Works of art on Sheepskin Trail in Dunbar Borough area
Four murals have been completed and placed on the Sheepskin Trail. They are a train, streetcar, the Jumonville cross and a coke oven.
“The murals were painted by Jessica Lotman and Laura Koposko. The ladies did a great job and we had the murals hung up in time for the Dunbar Community Fest in September. Hopefully next year we can do four more,” said Cindy Moag, chairman of the Dunbar Community Fest.
Lotman and Koposko also did the murals on the Red Caboose Welcome Center behind Martin's in Connellsville last year.
“The Sheepskin murals were meant to grab the attention of visitors and encourage them to travel down parts of the trail they may have not experienced before,” Lotman said. “They were designed with local markers and objects of historical significance to the area. The overall idea was to create colorful yet informative images to curious travelers.”
“We were excited to take on this endeavor, especially since the bike trail is practically in our back yard,” Koposko said. “It means so much to us that our art can be a part of such a wonderful asset to the community.”
“We are trying to get more people to know and use the Sheepskin Trail,” Moag said. “The Sheepskin Trail is the first spur off the Great Allegheny Passage, which is 2.1 miles long into Dunbar. There is a comfort station on the trail in Dunbar as well as the local restaurant, Stefanick's, and Cinderella's Ice Cream Shoppe.
“The Fayette Central Railroad comes to Dunbar on Saturdays, too,” she added. “The Sheepskin Trail is a nice little ride from Connellsville, only 3 miles. You can ride there and back in an evening. Plans are in the works to continue the trail on to the crossing at Brushwood Terrace, just outside of Uniontown.”
The Sheepskin Trail officially opened in May 2008. It connects to the Great Allegheny Passage at Wheeler Bottom near Connellsville and enters Dunbar Borough next to the Dunbar Historical Society. Along with the comfort station on Railroad Street there is trail parking one block from the historical society and exercise equipment across the trail from the comfort station.
This part of the Sheepskin Trail is the first leg of the 32-mile long trail which will continue through the center of Fayette County to Point Marion. It will connect to the West Virginia Rail-Trail System at the state line.
Riding the Sheepskin Trail will give visitors the opportunity to visit the Dunbar Historical Society's Education Center on Saturdays and see a beehive coke oven at the DHS Park across the street from the trail entrance. Visitors can also take a ride to Dunbar on the Fayette Central RR “Sheepskin Line” on Saturdays. The train takes visitors between Uniontown and onto the bridge over the Youghiogheny River at Connellsville. On Sundays, the Fayette Central RR runs between Uniontown and Fairchance.
This is the last year for the Fayette Central RR to operate. Visit its site now to enjoy a final ride, www.fayettecentralrailroad.com.
Dunbar walking route brochures are available at the center for those interested in learning about Dunbar's historic buildings. Visit www.dunbarhistoricalsociety.com for more information. Visit www.greatalleghenypassage.com for the complete trail map.
Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.