West Overton Museum

West Overton Village
Scottdale, PA 15683

About Us

In 1800, a group of German Mennonites from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, led by Henry Overholt, crossed the Alleghenies and established a farming settlement on the fertile plains just west of the Chestnut Ridge.

Henry's son, Abraham, had built a three story brick house and was the proprietor of a large gristmill and a distillery by 1838. Both businesses were located in a six story brick structure near the Overholt Homestead. The growing community, consisting of brick homes for Overholt employees, a general store, farm, and other related buildings, become known as West Overton Village.

Abraham's daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband John Frick, had a son, Henry Clay Frick, born in 1849. The Frick birthplace, a small stone cottage, also served as the spring house on the Overholt farm. Although Frick only lived in the cottage during his infancy, he never lived far from his Overholt grandparents and spent a great deal of time in their company. As a young man, Frick went to work in the second distillery owned by his grandfather in Broadford, just eight miles away. While working there as a bookkeeper, Frick became interested in the coke business and eventually began building ovens to produce coke for the Pittsburgh market. By 1881, Frick was a millionaire living in Pittsburgh with his new bride, Adelaide Howard Childs.

West Overton Village was named to the National Register of Historic Districts in 1985 as an outstanding example of a 19th century rural industrial village. Visitors to West Overton Museums may view the film, Pillars of Fire, which illustrates the process of turning coal into coke; visit the Overholt Homestead and Gift Shop; tour two floors of the Overholt Mill/Distillery, which contains a large collection of household, farm and industrial tools; visit the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick; and tour the wash house and smokehouse.

West Overton is on PA 819 between the towns of Mount Pleasant and Scottdale. From the PA Turnpike, exit at New Stanton (Exit 8) and follow 119 South for ten miles to 819 South. Follow 819 South for approximately half a mile to reach West Overton.

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