—Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor —
A residence and farm, a stagecoach stop, a tavern, an office building and a museum!
In 1812, Scotch-Irish immigrant Alexander Johnston (who lived to be almost 100 yrs.) began erecting this landmark structure. The stone for the building and five fireplaces was taken from the bed of the nearby Loyalhanna Creek. Alexander and his wife, Elizabeth, had eight sons and two daughters. Through the years, the house had many uses. In the 1820s, a large 1 1/2 story wing was added to the west end of the home as a tavern to accommodate the traveling public on the newly constructed Greensburg/Stoystown Turnpike. Presidents Taylor and Harrison were among those who stopped at the Kingston House, famous for its good meals and punch. The property's large barn served as a relay station for stagecoaches en route to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.
Prior to 1954, when the roadway alongside of the Johnston House (the Lincoln Highway, then later Route 30) was two-way, the original front door was on the east side of the building. Now that the road is one-way, the main entrance is on the west side. Ligonier resident Victor Smith Sr. purchased the property in 1979 and nominated it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Mr. Smith made a few changes to the home: enclosed the back porch on this side of the main building; enclosed
the original back porch on the south side of the building; and also created a breezeway to connect the main building to a small frame wash house.
The deed transferred in 2011 to the nonprofit Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, who developed Lincoln Highway Experience museum, and uses this site as their headquarters for administering the Corridor from North Huntingdon in the west, to the York County line in the east.