Along the Greene River Trail
Settlement of Rices Landing
One of the earliest overnight visitors was George Washington, when he and his troops camped here on their way to Pittsburgh during the French & Indian War.
In 1786, John Rice purchased land on the east side of Enoch’s Run, a tributary of the Monongahela River, and named the settlement Rices Landing. Abijeah McClain purchased land on the west side of Enoch’s Run and named it Newport.
While Ben Franklin was mapping the area in 1801, he combined the two and named it Rices Landing. Enoch’s Run eventually became Pumpkin Run. A one-story red brick jail with cast iron window bars dating back to the 1850s is situated alongside Pumpkin Run.
Local Commercial Center
The availability of abundant natural resources and the close proximity of the river led to the development of numerous early industries from the 1850s to 1950s. These included a blacksmith shop, a cooper shop, planing mill, grist mill, paper factory, the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop, the Excelsior Pottery Works, the Vesuvius Manufacturing Company, and coal mining.
Along with the industrial development, commercial interests were also developing including warehouses, hotels, clothing stores, drug stores, general stores, restaurants, a theater, pool hall, saloons, and the Rices Landing National Bank.
Company houses and a company store were constructed alongside existing houses on Main Street with the development of Greene County’s first commercial mine in 1902. The construction of a 50-by-20-foot frame train station near Third Street in 1910 allowed passengers access to transportation instead of walking a mile north to the station at the Dilworth mine.
In 1913, construction of the tunnel and bridge for the expansion of the rail line altered the original town by eliminating buildings on the southwest side of Main Street from Pumpkin Run to First Street. It also shortened Water Street. The keystones that embellished the concrete abutment in the railroad bridge were made using patterns made by the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop.
Lock & Dam No. 6
In 1856, the Monongahela Navigation Company completed Lock & Dam No. 6 in Rices Landing. Engineered by Slyvanus Lothrop, the fixed crest dam was constructed on a solid rock foundation with walls 15 feet in height.
About the Greene River Trail Signage Project
Greene County Tourist Promotion Agency completed this project in partnership with the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, administered by Rivers of Steel.
Special thanks to: Brice & Linda Rush, Danielle Nyland, Flenniken Public Library, Greene County Historical Society, Greene Connections, Advanced Masonry, Greene County Commissioners, Greene County Conservation District, and Greene County Department of Recreation.