Point of Interest

Sandcastle Waterpark

“Sandcastle is a water park located in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Homestead.The site where Sandcastle currently sits was formerly a railroad yard for U.S. Steel.” Sandcastle Waterpark Website

Bost Building

“Homestead gained international notoriety in July 1892 as the site of a violent clash between locked-out steelworkers and hired Pinkerton guards, known as the Homestead Strike. When Henry Clay Frick, manager for Andrew Carnegie, owner of the local Homestead Steel Works, announced in the spring of 1892 that skilled workers would receive a reduction in wages, the advisory committee of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers refused to sign a new contract. Carnegie’s management locked the workforce out, declaring that the union would no longer be recognized at the steel works.” Bost Building

Homestead Waterfront

The Waterfront is a super-regional open air shopping mall spanning the three boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall near Pittsburgh. The shopping mall sits on land once occupied by U.S. Steel’s Homestead Steel Works plant, which closed in 1987Waterfront WEB Site

Photo by Paul Wiegman

Battle of Homestead (Pump House)

On July 6th of 1892 at the Pump House in the Homestead Works, 10,000 workers, families and supporters armed with sticks, rocks, and guns rushed to meet the barges coming up the Monongahela River that carried 300 Pinkerton guards who had been sent to break the Homestead Strike and Lockout. After a bitter day of conflict that left 12 strikers and Pinkerton men dead the Pinkerton guards surrendered to the mob and were forced to “run a bloody gauntlet” towards the Homestead railroad station.

Carrie Furnaces

Photo by Paul Wiegman

The furnaces are rare examples of pre-WW II iron making technology. Opened in 1884, the site is a relic of the industrial age that gave Pittsburgh its identity. The furnaces produced iron for the Homestead Works from when they were built in 1907 to 1978. During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Carrie 6 and 7 consumed approximately four tons of raw materials comprised of iron ore, coke, and limestone for every ton of iron produced.

The Carrie Funrnace site, along with the Pump House (a trailhead across the river), are owned and operated by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation.

For more information about tours that Rivers of Steel has at the site (which is not open to the public at this time except for tours and special events), please click here.

Photo by Paul Wigman

Kennywood Amusement Park

“The park first opened in 1898 as a ‘Trolley Park’ at the end of the Monongahelia Street Railway.” Kenneywood Website

U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Works

“In April 1995, the mill was designated a historic landmark by ASM International, a society that honors works of structural engineering.”

Braddock Locks and Dam U.S. Corps of Engineers

“Braddock Locks and Dam is one of nine navigation structures which provide for year-round navigation on the Monongahela River between Pittsburgh, PA and Fairmont, West Virginia. It maintains a pool for 12.6 miles upstream to Locks and Dam 3 at Elizabeth, PA.”

Battle of Braddock’s Field

“An historic battlefield on the banks of the Monongahela River, at Braddock, Pennsylvania, near the junction of Turtle Creek (Monongahela River), about nine miles southeast of the “Forks of the Ohio” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here, in 1755, was fought the Battle of the Monongahela which ended the Braddock Expedition.”

U.S. Steel Duquesne Works

“The Duquesne mill had its origins as a state-of-the-art Bessemer steel rail mill, built on the Monongahela River across from McKeesport and the National Tube works. Its owners began production in 1889 with a new “direct” process for rolling rails. They soon added a twelve-furnace open hearth steel plant, each furnace pouring out fifty-ton heats of steel up to three times each day.”


The borough of Duquesne was settled in 1789 and incorporated in 1891. Its population in 1900 was 9,036; in 1910, 15,727; in 1920, 19,011; in 1930, 21,000; and in 1940, 20,693.

Riverton Bridge

The bridge, now part of the trail, provided the rail connection between the National Tube Works at McKeesport and the USS Dorothy Six blast furnace of the Duquesne Works

Photo by Paul Wiegman

U.S. Steel National Tube Works

National Tube” had its origins with the Flagler brothers of Boston, John and Harvey. They had operated a small plant welding iron tubing in East Boston, but decided to move their operations to the Pittsburgh district to be closer to iron makers. They purchased the Fulton, Bolman Company of McKeesport, and built there in 1872 a new mill for welding tubes. Within a year the mill was turning out tubes as large as fifteen inches in diameter and twenty feet long.


John McKee, an original settler of Philadelphia and son of David McKee, built a log cabin near the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers, the site of present-day McKeesport. After taking over his father’s local river ferry business, he devised a plan for a city to be called McKee’s Port. John set out his proposal in the Pittsburgh Gazette, as part of a program under which new residents could purchase plots of land for $20.00 (a lottery was the means to distribute the plots to avoid complaints from new land owners concerning “inferior” locations). Around the time of the French and Indian Wars, George Washington often came to McKeesport to visit his friend, Queen Alliquippa, a Seneca Indian ruler. After being settled by the McKee family in 1795, McKeesport began to grow in 1830 when coal mining began. The first schoolhouse was built in 1832, with James E. Huey as its schoolmaster (Huey Street in McKeesport is named for him). The city’s first steel mill was established in 1851. The National Tube Company opened in 1872 and became part of U.S. Steel. In the years directly following the opening of the National Tube Company, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, McKeesport was the fastest growing municipality in the nation.[2] The city’s population reached a peak of 55,355 in 1940. Families arrived from other parts of the eastern United States, Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, with most working at the National Tube Company. National Tube closed in the 1980s, along with other U.S. Steel plants in the Mon Valley.

McKeesport City Hall, formerly McKeesport National Bank, built circa 1890

Youghiogheny River

In the colonial era and in the early United States, the valley of the river provided an important route of access through the mountains for settlers and military forces from Virginia to western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Country. In 1754, as a militia officer of the British Colony of Virginia, George Washington followed the river in an attempt to find a water route to Fort Duquesne, then held by the French.