Thursday, August 11, 2016

Friendship Hill

Earlier today, I arrived back home from my latest road trip.  Unlike the others I went on during this summer, this one did not go anywhere near Ithaca, New York.  I don't think I even saw a waterfall.  Instead, I went westward to check out some places I that had piqued my curiosity.  The first was Friendship Hill National Historic Site, located just off Pennsylvania state highway 166, about three miles north of Port Marion, and along the Monongahela River.  Friendship Hill was the estate of Albert Gallatin, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison, represented Pennsylvania in Congress for six years, and helped to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which formally ended the War of 1812.  Gallatin was born in Geneva, Switzerland and helped found New Geneva, PA.

The main walkway from the parking lot to Friendship Hill's mansion, which forms part of the site's main loop trail, takes the visitor past a statue of Gallatin doing some surveying.

The mansion, seen here from the front, was undergoing some restoration.  The walkway goes past the well and through an archway between parts of the mansion.

Behind the mansion is this gazebo, which overlooks the Monongahela.

The back of the mansion was also undergoing some work.

Gallatin was married twice.  His first wife, Sophia, died in October 1789, about five months after their wedding, and was buried somewhere on the estate.  According to an unconfirmed story, subsequent owners of the property discovered her remains, and reburied them in a plot surrounded by the low rectangular stone wall shown here.  Called "Sophia's Grave", this place is on the main loop trail, about 100 yards from the mansion and the gazebo.

Continuing along the trail, I came upon this pond.

The trail eventually descended toward the Monogahela, via series of steps made out of old railroad ties, and then ran northward along the river, where it came close to a modern railroad.  Along the way, I saw these rocks, which looked like they could form a cascade if water were to run down them.  This is as close as I got to a waterfall during my entire trip.

I did not hike the entire main loop, but found a cutoff that brought me back to the parking lot, in a direction that took me back uphill.  For more on Friendship Hill, go to Grave Addiction.

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