Mt. Davis

The Mount Davis overlook tower offers a spectacular 360-degree view. The trails are pretty, especially in spring and fall. You can make this hike shorter or longer, as you wish. Mount Davis, at 3,213 feet, is the highest point in Pennsylvania. It is not a pinnacle but a broad flat plateau, and it’s surrounded by 5,685 acres of state forest land. Although not high by many standards, wind in the area keeps some of the trees stunted and frost can be present any month of the year. The mountain is named after John Nelson Davis (1835–1913), an early settler who was an active community leader, teacher, and ordained minister, among his many occupations. He was also one of the oldest Civil War veterans of his time, and an avid naturalist fascinated with the environment of Mount Davis. The overlook is about 20 min drive from Confluence.

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Kentuck Knob by Frank Lloyd Wright

In 1953, Bernardine and I.N. Hagan purchased eighty acres in the mountains above Uniontown in Western Pennsylvania where their families had lived for generations. After falling in love with the home of their friends the Kaufmanns, Fallingwater, they telephoned Frank Lloyd Wright and asked if he would design a house for them. His answer was: “Of course. Come on out.”
At eighty-six, and hard at work on the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and about twelve residential homes, Wright said he could “shake it (Kentuck Knob) out of his sleeve at will” never even setting foot on the site, except for a short visit during the construction phase. This would be one of the last homes completed by Wright.

Visit the Kentuck Knob website

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater is a house built between 1936 and 1939 over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania.  Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect, designed the house for his clients, the Kaufmann family.  It instantly became famous, and today it is a National Historic Landmark.

Why is it so famous?  It’s a house that doesn’t even appear to stand on solid ground, but instead stretches out over a 30’ waterfall. It captured everyone’s imagination when it was on the cover of Time magazine in 1938.

The Kaufmanns were from Pittsburgh, PA. They owned Kaufmann’s Department Store, a very exciting and elegant place to shop in the 1930s.  (Today, it is part of the Macy’s chain). Edgar Kaufmann and his wife, Liliane, had one son, Edgar jr.

The Kaufmanns lived in the city, but like many other Pittsburghers, they loved to vacation in the mountains southeast of Pittsburgh. They could hike in the forest, swim and fish in the streams, go horseback riding, and do other outdoor activities.

Pittsburgh at the time was sometimes called the “Smoky City,” due to the amount of air pollution from Pittsburgh’s steel industry. People who could afford to take the train to the mountains ($1 round trip) relished the chance to breathe fresh, cool mountain air.

The Kaufmanns had a summer camp for the department store employees, located along a mountain stream called Bear Run. When the Great Depression made daily living so hard for so many people, the employees no longer had time or money to come up to Kaufmanns Summer Camp.  But Mr. and Mrs. Kaufmann and their son dearly loved the mountains, and decided to make the summer camp their own country estate.

Fallingwater is 20 minutes from Confluence.