Visiting Greensboro

Greensboro is located on the west bank of the Monongahela River in Greene County, Pennsylvania.  It lies directly across the river from New Geneva, Fayette County, and just a couple of miles down river from Friendship Hill National Park.  A broader perspective places Greensboro 70 miles south of Pittsburgh and 10 miles north of the West Virginia state line.

Greensboro is an essay in time.  It tells the story of the significance of slack water, Friendship Hill and the dreams of  Washington for a canal crossing the continental divide, connecting the Potomac and Ohio river systems.  Coal mining at the beginning of the twentieth century created a demand for improved transportation on the River, and the construction of Lock #7 was the result.  Friendship Hill and Lock 7 are points of definition and change in the history of transportation on  the River.  Washington, D.C. on the Potomac: Greensboro, on the Monongahela: both laid out in the same era, and Greensboro still has its original system of streets in ordinary daily use, paved but pretty much unchanged otherwise!Elias Stone, the  Founder, would recognize them. How many places can you go and find an undisturbed late 18th century street system used and in good condition?  Two centuries of housing, from log houses to mobile homes, both valid forms of vernacular architecture.  Greensboro contains the reality of how ordinary people have lived since the ratification of the Constitution!

A place from which the western exploration and settlement of the United States was launched, George Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone.  A place of significant manufacturing, Greensboro produced glass and pottery which are now sought after by collectors of antiques worldwide.  A place of commerce and trade, Greensboro was a destination for river boats, and a place where Presidents and heroes visited.

There is indeed something extraordinary about Greensboro.  It is historically significant, it enjoys a physically beautiful location on a river. and its plan has not been altered to accommodate the automobile.  One is amply rewarded by visiting it.

Kenneth Payne has written several papers about Greensboro after visiting the town back in 1992.
He lives in Providence , Rhode Island.