Historic Walking Tour

Take a self-guided walking tour of the historic buildings in Downtown West Newton, PA

 

Located in the Youghiogheny River Valley, West Newton began as a pioneering village whose economy developed with the introduction of the railroad in 1855. In its era of prominence during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, West Newton prospered as a small commercial center within the greater Pittsburgh Industrial Corridor.

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1. West Newton Steel Bridge

2. Borough Building

3. Plumer House

4. B&O Train Station

5. 2nd St Borough Building

6. First National Bank Building (PNC)

7. Weimer Building

8. United Presbyterian Church

9. Main St Motor Co.

10. George Plumer Residence

11. The Little House

12. Dr. Hasson Residence

13. Banking House of Mungo Dick

14. United Methodist Church

15. R.D. Humes House

16. Iron Front Building

17. The Moose Building

1. West Newton Steel Bridge

July 4, 1908
An “open grate” bridge through the 1970s, it replaced the old Robbstown covered toll bridge which was damaged by an ice gorge in 1904.

2. Borough Building

1898
112 Water St.
Originally the home of Star Bottling Co. soda manufacturers, Frank Berarducci purchased the business and renamed it Frank’s Beverage in 1912. After purchasing and demolishing the old Rollings & Abbot Taxi Garage, Frank added on to the building’s front, where he bottled soda until the 1960s.

3. Plumer House

1814
Corner of South Water St. & Vine St.
The wooden section, built to face the river, is West Newton’s oldest structure. When Plumer added the brick addition in 1846, Capt. Andrew Oliver, the neighbor across the street, sued Plumer for blocking his river view. This building is listed on the National Register.

4. B&O Train Station

1892
Intersection of Vine St. & Railroad
This Queen Anne style station is the second station built on this site. Its predecessor was built in 1855. This station served the Pittsburgh & Connellsville Railroad, which merged with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1912.

5. 2nd St Borough Building

1928
130 South 2nd St.
Home to the borough office until the 1970s, the building served as a fire station until the late 1990s. A U.S. Geological Survey “benchmark” in front of the building is used for surveying property lines.

6. First National Bank Building (PNC)

1902
200 East Main St.
This Romanesque sand-stone building originally had three floors. A 1927 remodel included the addition of a WWI plaque. Note the two sides of a silver dollar above the door.

7. Weimer Building

Pre-Civil War
Corner of Third St. & East Main St.
The façade pictured was added in 1880 when S.C. Weimer purchased the building. Weimer turned the structure into a large retail enterprise with six unique departments under one roof.

8. United Presbyterian Church

1879
Corner of Third St. & Main St.
Construction for this church cost $20,000 and took two years to complete. This church is the congregation’s third building.

9. Main St Motor Co.

1925
Corner of Main St. & South Fourth St.
This building was owned by the D’Happart family of West Newton for 50 years. Originally, Willys-Knight & Whippet Autos were sold here, and a cement pad for the old gas pump has remained.

10. George Plumer Residence

1868
Corner of Main St. & North Fourth St.
George Plumer, son of John C. Plumer, held every local political office during his life. This house is of French Empire architecture. The bell in the Presbyterian Church bell tower bears his name in recognition of his contributions.

11. The Little House

1938
This is one of two buildings left in Pennsylvania built specifically for the Girl Scouts. Scouts sold trefoil cookies to help defray the costs.

12. Dr. Hasson Residence

Pre-Civil War
Corner of Main St. & North Second St.
Dr. Hasson moved here from Maryland in 1850 after marrying a woman from nearby Greensburg. This residence has been an embalming/funeral home since 1917. The stucco siding was added after a runaway truck crashed into the building in 1954.

13. Banking House of Mungo Dick

1890
201 East Main St.
This Queen Anne style brownstone with grapevine mortar joints eventually became the Farmers & Merchants Bank. Hurt by the Great Depression, the bank closed on October 3, 1931. Mungo Dick’s initials are highlighted in stained glass above the side door. This building is listed on the National Register.

14. United Methodist Church

1880
106 North Second St.
This Gothic church is the second building serving the congregation, which dates back to 1839. The Snyder Chapel is named after John L. Snyder, a prominent Methodist who made significant donations toward the building.

15. R.D. Humes House

1880
108 North Second St.
R.D. Humes was a Civil War veteran who was disabled in the Battle of Fredericksburg. Following the War, he opened the corner drug store on Main Street. This Queen Anne style home has decorative granite columns.

16. Iron Front Building

1880s
117 East Main St.
Originally, this 19th century building, which was purchased from a catalog, featured an all-glass store front. While the first floor is iron, the top two floors are tin. These materials saved the building from a destructive downtown fire in 1906.

17. The Moose Building

1910s
Corner of East Main St. & South Water St.
This building’s fireproof design saved it from a 1922 downtown fire. Originally a Britton & Ellis Ford Garage, new Fords arrived via train and were stored upstairs until purchased.