Darlington is a small, historically minded town of approximately 300 residents, located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, 40 miles west of Pittsburgh and 120 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio.
The North Country Trail enters Darlington from the west via a blue-blazed footpath through the woods at the south end of town, just over the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek. The distance from the OH/PA state line to this trailhead at Kathy’s Country Kitchen via the NCT is 10 miles through the woods.
Situated on the banks of the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Darlington was incorporated in 1820, originally under the name of Greersburg. Confusion with the community of Greensburg, PA necessitated the name change later on that century. Near this place on the Little Beaver, Tanacharison, “the Half King” had a hunting cabin. When George Washington came to Logstown in 1753 on his mission to warn the French to leave the area, he had a runner sent after him to bring him from this camp for a conference at Logstown. Washington’s journey through the Ohio country marked the beginning of the French and Indian War and the struggle for the dominance of the lands west of the Allegheny Mountains. A law was passed by Congress in 1792 that opened the territory north and west of the Ohio River to occupancy by settlers, but hostilities with the Native Americans limited settlement until General Wayne’s Treaty of Greenville in 1795. These lands were given as grants to veterans of the American Revolution to compensate for the devaluation of currency used to pay soldiers during the war.
Farming, timber, coal, glass, and brick manufacturing drove the economy in the early days of this community. Darlington served as a stagecoach stop as people made their way from Pittsburgh to points west and later in the 1800’s through the middle of the 20th century railroads served the community. Today, following the decline of local heavy industry, Darlington is a pleasant, history-oriented, commuter-community for the areas of Chippewa, PA and Pittsburgh.
Darlington hosts three museums sponsored by the Little Beaver Historical Society, each with its own focus on the history of the area. The Little Beaver Historical Society Museum preserves the history of the area through the Darlington Museum and other special events. Greersburg Academ, built in 1802, was the first academy west of the Allegheny Mountains and is the oldest standing extent building in Beaver County. The McCarl Museum of Industry and Agriculture focuses on the history of the glass and steel industry in Beaver County is the catalyst and focus for this new museum at 801 Plumb Street in Darlington.
The Darlington Polo Club plays under the lights on Friday evenings from May through September. This was the first lighted polo field in the United States. The lighting was first installed in 1938. The town’s annual Darlington Days Festival is held the weekend after Memorial Day each year, featuring live music, rides for the kids, railroad history, craft vendors, polo matches, a parade, and a town-wide yard sale.
The Wampum Chapter is responsible for the North Country Trail section through Darlington.
- The Butcher and the Baker
- Blackhawk Chiropractic
- Pennsylvania Shave Co.
- More extensive resupply and medical resources can be found in the commercial district of Chippewa, PA (five miles east on PA Route 51) where there is a WalMart Supercenter and a Giant Eagle grocery store, along with many other restaurants and other commercial establishments.
Header photo provided by Wampum Chapter.