60-Foot-Tall Steel Cross

Field review by the editors.

Hopwood, Pennsylvania

"The Great Cross of Christ" -- made of locally-rolled steel and weighing 30-something tons -- was erected in 1950. It was paid for by donations collected at hundreds of Methodist Churches before World War II, but wartime steel shortages forced postponement of the project for ten years. "The names of thousands of Sunday School children who contributed dimes to the cross fund are sealed in the foundation."

The cross stands atop Dunbar's Knob, 2,480 feet above sea level, and can reportedly be seen 50 miles away on a clear day. But when you're on Jumonville Road only a few hundred feet away, you can barely glimpse the top of it over the trees on the hill. It's on the grounds of the 280-acre Jumonville Methodist Retreat Center, and a narrow, one-lane road leading to the summit with the cross is barred by a chain.

But don't give up (like we did) and head off to play mini golf in a cave. Visitors can stop in the Retreat Center's office during business hours and ask for a key to gain access (The fence around the base of the Cross deters vandals).

60-Foot-Tall Steel Cross

887 Jumonville Rd, Hopwood, PA
US 40 three miles east of Uniontown. At the crest of Summit Mountain (look for the Summit Inn) turn left (north) on Jumonville Rd. Around three miles to the Jumonville Retreat Center, on the right. Office is second bldg on your left after you come through the entrance with the 4 flagpoles.
Office - 8 am-4 pm, wkds 9 am-8 pm at Welcome Center. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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In the region:
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August 9, 2020

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