The flat land beside the little Youghiogheny River on the western edge of Oakland has two items of historic interest. First, it contains a spring, and according to tradition, George Washington stopped at the spring on the morning of September 26, 1784. It was also the meeting point of three different Indian trails: Seneca Indian Trail; Glades Path and McCullough's Pack Horse Path, formerly known as Warrior Path.
In late September 1784, George Washington, Bushrod Washington, Dr. James Craik and his son William were returning from a trip to Pennsylvania riding south over the McCullough's Pack Horse Path. On the night of September 25th, they were caught in a heavy rainstorm in what is now the Wilderness Area of Herrington Manor State Park. Washington recorded in his diary that"... It rained so hard that the group couldn't even get a campfire started."
The next morning they headed south again stopping for water at the spring that now bears Washington's name before continuing on to John Friend's cabin 1 1/4 miles away.
When the Oakland Hotel was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1875, a walking path was laid out to Washington Spring. The spring was enclosed in stone work and a small roof was built above it. Over the years, famous people strolled over the path and duplicated George Washington's act of taking a refreshing drink of water from the spring.
Shelly Upole, a local chainsaw carver, is posed with a bust of George Washington. Look for her other woodland creations that can be found along McCullough's Pack Horse Path. She has collected many arrowheads left behind by her Indian forefathers from the Iroquois nation.