A Guidebook to Historic Western PennsylvaniaA Guidebook to Historic Western Pennsylvania
by George Swetnam and Helene Smith

For the historian this guidebook comprehensively covers thirteen hundred of the most important historical sites still in existence in the twenty-six counties of western Pennsylvania and presents a capsule history for each county that sets the sites in their historical perspective. For the lay enthusiast there is a wealth of material to help in reliving the past, along with careful directions for reaching each site and a description of what is there.

No other guidebook of western Pennsylvania has been so inclusive. Historic homes, churches, schools, museums, manufacturing plants, forts, courthouses, theaters, bridges, and ruins are included. Although the principal emphasis is on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sites, the authors have included a good number of historical places of the twentieth century, thus completing their comprehensive overview of the area.


The revised book with pictures of historical sites described in detail in an earlier edition together with added landmarks, makes the western part of the state even more complete.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh, PA
ISBN 0-8229-3316-0
ISBN 0-8229-5271-8 pbk
LCCN 75-33421
1976, reprinted and revised 1991
6 1/4" x 9" hardcover
262 pages, illustrated

Coauthor of A Guidebook to Historic Western Pennsylvania, Helene Smith is an award winning playwright, novelist, essayist, investigative researcher, illustrator and champion for First Americans and African Americans. She is interested in bringing about social reform through the medium of novels, poetry and creative literature. For her historical research and voluntary archaeological work, she was honored as a life member of the Westmoreland Country Historical Society. Helene was also a nominee for the western Pennsylvania Thomas Jefferson Award. On Hershey's 50th anniversary in Hershey, PA, she represented Mercer County as a Rose Queen who presented, in the Hershey Arena, an excerpt from Clarence Day's "Life With Father" together with a clarinet solo. Today she is a fife player who supports various reenactment regiments through her music: Commonwealth Ancients Band of Music; 9th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, Company I; Western Pennsylvania Fife and Drum Corps, etc. Helene now portrays Nellie Bly from western Pennsylvania– the famous woman journalist and reformer who went around the world in 72 days in 1889.