If you’re enjoying the racing and gaming at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino yet wish to venture out into Washington County, Pennsylvania and county seat, Washington, Pennsylvania, then you’re in arguably Pennsylvania’s most historically significant county.
Yeah, so let your inner-history buff rejoice. What will you find? A bit of everything.
Washington County was the home of the Whiskey Rebellion, and it’s also home to the PONY League Baseball Headquarters, the F. Julius LeMoyne Home, Shorty’s Lunch, and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
Breathe in and close your eyes because The Meadows doesn’t just offer the best gaming in Southwest Pennsylvania; it’s within driving distance to every single nearby attraction listed below.
Ready for the rundown?
Let’s get it started and I guarantee that even if you don’t win a profit when gambling in Pennsylvania, your mind sure will at these attractions.
F. Julius LeMoyne House
Let’s begin our tour in the F. Julius LeMoyne House, where if you’re an American Civil War buff, you’ll find this place quite interesting.
This historic museum located at 49 East Maiden Street served as the home of Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne, a renowned abolitionist. He used his home as a stop on the Underground Railroad and, after the American Civil War, helped found the LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee.
The museum was added as a National Historic Landmark and the US National Register of Historic Places on September 25th, 1997.
Built in 1812 using Greek Revival architecture, LeMoyne’s daughter gifted the house to the Washington Historical Society in the 1930s. The Society restored the home to resemble its features and furnishings from LeMoyne’s time in the mid-nineteenth century, and the location has served as a historic museum since.
They offer guided tours all year long. So whether you’re hitting up The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in the summer or winter months, you can explore a piece of history at the F. Julius LeMoyne House.
So come on in and get a taste of what life was like on the Underground Railroad in the 1830s and 1840s, Pennsylvania. Whether you’re a history lover or someone looking to gain insight, this guided tour is for you.
Lew Hays Field and PONY Baseball and Softball Headquarters
Perhaps you’ve heard or had even been part of the Protect Our Nation’s Youth (PONY) Baseball and Softball non-profit organization as a volunteer or as a player in the league, yourself?
Well, bring on the nostalgia because PONY Baseball and Softball’s headquarters is located right here in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Hosting teams from all over the world, the set location for the PONY World Series is also located in Washington at Lew Hays Pony Field.
So, if the Series is going on, then you’re in luck. And while it isn’t necessarily a league The Meadows Sportsbook offers to place a wager, it’s still a treat to see the nation’s best PONY baseball and softball players in action. Because who knows? You’re probably watching the stars of tomorrow in the two sports.
But even if there’s no action going on at Lew Hays Field, you can always take a tour through the headquarters, noticeable from its Flag Plaza in the foreground and dedication plaque at the entrance.
If you’re at The Meadows as part of a family vacation, then the PONY headquarters and Lew Hays Park are a fantastic activity for you and the entire family to engage in. No age restrictions, no limits. Just a walk through memory lane for you while your kids envision their future selves on the pitcher’s mound.
David Bradford House
Alright, so if you can’t resist playing your favorite casino games without a cold cocktail or beer in hand, you’ll find yourself interested in the David Bradford House. The place’s significance? Well, it only housed David Bradford, the leader in the Whiskey Rebellion, which took place between 1791 and 1794.
They say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, but the David Bradford House proved otherwise. Bradford and his family fled the house after taking up residence in the place for just 6 years, leaving the place vacant for other families to frequent in the late-eighteenth century.
Fast forward three decades, when 1831, world-renown author Rebecca Harding Davis was born in the house. If you’ve ever heard of or read the short story ‘Life in the Iron Mills,’ then chances are you’ve heard of Davis.
Davis also holds the significance of having the first historical marker dedicated to a woman in Washington, Pennsylvania.
In 1973, the venue became listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a decade later in 1983, became a historic landmark.
From May to mid-December, the venue offers group tours and special events. So if you’re in the area and want to learn about not one but two significant stories that occurred at the David Bradford House, check out this location.
It offers a quick break from the casino gaming and horse racing, and the major upside here is that when you tour the David Bradford House, you’re guaranteed to win in the knowledge category.
Okay, so The Meadows is full of solid dining options, but if you’re up for classic grub, head over to Washington, Pennsylvania and you’ll come across an old hot dog shop called Shorty’s Lunch.
In operation since 1932, Shorty’s Lunch provides a classic, old school feel you won’t find anywhere else. With its dining counter, wooden booths, and large storefront, you’ll think you walked into a wormhole and transported yourself about 80 years in the past.
In fact, when you talk to nearby professors, filmmakers, and local media, they all have nothing but top-end things to say about the place given its brand recognition, attention to detail, customer service, and its retro atmosphere that brings people to experience from all over the nation.
Professors have claimed you can use Shorty’s to design an entire case-study around franchising. The Observer Report further claimed the restaurant’s brand recognition is one even top corporations cannot match.
The Post-Gazette has written several stories on the place, confirming it’s the one restaurant many former residents will go out of their way to visit when they’re back in town. We all have that one place we just need to grab a bite when we return to our hometown. Well, in Washington, Shorty’s is it.
They’ve also served a notable client base, including former Pittsburgh Steelers great Lynn Swann, when he made a stop at the shop when on the campaign trail back in 2006. Another big name who constantly frequented at Shorty’s was country music singer, Tex Ritter.
So if you’re looking for an off-venue dining option infused with history, longevity, and a reputation even America’s largest and most recognizable corporations can’t match, Shorty’s is your destination.
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
While The Meadows can definitely give you a unique gambling experience like none other, the trolley enthusiast in you will go head over heels for what’s waiting in the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
One of their exhibits has even been imported from Brazil, so you’re getting an international look here when you venture away from The Meadows for a day out in the classic town of Washington.
Best yet, they have restored many of these trolleys and streetcars to their original status, and many are fully operable. That said, if you’re lurking in Washington during the right time of the year, you’ll see them in action shuttling patrons from the parking lot to fairgrounds during the Washington County Fairgrounds.
Which is yet another attraction to attend if you’re in the area at the right time.
Special events at the museum also occur on Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, with the museum offering exclusive rides through a Christmas or fall-themed setting.
And of course, when we hear the word ‘trolley,’ I’m sure Pittsburgh’s own Fred Rogers pops into our heads if we’re between the ages of 21 and 60.
So, a little fun fact about the museum is that it appeared in an episode of Mister Rodgers Neighborhood back in 1984, with Rogers himself operating one of the Philadelphia streetcars.
As with many of the activities listed, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is a definite hotspot if you brought the family along. And if you’re in town for the Holidays, it definitely provides top-notch and family-friendly entertainment.
The Meadows is one of the hottest land-based casinos in Southwest Pennsylvania. But for as obscure as the city and county of which it resides is, there is a lot of history at every turn.
So if you’re a history buff roaming the casino gaming floor or watching a good old horse race at The Meadows, know that there is so much more out there in Washington County than just the casino; there is an area just waiting to be explored and stories to be told.
And best yet, if you’re just passing through town on a family trip, every single location listed here is fit for the family. From the F. Julius LeMoyne Home all the way to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
Have you been to The Meadows and the nearby attractions listed above? If so, let us know where you went and tell us your experience.