The Lost Children of the Alleghenies were two young brothers who wandered away from their Bedford County, PA home and perished in the nearby mountains in April, 1856, despite a massive search effort to save them.
On the 50th anniversary of their deaths, in 1906, a marble monument was erected on the spot their bodies were found, next to Ciana Run on present-day State Game Lands 26.
What Happened to the Lost Children of the Alleghenies
On April 24th, 1856 Samuel Cox returned home from a morning of hunting to discover that his children George (age 7) and Joseph (age 5) had wandered away from home.
Samuel and his wife Susannah (who thought the children had gone hunting with Samuel) began to frantically search for the children, and were soon joined by friends and neighbors in the search.
By the second day of the search, nearly one thousand people had poured into the region to search for the children, but to no avail.
Ten days after the two boys went missing, a nearby farmer named Jacob Dilbert began having dreams in which he went searching for and successfully located the children.
After having the same dream three nights in a row, he convinced his brother-in-law to accompany him and see if in fact he could locate this route he had followed in his dreams.
Miraculously, they were able to locate several of the landmarks in Jacob’s dreams, and tragically they found the two boys deceased at the foot of a birch tree along Ciana Run, exactly as Jacob had seen them in his dreams.
165 years later, people still come to this spot to pay their respects to the two young brothers who tragically perished here in the forest.
How to Find the Lost Children of the Alleghenies Monument
The Lost Children of the Alleghenies Monument (or Cox Monument as it is also called) is located on State Game Lands 26 in Bedford County.
Turn off of Route 869 when you see the sign pictured below, and travel approximately 2.5 miles to the parking area along Monument Road.
Half-way to the parking area, you’ll pass the former site of the Blue Knob CCC Camp, which built many of the structures at modern-day Blue Knob State Park.
The parking area is located at GPS coordinates 40.29302, -78.60492.
The trail head is located at the back left corner of the parking lot.
The parking area is within the boundaries of Blue Knob State Park, however the Lost Children of the Alleghenies Monument is located on State Game Lands 26, so be sure to abide by the PA Game Commission’s blaze orange clothing requirements when visiting.
The hike itself is short – approximately 250 yards and essentially flat.
After crossing two footbridges, the well-worn path leads right to the monument and sign that describes the incident, at GPS coordinates 40.29476, -78.60351.
Important note – Monument Road is not maintained in the winter – so travel at your own risk then (or wait until spring, which is the better option).
Please treat the memorial with respect when visiting, as this was the scene of a tragic event.
The Lost Children of the Alleghenies Burial Site
The Lost Children of the Alleghenies are buried at the Mount Union Cemetery near Pavia.
Their burial site is approximately 7.5 miles south of the monument.
The cemetery is located next to the Mount Union United Methodist Church, which can be found at 2182 Spruce Hollow Rd, Pleasantville, PA 15521.
A simple white headstone marks the final resting place of George and Joseph Cox, ages 7 and 5.
Pavia Overlook at Blue Knob State Park is located atop the second-highest mountain in Pennsylvania!
23 Must-See Attractions in Bedford County is an exceptional guide to more even more nearby adventures in Bedford County.
From museums to mountain vistas, from scenic backroads to an abandoned superhighway – there are a TON of must-see attractions in Bedford County, PA!
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