Trail Town – Darlington, PA
Darlington is a small, historically-minded town of 300 residents, located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, forty miles west of Pittsburgh, and 120 miles east of Cleveland, OH.
Getting to Darlington:
From the east (Pittsburgh area) follow I76/PA Turnpike west to its intersection with I376, following that south to the exit for PA Rt. 51 (Constitution Blvd). Travel five miles west and follow PA Route 168 north into town.
From the southwest, follow I376 north from Pittsburgh International Airport to the exit for PA Route 51 West, then five miles west to PA Route 168 north.
From the west, the Ohio Turnpike turns into the PA Turnpike/I76 eastbound. Follow until I376 South is reached, then exit I376 at PA Route 51 West. Five miles to the west is PA Route 168 North, which will take you into town.
The walk into Darlington from the northeast is via a six mile road walk from the Wampum, PA area. The trail passes through the area of the Big Beaver Boro Wetlands Project and the town of New Galilee, PA. The road walk is North Country Trail blue-blazed.
The North Country Trail leaves Darlington heading west via a blue-blazed footpath through the woods at the sound end of town, just over the vehicle bridge over the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek. The distance from this trail head at Kathy’s Country Kitchen to the Ohio/PA state line via the NCT is ten miles through the woods.
Situated on the banks of the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek in Beaver County, PA 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.
Things to do and see:
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 ACADEMY, 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, Darlington, Pennsylvania.
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.
U.S. Post Office – 708 Market St, Darlington, PA 16115
Classic Express Convenience Store – Limited resupply and some prepared foods available. 702 Market St, Darlington, PA 16115
One Stop Shopper Convenience Store – Limited resupply and some hardware merchandise for sale. 232 2nd St, Darlington, PA 16115
Butcher and Baker – Meat and baked goods available as well as some prepared foods. 706 Market St, Darlington, PA 16115
Jack’s Marathon Convenience Store – Limited resupply and some prepared foods. 1121 Wallace Run Rd, Darlington, PA 16115
Blackhawk Chiropractic, 3602 Darlington Rd, Darlington, PA 16115
Pennsylvania Shave Company, 207 2nd St, Darlington, PA 16115
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, a Big Kmart, and Giant Eagle grocery store, along with many other restaurants and other commercial establishments.