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Jumonville Methodist Training Center

Youghiogheny

Jumonville Methodist Training Center

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Location Details

PHONE: 800-463-7688
ADDRESS: 887 Jumonville Rd. (SR2021)
Hopwood, PA 15445
HOURS: Open till dusk

Description

What a difference a few centuries make. In 1754, the stretch of land now known as Jumonville Glen was the site of a battle between the Virginia Militia (led by then-Lieutenant Colonel George Washington) and French troops. Just 15 minutes after the first shot was fired,10 Frenchmen, including Ambassador Jumonville, were dead and the French and Indian War was under way.

Nearly 200 years later, a 60-foot-high steel cross was erected at nearby Dunbar’s Knob. According to the dedication plaque, the Cross of Christ “towers high on this mountain top as an enduring symbol that life triumphs over death.” The cross is the focal point of Jumonville, a United Methodist Church camp, and conference and retreat center. Dating back to the 1940s, Jumonville has occupied 280 acres in this scenic and historic part of western Pennsylvania.

The story of the cross dates back to the Great Depression. That’s when Methodist churches throughout the country first started collecting money to build the massive structure. Counted among the many pledges were the pennies and dimes donated by Sunday school children. However, plans to construct the cross were put on hold as World War II began to rage and steel became a vital war commodity. Once peace was declared, the project was resurrected.

First, a 183-ton concrete foundation was poured on which the 47,000-pound shaft of the cross would rest. The arms, each spanning 12 feet, were brought in separately and welded to the main frame at the site. The cross was fabricated by Moore Metal Works of Greensburg using structural steel made at local U. S. Steel Corporation mills. (By the way, the names of all the children who donated their coins were sealed in the cross’s foundation.)

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