Greensburg's Main Street Memories

Trivia


Learn some interesting facts and other information about Greensburg on the Trivia page.

History

A few miles north of Greensburg is Old Hanna's Town, the first county seat west of the Appalachian Mountains. (see picture)

More than one million artifacts have been recovered in Old Hanna's Town and approximately twelve areas of occupation have been determined.

Greensburg was formerly named Newtown.

Greensburg was named after Nathanael Greene, a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War.

The first court in the relocated county seat of Newtown took place on January 7, 1787 in a log courthouse which once stood where today's Westmoreland County Courthouse is located.

The bell is the only remaining part of the 1854 brick county courthouse, the third such courthouse, which stood until 1901.

The world's first suspension bridge was built in 1801 over Jacob's Creek near what is now present-day Greensburg. The bridge, designed by James Finley, was 70 feet long and cost $600.

Greensburg's first log schoolhouse was located at the site of St. Clair Park.

St. Clair Park was originally a cemetery. When Greensburg banned cemeteries in the mid-1850s, St. Clair Cemetery was moved to its current location east of town in Hempfield Township.

The touch-tone telephone was introduced in the mid-1960s, with the first commercial service available in Greensburg and the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie for an extra charge.

Culture

Greensburg is an architectural treasure trove featuring many historic homes as well as several old churches and cathedrals. In addition, two city neighborhoods have been designated as historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Downtown Greensburg Historic District and the Academy Hill Historic District. (see picture)

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, founded in 1959, is the only museum in Western Pennsylvania specializing in American art.

The national headquarters of the Kappa Delta Rho social fraternity is based in Greensburg.

People

William Freame Johnson, born in Greensburg in 1808, was elected as the first Whig governor of Pennsylvania in 1848.

Frank Cowan, a lawyer, physician, writer and personal secretary to President Andrew Johnson, was born in Greensburg in 1844. After his death in 1905, his estate atop Tollgate Hill was donated to Greensburg and became what is now Mt. Odin Park.

Cyrus E. Woods of Greensburg served as Minister to Portugal, Ambassador to Spain and Ambassador to Japan in the 1910s and 1920s.

Rocco Mediate, a professional golfer with multiple PGA Tour wins, was born in Greensburg in 1962.

Other Fun Facts

The central dome of the Westmoreland County Courthouse, which stands 175 feet above street level and was built in the Italian Renaissance style, is one of only two in the world designed by the courthouse's original architect, William Kauffman. (see picture)

Greensburg ranks seventh in Pennsylvania in terms of daytime growth, behind Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, King of Prussia, Lancaster and State College. It also ranks 16th in the United States for daytime growth among towns with a resident population between 15,000 to 24,999.

In 2007, Greensburg was designated as one of the Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report.

According to the American Bus Association, the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival, held annually at Twin Lakes Park near Greensburg, is one of the top 100 events in North America.

Mystery author K.C. Constantine has used various elements of Greensburg as a basis for the fictional town of Rocksburg in his novels.

Westmoreland Mall is the third-largest enclosed shopping center in Southwestern Pennsylvania at 1,296,830 square feet of gross leasable area.

Greensburg is home to the headquarters of Allegheny Energy, Excela Health and Relex Software Corporation.

The Rolling Rock Town Fair, a worldwide attended event, was originally held at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds near Greensburg.