PENNSYLVANIA: The Golden Windfall

Few of the biggest U.S. cities had so distinguished a beginning as Perryopolis, Pa. (pop. 1,500), an unsung & forgotten hamlet in the coal fields 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. George Washington himself bought land on the town's present site back in 1770, and built a grist mill near by. According to local legend, he also suggested the circular-street plan upon which the village is built, although he sold out (1,643 acres for $4,000) long before 1814, when Perryopolis, named for Naval Hero Oliver Hazard Perry, was actually begun.

But neither its memories of Washington nor its founders' high hopes...

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