewed in every season, if possible. Reservations are required for tours of each house, though the grounds are open with an admission fee without reservations at some points in time. Be sure to check the websites and confirm your plans at least a couple of days ahead, preferably a week or two. Click here for photos and commentary from my April 28, 2007 visit to the homes.
  • If you'd rather go northwest from Shanksville, the Johnstown Flood Museum and the Johnstown Flood National Memorial are but two of the many attractions to see in and around Johnstown. From the Flood Museum website, you can link to most of the key attractions. Be sure to check out the Incline! It's amazing - these pictures show the Inclined Plane as you look up toward the summit and looking down toward Johnstown from the top.

Other Johnstown Sights:

The Seven Arches Bridge, at which debris from the Little Conemaugh River and Stony Creek caught fire during the 1889 Flood, burning overnight and smoldering for days afterward. The bridge, amazingly, survived with little damage and is still in use today as a railroad

The tombstones marking the burial sites of unidentified victims of the 1889 Flood
in Grandview Cemetery.

Johnstown boasts the largest free-flying American flag in the country (possibly in the world, though I don't know that for a fact). When you look up from Johnstown to the top of the Inclined Plane, the flag looks as though it's waving from the upper station itself, though the flag pole is really about 200 yards further up the hill from the upper station.

  • When you come back to Schellsburg from places northwest and west, come back along Route 30. Mark your mileage at the Mount Ararat Lookout (no one has ever claimed to find a gopherwood ark on this particular Mount Ararat . . .). It's well worth stopping here if it's a clear day; looking across the vista, to your left is Maryland and to your right is West Virginia. You can see 7 counties in 3 states from this lookout, the site of an old hotel that was, appropriately enough, built to look like a ship! The hotel burned in October of 2001, but you can see the ruins just over the guard rail.
  • In 4.9 miles from Mt. Ararat, stop in at the Bison Corral, which will be on your right. Rich and Anne Darrow own this unique range, which spans both sides of the highway. They have a gift shop on site as well as the Guest House for overnight visitors.
  • Continuing toward Schellsburg, after you leave the Bison Corral, in 1 mile on the right you will see the entrance to Living Waters Camp and Conference Center, a ministry of the Penn West Conference of the United Church of Christ.
  • A half mile after Living Waters, you will come to the Schellsburg cemetery and The Old Log Church. Built in 1806 as the first building of the German Reformed Church of Schellsburg, the Old Log Church is quite literally the mother church of the United Church of Schellsburg. The picture below is from the bicentennial celebration, during which I participated in the dedication of a new tombstone for the town founder, John Schell.

Other sites that might be of interest, depending on your family and your time, include Caddieshak Amusements and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa.

If you'd like to make Schellsburg a stop coming or going from points west, Ohio has some pretty neat things, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

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