Welcome to the Historic Pump House

Visit the site of one of American Labor’s bloodiest battles and learn about the events leading to the 1892 Homestead Strike and Lockout.

In the early morning hours of July 6, 1892, at the Pump House of the Carnegie Steel Company’s Homestead Works, thousands of workers, their families and supporters, armed with sticks, rocks, and guns rushed to meet two barges coming up the Monongahela River.  The barges carried 300 Pinkerton guards who had been sent to protect the works during the Homestead Strike and Lockout.  After a bitter day of conflict that left seven strikers and three Pinkerton men dead and dozens of others wounded, the guards surrendered.  They were then forced to “run a bloody gauntlet” while being lead to a temporary jail at the Homestead Opera House until they were sent out of town by rail the next morning.

Battle of HomesteadHenry Clay Frick, Andrew Carnegie’s partner, convinced Pennsylvania governor Pattison that Homestead was under “mob rule” and on July 12, 1892 8,000 state militiamen entered Homestead. The strike and lock out continued until November when unskilled laborers asked to be released from their strike pledge. Two days later, the strike ended – the union had been broken. The Battle of Homestead signaled the end of union activity in the steel industry until the 1930s.

Click here for information on the Pump House structures and the Battle of Homestead.  Click here for a copy of the National Historic Landmark application for this site. 

The Pump House Today

The parking lot and restrooms at the Pump House will close for the season on Monday, November 2, 2015. Construction on the parking lot and new bioswale is underway. 

Bike-Friendly Eco Center
Bikes at the Pump HouseThe Historic Pump House location is a trailhead of the Great Allegheny Passage which encompasses the Steel Valley Trail in the Mon Valley.  Rivers of Steel welcomes cyclists to the property to enjoy bike-amenities such as restrooms in the nearby Water Tower, bike racks, benches and picnic tables.  Overnight and daytime parking is available in return for a small daily donation or an annual membership as a Trail Head Friend.  Click here to become a friend of the Trail Head.  Regardless of whether you become a friend or donate on a per usage basis, overnight parking requires you to complete a registration form.  All parking is at your own risk.  Rivers of Steel is not responsible for damage or theft to vehicles or vehicle contents.  Questions?  Contact trailhead@riversofsteel.com.

Event Rental Opportunities
The Historic Pump House is a great location for small-scale events and intimate weddings and gatherings.  The maximum person capacity inside the building is 150.  Limited electricity is available. Restrooms are located in the nearby Water Tower. To rent The Historic Pump House for private events or indoor photography appointments, contact Stacy Drane at 412-464-4020 ext. 32 or sdrane@riversofsteel.com.

Guided Group Tours
Group tours are available at The Historic Pump House and can be bundled together with a visit to The Bost Building, headquarters of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.  To book a tour, contact Stacy Drane at 412-464-4020 ext. 32 or sdrane@riversofsteel.com.