FAYETTE COUNTY MARKS 240 YEARS WITH CELEBRATION
Uniontown, PA - Cheers to 240 years! Fayette County officials marked the 240th anniversary of the county’s founding with a birthday celebration Tuesday.
Hosted by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce and Fayette County Historical Society, the festivities took place on the steps of the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown. Legislators; community leaders and more came together to honor Fayette County’s legacy with a series of proclamations, historical presentations and – of course – birthday cake.
Fayette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Muriel Nuttall said, while the ceremony was “simple,” it was “an important one, nonetheless.”
“It’s the same as acknowledging our own birthdays, as it’s important to pause and remember how this county was formed and how our ancestors worked to define the spaces that we call home today,” Nuttall said. “240 is a milestone birthday and a great chance to pause, share some history and celebrate with cake.”
Fayette County Economic Development Coordinator Mark Rafail served as emcee; and Fayette County Veteran Affairs Director Brian Bensen led the pledge of allegiance. Dawn Strosnider performed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and Rev. Vincent L. Winfrey Sr. of Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Uniontown led a prayer. Citations commemorating the day were issued by various state and federal legislators.
Fayette County Historical Society members were recognized for their continued efforts to preserve the county’s storied legacy and presented a brief county history. Society members also issued an historical proclamation, which led into county commissioners Dave Lohr, Vince Vicites and Scott Dunn presenting a birthday proclamation, that will be entered into public record. A copy of the proclamation will be added to the new Fayette County Jail’s time capsule and buried at a later date.
Strosnider also led guests in a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” while sparklers were lit atop a cake created for the occasion by students at Connellsville Area Career & Technical Center. Students from the Fayette County Career & Technology Institute created 240 cupcakes for the celebration, which were shared with those in attendance and businesses along Main Street in Uniontown.
Nuttall said the birthday celebration marked not only a local achievement, but a national one, as “our country was built – created and defined – right here” along the National Road Heritage Corridor.
“These are the years leading up to America’s 250th birthday, as well as Pennsylvania’s 250th, both in 2026, so we’re also preemptively celebrating those milestones,” Nuttall said. “The National Road, commonly known as “the road that built the nation,” traverses directly through Fayette County. Some of the most important battles of the French and Indian War were fought on our soil. The Underground Railroad – that link that brought so many to freedom – crossed our land. The coal and coke that provided the fuel that built industry in our nation was mined from our earth. Fayette County was key to the growth of our nation. We should be very proud to still be here, as a growing and prosperous community, after 240 years.”
Commissioner Vicites echoed Nuttall’s sentiments that Fayette County “played a major role in the birth of America.”
“What a great history Fayette County has built over the last 240 years. I’m most proud of Fayette for that history, which has led to our world-renowned tourism industry. Millions of visitors continue to flock to our historical sites every year to learn more about how America started right here in our backyards,” Vicites said. “Fayette County will continue to evolve and prosper for 240 more years and beyond, and I’m proud to be part of that legacy.”
Commissioner Dunn said Fayette County’s birthday is “a milestone made for reflection.”
“We mark this milestone, because it’s important to reflect on all those who came before us and paved the way for what is now one of the best counties in the entire country. Fayette County is in an unprecedented period of growth across so many industries. We’re being looked to as leaders and innovators more than we ever have before, and it’s because of the solid foundation built over the last 240 years,” Dunn said. “As commissioners, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future we’re building for future generations of Fayette County citizens; but today is a day to remember our past. We can’t chart a path to where we’re going if we don’t know where we came from, and Fayette County’s path looks bright in both directions.”
Commissioner Chairman Lohr said Fayette County has been a “trailblazer” for 240 years, “making history and setting a high standard for all who aspire to greatness.”
“This is a time to celebrate Fayette County, both for its place in history and our continued contributions as we move forward in the years to come. From an important role in the Revolutionary War and western expansion via the National Pike, to our role in the Industrial Revolution and the coal and coke industries, Fayette County has a long history of doing big things, all while retaining our small-town identity. Today, we have world-class companies located here, creating products that no one else makes, and sending them all over the world. Of course, none of that would be possible without the good people who live and work in Fayette County,” Lohr said. “Hitting this milestone is, quite simply, a timely reminder of what Fayette County has meant to this region, to this country and to the world around us – and a call to action to all of us to continue striving for greatness. I’m proud of the people who live and work here, their dedication, determination and drive to make a difference every day. Fayette County is filled with people with solid values, big dreams and ideas and the drive to make things happen. As commissioner, that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Nuttall said she’s most proud of the “amazing community made up of the most extraordinary people” that Fayette County has become.
“Many of those people have ancestors that settled here many generations ago,” Nuttall said. “Fayette has had its share of challenges – some that we are still working to overcome today – but, overall, it is a wonderful place to live.”
To learn more about Fayette County’s rich history, visit the Fayette County Historical Society at www.fayettehistoricalsociety.org.