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Western PA History: Frontiers, forts, and factories  


As I got down before the canoe, I spent some time in viewing the rivers, and the land in the fork, which I think extremely well situated for a Fort, as it has the absolute command of both rivers.
George Washington, 1753

When George Washington chose the Forks of the Ohio as "well-situated for a fort," could he possibly have foreseen the how well-situated it was for a thriving 21st-century city? That triangle of land that became the city of Pittsburgh has had to "re-invent" itself a number of times in order to survive its 250 years.

Related subjects: Social studies, math, language arts

Grade levels: Adaptable 3-12 grades

FYI: Background article

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From frontiers to forts to factories

From a trading outpost to a military battlefield. . . from a tiny village to a city ablaze with industry. . . Pittsburgh and the region is constantly changing. Many clues to our past still exist, some as intentional tributes, and others, paying quiet testimony to the experiences that shaped us over the years.

Occasionally with great fanfare, and more often with subtle effort, Pittsburghers discovered new ways to adapt to the region's geography, make use of its natural resources, and establish the social and economic infrastructure necessary to thrive. Western Pennsylvania's history is not just a story of how our ancestors came to be where they were and do what they did; it is the story of how we came to be where we are and do what we do!

WQED'S Pittsburgh History Series will help us tell the story of six eras of western Pennsylvania history, which we title after Pittsburgh's past names or nicknames:



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