Historical Markers
Pittsburgh Historical Marker
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Pittsburgh Region


Marker Location:
PA 60 at Thornburg

Dedication Date:
December 21, 1946

Behind the Marker

From the start of the construction of markerFort Pitt in 1759, a civilian community developed around the British army at the Forks of the Ohio. Although the Indians expected the British to leave once the French had been removed from the Forks, William Pitt had other plans. He wanted to build a fort that would establish once and for all British possession of the Ohio Valley. That construction project involved a small population of civilian laborers, including carpenters, tanners, bakers, and other tradesmen.

Furthermore, once the French had been forced to leave, the British renewed their fur trade in the Ohio Country, and colonial fur traders, some licensed and some not, poured into the community rising around Fort Pitt. Settlers and squatters also came, though not always welcomed by British and colonial authorities, because their desire for land angered local Indians.
A map of Pittsburgh from 1795, showing the position of Fort Pitt, the outline of Fort Duquesne, and the surrounding settlement. The lower photo shows the same area today.
A map of Pittsburgh from 1795, showing the position of Fort Pitt, the outline...
Nevertheless, these farmers were drawn to the Forks by the fertility of the Ohio Valley, the transportation routes that converged there, and the refuge that Fort Pitt provided in times of crisis. In the aftermath of the Seven Years' War, the British army would find that it had a far more difficult time keeping American colonists out of the Ohio Valley than it did the French.

The growing British population at the Forks of the Ohio was one of the Indian grievances that led to Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763. That crisis temporarily disrupted the flow of settlers into the region but could not stem the tide that would ultimately push western Pennsylvania's native inhabitants further west into the Ohio Country.

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