The county seat of Waynesburg was founded in 1796, less than a year after the county's formation and located within five miles of its geographical center. It is named for General Anthony Wayne, the tireless warrior of the Revolutionary War who was dubbed the “man who never sleeps” and “Mad Anthony Wayne” by Native Americans. Bounded on the west and south by Tenmile Creek, Waynesburg is eleven miles west of the Monongahela River. The town was laid out on a grid pattern with green space between Waynesburg College and the commercial district. The low-scale, brick commercial corridor, ten blocks along High Street between East and Richhill streets, consists of a group of handsome two- to three-story, five- to seven-bay red brick buildings from the 1830s and 1840s, the courthouse of 1850 ( GR1), and the Fort Jackson Hotel (1926, Bartholomew and Smith; 19 S. Washington Street). High Street's commercial character remains intact despite fast food emporiums and shopping centers east of downtown. The Emerald Mine Cleaning Plant at the western edge of town is a sprawling industrial complex and a constant reminder of the primacy of coal to the county's economy. It contrasts with the human-scaled Waynesburg Milling Company at Tenmile Creek south of the courthouse. This flour mill, operating since 1881, now produces animal feed from grains. In the 1890s, Waynesburg's only connection to Pittsburgh was via the narrow-gauge Waynesburg and Washington railroad (the “W and W”) that made two trips daily.
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