Summit Mountain Hill Climb to be resurrected
On June 20, 1913, The Automobile Club of Fayette County held the first Summit Mountain Hill Climb.
This Saturday, just five days short of the 100-year anniversary, a group of auto enthusiasts will resurrect the tradition in honor of those who climbed the mountain before them.
“In 1913, it was the infancy of cars and the infancy of racing in the United States, and the idea of the hill climb was to test out the engines in the cars. This was the breaking ground for the automobiles,” said organizer Marci Lynn McGuinness of Chalk Hill.
McGuinness, an author, has been researching the history of the racing and auto industry in Fayette County and Southwestern Pennsylvania for more than 20 years. She has authored two books on the subject, “Yesteryear at the Uniontown Speedway” and “Speedway Kings of Southwestern Pennsylvania, 100 Years of Racing History.”
The hill climbs were held from 1913 to 1915. Then the state outlawed them.
“They were dangerous and clogging up the road. During the last one, 25,000 people lined that mountain to see it. It was the biggest event in Pennsylvania,” McGuinness said.
She and other organizers felt an event should be held to celebrate that history and this important anniversary.
The event will have two aspects — the hill climb and a car show.
The hill climb will begin at 11 a.m. Organizers are looking for cars from the 1930s and older to participate in this free event. Co-coordinator Skip Seaton said there are about 12 cars lined up to climb the hill, including a one-cylinder 1904 Oldsmobile, a 1915 Apperson Jack Rabbit, a 1917 Packard and a few Model As and Ts.
“It's important that the younger generation know about what went on in this area. A lot of famous race car men came to this area to climb the summit and race their cars at the 1 1⁄8 mile board track,” Seaton said.
He said the event is not a race, just a climb, and the road will be open for other cars while the event is happening.
Those interested in participating should come to the Hopwood Bowling Lanes by 10:30 a.m. or call Seaton at 724-984-6500.
At the top of the mountain, the Summit Mountain Early Iron Car Club will sponsor a vintage car show at the historic Summit Hotel in Farmington from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
President Bill Kozlovich said all cars are welcome to participate regardless of age. Entry is free, and there are no prizes being awarded. Donations are being accepted for the Wounded Warrior Patrol, which takes soldiers who have been wounded to Seven Springs Mountain Resort skiing for four days each year.
“We have helped them before, and we are hoping we can help them take more families next year,” Kozlovich said.
McGuinness will also be at the event telling the story and autographing books. She will also have many vintage photographs on display.
Refreshments will be available. Both parts of the events will take place rain or shine.
For more information, please call Kozlovich at 412-582-2926.
Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Trigger clause’ in ordinance unnecessary, says Connellsville’s health board
- Final ‘Wednesdays at West Overton’ to feature Bullskin woman
- Community Field Day fundraiser planned at East Park in Connellsville
- Connellsville’s Mozart Music Club to celebrate 95th anniversary
- Connellsville Legion needs young veterans
- Robber threatens employee at Subway in Uniontown Mall
- Connellsville area’s weather into December could be mixed bag
- Dawson native Leonard finishes season with Braves’ AAA affiliate
- Frazier School Board chews over possibilities for Central Elementary
- War display planned during Dunbar Fest
- Connellsville tech center names homecoming queen