Fort Pitt Museum: Senator John Heinz History Center

Fort Pitt Museum: Senator John Heinz History Center


The Fort Pitt Museum is located in Point State
Park, the Golden Triangle of Pittsburgh. The museum itself focuses on the history of the
region starting with the French & Indian War and going right on through the 1790s.
Part of what we want to do here is tell the stories of the real people who lived in early
Pittsburgh and were stationed at Fort Pitt. One of our reconstructed spaces here is a
trader’s cabin. Fort Pitt, in addition to being an important military outpost, was also an
important economic outpost. Over 200,000 deer hides a year, at times, passed through the
fort, and so the trading of goods – everything from firearms and weapons to cloth and silk
ribbons – were all part of the trade with Native Americans. We try to have as many hands-on experiences
as we can. We have the display of how our artillery was used here at the fort. Folks
can come play around with another British cannon from the period. We have a 16-foot diorama, and it represents
Pittsburgh as it would have looked in about 1765 I’ve been coming to the Fort Pitt Museum
since I was a child. My own passion has always been about the history of the Ohio country, and
so the opportunity to share the stories is something that I’m very passionate about.
What I hope people take away from a visit to the Fort Pitt Museum is that this really
is the birth place of Pittsburgh, and I hope they come to appreciate better just how important
Western Pennsylvania was to the history of the United States.

One comment

  1. Though I really enjoyed the Fort Pitt museum as a young boy I'm a little disappointed at the "new and improved" displays in the museum. What happened to all those wonderful dioramas they used to have there? I can say as a child these scenes really captured my imagination. All I remember being left over are the models of the fort and nothing that help tell the story of the fort's history.

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