Thursday, May 23, 2019

Braddock's Battlefield History Center

   Well, is this a surprise to anybody? 

   The fact is, this particular spring is a good time to be back from the semi-sabbatical I chose to take, though it wasn't neatly planned out. In spite of promises in the past, you may of noted back on the post from 3-25-18, there were a few problematic concerns and issues as well, some of which still remain in effect. Regardless of my reasons, part of the fast moving, last half a year was simply spent in alternate work and differing research. 

   Braddock Battlefield History Center


   Located in the Mon Valley, 7 miles east of Pittsburgh, the small, but important museum was built in North Braddock, an old steel town  the 1980's steel crisis, itself embattled from labor union disputes, an area of toiling, striking miners and lost prosperity. The sad result: Braddock was slowly abandoned by 90 percent of its population. After all, this was the region of the Battle of Homestead, or Homestead Strike from July 1 - July 6, 1892. 

   Not far from the amusement parks of Kennywood and Sandcastle, which can now be reached by the Parkway East and local bus routes, the steel workers and private security forces of Pinkerton agents clashed violently under the direction of the absent owner, Andrew Carnegie and under the direct supervision of the disliked, reactionary coal boss, Henry Clay Frick. The defeat for unionization and setback led to the steel strike of 1919.

   The Center was created by a caring individual named Robert Messner, originally opening its doors on August 18, 2012. The grand purpose was to provide needful information in honor of the Battle of the Monongahela of July 9, 1755, in which General Edward Braddock led the British and American troops from Cumberland, Maryland via the famous 1755 Braddock Road to Braddock's Field in western Allegheny County to attack Fort Duquesne. The occasion and the building of the road is still justly celebrated in various places. There the British were seriously defeated by ambush by the French and Indian (Native American) forces in crossing the river. As the initial loss became a huge victory under the efforts of General John Forbes and Colonel Bouquet in 1758 with the taking of what soon became Fort Pitt at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegeny rivers, and the lasting achievement at the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763, so the town of Braddock has hopes of recovering some day soon from its heavy losses and working toward a brighter future and job growth helping to resettle the old place anew.


   The good news to repeat here:

   The Braddock Battlefield History Center at will be reopening on May 25. On December 28, 2018, the new stewardship was implemented by Fort Ligonier, in nearby Westmoreland County, (a great historical spot I revisited in the fall of 2018, but that is another story!). The curator is Erica Nuckles, while the address is 609 6th Street, Braddock, Pa 15104. Regular hours are 11 AM to 4 PM, but the museum opens this Saturday at 12:00 noon.

   Maybe this article will encourage other interested 'history buffers' to acquaint yourselves in the fine collections of relics, artifacts, paintings and coins available, while checking out their video room, maps and some 'on loan' items.


   I sincerely hope visitors, new and old, will back me with enthusiasm in the delivery of NEW posts previously planned that continue the "Fayette/Westmoreland Forgotten History" tradition afresh with further material adding to our exciting discoveries. Thanks for the patronage!


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