The flat land beside the little Youghiogheny River on the western edge of Oakland has two items of historic interest. First, it contains a spring, and according to tradition, George Washington stopped at the spring on the morning of September 26, 1784. It was also the meeting point of three different Indian trails: Seneca Indian Trail; Glades Path and McCullough's Pack Horse Path, formerly known as Warrior Path.
In late September 1784, George Washington, Bushrod Washington, Dr. James Craik and his son William were returning from a trip to Pennsylvania riding south over the McCullough's Pack Horse Path. On the night of September 25th, they were caught in a heavy rainstorm in what is now the Wilderness Area of Herrington Manor State Park. Washington recorded in his diary that"... It rained so hard that the group couldn't even get a campfire started."
The next morning they headed south again stopping for water at the spring that now bears Washington's name before continuing on to John Friend's cabin 1 1/4 miles away.
When the Oakland Hotel was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1875, a walking path was laid out to Washington Spring. The spring was enclosed in stone work and a small roof was built above it. Over the years, famous people strolled over the path and duplicated George Washington's act of taking a refreshing drink of water from the spring.