NEWSLETTER - March 2015

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W. A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop 

116 Water Street, Rices Landing, PA

Saturday - April 18 from 9AM to 4PM 


Join us at the W. A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop for a full day of continuous blacksmithing demonstrations, open tours of this historic facility and demonstrations of the original machinery of one of America's most rare and unique historic machine shops. Hosted by Rivers of Steel and our collaborative partners, the Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmith Association (PAABA) and the Appalachian Blacksmith Association (ABA), visitors will enjoy an exceptional experience as the over 100 year old foundry comes to life for this special event.


The foundry rests on the banks of the Monongahela River in Greene County's national historic district of Rices Landing. For more information, read the history of the foundry constructed in 1900 by William A. Young at our Storehouse online publication


Handcrafted ironwork and specialty items are available at the 1PM auction and the Rices Landing Volunteer Fire Department will be offering lunch outside the facility. 


After its 1965 closing, restoration of the historic site began under the auspices of the Greene County Historical Society and continues today through the stewardship of Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area assuring that this national treasure remains an active and vital part of our nation's legacy through educational and artistic programming. 


Proceeds benefit the W. A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop, Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmiths Association and Appalachian Blacksmith Association.

   WASHINGTON'S TRAIL-1753 Project
The Washington's Trail-1753 project commemorates the route taken by young George Washington through western Pennsylvania's French-controlled territory to deliver a diplomatic message ordering the French to abandon their fortifications or else be confronted by the British Empire's military. As a partner in this National Park Service  project through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, Rivers of Steel previously funded the fabrication and installation of some of the interpretive and historic markers along Washington's route through our scenic western Pennsylvania countryside.


As a continuation of the project, Rivers of Steel will provide technical assistance to their partners as they further explore options for commemorating and interpreting this important aspect of our nation's history and heritage by adding invaluable historical context to the history, culture, and heritage of this region. As the route traverses both the region's urban and suburban populations of Pittsburgh, these aides will provide recreational, interpretive, educational, and environmental benefits to the region in partnership with connecting heritage areas.


Along with historic and interpretive markers, driving guide and other aides, visitors can relive Washington's first military and diplomatic expedition - retracing the northern trek and return journey of our first president - while enjoying the many historic and natural attractions along Washington's Trail. 


Rep. Kelly Hails National Park Service Support for Washington's Trail-1753

"I am very pleased with NPS's announcement and glad to see Washington's Trail-1753 receive the support it so much deserves."    U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03)


About Washington's Trail - 1753

In 1753, the imperial nations of France and Great Britain and the Native Americans all claimed control of the Ohio Country, the area encompassing present-day western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. On orders of Virginia's Governor Robert Dimwiddie, twenty-one-year-old George Washington undertook a dangerous expedition north from Williamsburg to deliver a diplomatic message to the French ordering their evacuation of the region. During his 1753-54 journey to the French Forts, Washington encountered many hazards including harsh northern winters, an attack by an American Indian guide and nearly drowning in the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh. Upon his return, he reported to the governor that the French intended to remain entrenched at their forts, marking the beginning of the military struggle that became known as the French and Indian War.                                                                          Download the fact sheet.


   FORGING FREEDOM: Pittsburgh's Wartime Steel Industry

The Bost Building - Saturday, May 16 from 10AM to 2:30PM 

Join the  Senator John Heinz History Center and Rivers of Steel in this unique opportunity for educators, curators and area experts to examine steel's impact on the region and in the world. Forging Freedom is a part of the History Center's programming for educators, curators, and local experts to attend workshops and educational sessions designed to connect local educators with a selection of valuable sites and exhibits.


At the  Bost Building, former headquarters for the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers during the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892, participants will explore primary sources that expose the lives of the steelworkers and the perspectives of the steel corporations as Pittsburgh became a steel superpower during the Spanish-American War and both World Wars. Rivers of Steel staff will take guests through the 1906 Carrie Blast Furnaces, highlighting Homestead steel's production and international impact.


All workshops include a classroom resource guide with lesson plans and a boxed meal. Pre-registration is required and space can be reserved through each workshop's individual listing accessed through this link.

Registration Deadline: May 4, 2015 

Credits: Four (4) Act 48 Credit Hours



1st Wednesday of each month
May through October

We're kicking off the 2015 Carrie Furnaces tour season with our new Happy Hour with Carrie! 


Enjoy a one-hour tour of the Carrie Furnaces site. Each month you will get to explore a different portion of the National Historic Landmark site, where you will learn about the iron-making process and the impact of the industry on the region and the world. 


Tours begin at 6:00PM.  Following the tour, head over to the brewery/pub for a crafted brew by one of our local partners: Blue Dust, The Brew Gentlemen and Voodoo Brewery Homestead

Ticket price is $20 and includes your hour-long Carrie Furnaces Happy Hour Tour plus one beer.


Happy Hour with Carrie 2015 schedule -

May 6:
  Voodoo Brewery Homestead

June 3:  Blue Dust

July 1:   Brew Gentlemen

August 5:  Voodoo Brewery Homestead

September 2:  Blue Dust

October 7:  Brew Gentlemen


More details available through this link.

Walk, bike, ride the bus or drive to the Pump House at the Waterfront for the 
Rivers of Steel Festival on May 17! Our new festival is open from 10AM to 6PM, offering great activities, craft demonstrations, and open workshops along with fantastic local arts, crafts and foods. Activities span the outdoor site and the historical Pump House interior. Join us for a festive day highlighting our region's rich ethnic, cultural, and folk traditions - both old and new! 

CRAFTSMEN, ARTISTS, VENDORS - As part of this event, you can celebrate your heritage and talents by conducting a workshop, demonstrating your craft, promoting your efforts, and selling your wares. All participants must have an informational or demonstration element to their festival booth or program. Space is limited so please submit your application by April 15.

Restroom facilities and bike parking on site.   Applications available through this LINK.



Explore the magical mix of immigrants and industry that made Pittsburgh the steel-making capitol of the world! The tour includes

- Learn the HISTORY! An interactive presentation about the rise and fall of steel in Pittsburgh and what it was like to work in a mill 


Tour the HISTORY! Enjoy a guided tour of the awe-inspiring Carrie Blast Furnaces and bring your camera to capture the moment


- Explore the HISTORY! Visit the Historic Pump House, site of the 1892 Battle of Homestead 

- Savor the HISTORY! Conclude your experience with a delicious lunch featuring regional favorites such as stuffed cabbage rolls, pierogies and the beloved cookie table


Babushkas & Hard Hat Tours are available on these SATURDAYS:

 May 30, June 13, July 25, August 22, and September 19. 


Tours will begin at 10 AM at Station Square and will end at Station Square. 
Cost:  $85 per person - Tickets available through this link


 Tour details here. Transportation is provided from Station Square. 






Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile provides the same Amazon services and products you know and now enables you to support the mission of Rivers of Steel to preserve our historic heritage, provide new venues for exploration of this legacy and encourage new generations through our valuable historical and cultural amenities.


 Click here for more information on donating to the Rivers of Steel through Amazonsmile.

A RUST BELT Culinary Tour
SATURDAY - March 28
SATURDAY - April 11 and 25

In the early 1900s, The Steel Valley of Homestead, Munhall, and Braddock was home to immigrants from around the globe. These thriving towns, once dotted with retail shops, bakeries, backdoor gardens and many a beer hall, fell silent in the '80s when the mills closed, but now are a part of the Pittsburgh-area renaissance. The tour was created by Mary Miller, owner of The Fork and the Road, a regional culinary tour company, with shuttling provided by  a division of the Pittsburgh Transportation Group, in collaboration with the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.

Shake the winter chill visiting a renovated church hall, a modernized mill bar, and other revamped treasures of the still gritty mill towns to savor culinary delights that reflect the region's rich heritage as well as its now trendy rustbelt cuisine! Each 4-hour shuttled culinary tour, scheduled from 10:30AM to 2:30PM, provides more than enough food for a meal plus other surprises.

VOLUNTEER Opportunities at Carrie Furnaces

Photo by Kate Romance Productions
 Carrie Furnaces 2014 Big Table event
Sharing the dynamic story of our region's industrial and cultural life throughout the year is in no small part made possible through our team of volunteers and we thank each one for their efforts. Their assistance enables not only the maintaining of the sites, but ensures the stories and personal experiences continue to be a vibrant part of these valuable historic landmarks and the programs of Rivers of Steel.

A new year brings new challenges and we invite you to join us in ensuring our community's powerful story continues into the future. Rivers of Steel is always looking for hard workers who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty or working up a little sweat to help tackle the work necessary to maintain these priceless links to our heritage. 

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Angie Morini at: 
call us at  412-464-4020 ext. 31 for additional information.



carrie engine shop
Have you or your family members worked in the Pittsburgh Steel mills or shared stories of the days of BIG STEEL?  Do you have a passion for the region's history and want to share it with other?  Consider becoming a docent at Rivers of Steel's historic sites and share your history, heritage and stories with our visitors.

Rivers of Steel
is looking for docents  for the 2015 tour season who have a connection to Pittsburgh's steel industry and/or heritage. Docents will be asked to share their own steel-related stories as they lead tours and interpret our region's industrial history at the National Historic Landmark Carrie Blast Furnaces, the Bost Building, and the Pump House.

Interested individuals should contact Angie Morini at or 
412-464-4020 ext. 31 for information.




The Rivers of Steel Archives are open to the public for research (by appointment only) Monday-Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  

Research materials are available in the form of books, articles, audiovisual recordings, and archival material covering the steel and related industries, labor/unions, capital/industrialists and ethnic and cultural groups in Southwestern Pennsylvania as well as resources from across the nation.  

To make a research appointment, please call the Archives at 412-464-4020 Ext. 21, or search the collection online.

This month's archival photo:  

2000:19:002, Levy Collection, Print - The American Steel Industry - The Pay-Car at the Homestead Works; May 18, 1901 - front cover from Harper's Weekly



Society for Applied Anthropology celebrates social science theory

"Over the next five days, 1,800 members of the Society for Applied Anthropology won't just be listening to academic presentations in a hotel, they'll also be exploring the Carrie Furnace, the University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms and a fracking site, among other destinations, to learn more about the community that will host their 75th annual conference."



History's Alive in Pittsburgh!

" The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (pictured) and the Carrie Furnaces at the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area are among the cultural and historical attractions in Pittsburgh.




Dunbar to back oven project 

"Dunbar Borough Council plans to support a $30,000 grant-funded project that would stabilize the historic Uniondale/Reid Brothers Coke Works, which would serve as a future tourist attraction along the Sheepskin Trail of the Great Allegheny Passage."



"A bucket and skip car from U.S. Steel's former Duquesne Works site have been placed on display at the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin and Swissvale boroughs.


READ MORE at Tube City Online


W. A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop 

" The old foundry on the west bank of the Monongahela River once hummed with activity as turn-of-the-century machines cranked out parts for coal mines and riverboats."


Arts in the Parks 

" Art has been part of the history of national parks since the 1870s when Hudson River School painters captured majestic Western landscapes."


donate now 
Your donation to the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area supports the projects and programs that preserve Southwestern Pennsylvania's rich industrial and cultural heritage for future generations.
As a MEMBER of  Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, you can make a difference in preserving our cultural heritage, natural resources, recreational amenities and assist in economic development of our region. Membership benefits also include: 

*   10% discount in the gift shop 

*   FREE exhibit admission

*    INVITATIONS to members-only events and programming

*   2 COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS  to our Carrie Furnaces Tour


Thank you for supporting the efforts of Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area!