Greater Pittsburgh Area

Allegheny Arsenal | Fort Anderson | Fort Black | Camp Brooks | Fort Brunot | Bull Creek BH
Chartier's Town | Fort Chess | Fort Childs | Coe's Station | Camp Copeland | Couch's Fort (2)
Fort Crawford (2) | Fort Croghan (3) | Fort Dunmore | Fort Duquesne | Fort Ely | Ewing's BH
Fort Fayette | Fort Franklin (4) | Fraser's Post (2) | Camp Fremont | Fort Fulton
Hand's Blockhouses (2) | Fort Herron | Fort Herron Hill | Camp Howe | Fort Jackson
Fort Jones | Fort Kirkwood | Fort LaFayette | Fort Laughlin | Fort Lytle | Fort McKee (4)
Fort McKeever | Fort McKinley | Fort McKnight | Fort Mahoney | Fort Mechanic | Fort Mercer
Mercer's Fort | Camp Montgomery | Myers' BH | Myres' BH | Fort Negley | Fort Ormsby
Orr's BH | Fort Pitt | Pittsburgh Arsenal | Pittsburgh Defenses | Fort Prince George
Rayburn's BH | Camp Reynolds | Fort Schultz | Camp Scott (2) | Fort Smalls
Fort Squirrel Hill | Camp Swearinger | Trent's Fort | Turtle Creek Camp | Whitaker's BH
Camp Wilkins | Fort Wood | Camp Wright | Fort Zug

Pittsburgh's Cold War AAA Defenses

Southeast Pennsylvania - page 1 | Northeast Pennsylvania - page 2
Central Pennsylvania - page 3 | Southern Pennsylvania I - page 4
Southern Pennsylvania II - page 5 | Southwest Pennsylvania - page 6
Northwest Pennsylvania - page 7


Last Update: 31/MAY/2020
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2020 American Forts Network

Bull Creek Blockhouse
(1783 - unknown), Tarentum
A Pennsylvania state militia post located at the mouth of Bull Creek. Also known as Capt. Orr's Blockhouse. A replica is located in Riverview Park.

Fort Crawford (2) ?
(1778 - 1780), Logan's Ferry
A stockade built by Col. William Crawford and used by the Virginia state militia, located below the mouth of Pucketa Creek. May have been in use in 1791 by the Pennsylvania state militia. Stone monument (1942) at site on the grounds of the Logan's Ferry Presbyterian Church. See also Massy Harbison - Fort Hand Chapter, DAR

Chartier's Town
(1749, 1752), near McKees Rocks
A British trading post was located here at a Shawnee Indian village at the mouth of Chartiers Creek. The French under Capt. Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville evicted them in 1749. British trader Christopher Gist returned in 1752 after the Treaty of Logstown was concluded (June 1752).

Gen. Edward Hand's Blockhouses (2)
(1777), Crafton
Two Patriot log blockhouses that protected a hospital camp.

Fort Pitt
(Point State Park)
(Fort Pitt Museum - Heinz History Center)
(1761 - 1772, 1778 - 1784/1792), Pittsburgh FORT WIKI #1 || FORT WIKI #2
A Virginia colonial militia outpost, Fort Prince George (aka Capt. William Trent's Fort), was first located here in April 1754 (originally proposed two miles downriver on the Ohio on "Fort Hill" at McKees Rocks), but the French soon captured and destroyed it. The French then soon built Fort Duquesne at the point, but they burned it down to prevent its capture by the British in November 1758. It was an 80-feet square log stockade, with earthen outer works along the Allegheny River. See also PA state marker - Fort Duquesne and PA state marker - Forbes Road. The British built the stockaded Fort Mercer (or Capt. Hugh Mercer's Fort) in the winter of 1758 - 1759 (its stone magazine stood until 1852, now the site of a railroad terminal) as a temporary defense until Fort Pitt was completed.

The much larger Fort Pitt was completed in 1761, only to be abandoned in 1772. It was unsuccessfully attacked by Pontiac in June 1763. Five brick blockhouses were built outside the fort in 1764. Only one still exists, Bouquet's Redoubt, the oldest structure in western Pennsylvania, operated by the Fort Pitt Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. See also PA state marker and PA state marker - Fort Pitt Blockhouse. The fort was claimed and known as Fort Dunmore by Virginia after 1772, but VA militia troops are not known to have been posted here until 1778, garrisoning the fort (also with Continental Patriot troops) until the end of the American Revolution. The fort then became a Federal military supply depot until 1792, when it was finally abandoned. The Fort Pitt Museum is located within the reconstructed Monongahela Bastion, now operated by the Heinz History Center. The Flag Bastion has also been reconstructed. Admission fee.
PHOTOS by John Hamill

Fort Fayette
(1791 - 1814), Pittsburgh
Also known as Fort La Fayette, it was built after Fort Pitt was abandoned and the town residents demanded continued military protection against the Indians. It was a stockade with four bastions, three two-story blockhouses, two-story log barracks and Officers' quarters, and a brick powder magazine. It was proposed to be named Fort Franklin (4). It was used as the main rear supply base during General Wayne's campaign in 1792, and also during 1812 - 1814 as Commodore Perry's supply base. The Edison Hotel is now located at the site on Penn Ave. and Hand (Tenth) Street. See also PA state marker #2

Allegheny Arsenal
(1814 - 1909), Pittsburgh *PHOTO* FORT WIKI
A Federal arsenal that was a major supplier of small-arms munitions during the Mexican War and the Civil War. Also called Pittsburgh Arsenal. A magazine explosion in September 1862 killed 78 workers, mostly young women. A monument to those killed is located in Allegheny Cemetery. The city sold the abandoned complex at auction in 1926. The site is located at 40th and Butler Streets in the old Lawrenceville area (founded 1834). Some relics are at Arsenal Park. A powder magazine (1817) still exists at Arsenal Park, now used as a city maintenance shed and public restrooms.

Pittsburgh Civil War Defenses
(1863 - 1864), Pittsburgh area
In June 1863 feverish attempts were made to surround the city with extensive earthwork fortifications. There were a total of 18 redoubts, 16 detached batteries, and one bastioned fort, built along a 12 to 15-mile line around the city, but most were never completely finished. Only one work was ever garrisoned, and most were probably never armed. There was never a real threat from Confederate invasion. The works survived for several decades.
North of the Allegheny River were:
Fort No. One, aka Fort McKee (4), a redoubt located on "Cemetery Hill" (Uniondale Cemetery) in Manchester, on Colfax Street near Island Ave.. No remains.
Fort No. Two, aka Fort Brunot or Fort McKeever, a square redoubt located in North Side (formerly Allegheny City) along present-day Marshall Ave. on the grounds of Pressley Ridge School. Possible trace remains.
Fort No. Three, a redoubt located on "Robinson's Hill" in North Side near present-day Marshall Ave. and Perrysville Ave.. No remains.
Fort No. Four, aka Fort Fulton or Fort Childs, a 75-yard diameter circular redoubt located in Spring Hill, due east of Fort Three, south of Williams Road, south of the present-day Northview Heights housing project. Portion of walls still extant in the heavily wooded area near the base of a radio mast tower.
Fort No. Five, aka Fort Kirkwood, a redoubt located on "Lowrie's Hill" in Millvale, on Logan Street near St. Nicholas Cemetery. No remains.

South of the Allegheny River in the "East End" area were:
An unnamed redoubt located in Morningside along the river opposite Sharpsburg, north of Greenwood Street up the hill from Duffield Street. No remains. A supporting battery was to the southeast along the western ridge of the Morningside Valley, along present-day Duffield Street. No remains.
Fort Croghan (3), a battery located on "Black Horse Hill" at present-day Stanton Ave. and Morningside Street, near the Stanton Heights Shopping Center. Trace remains in wooded area.
Fort Negley, a redoubt located on "Winebiddle Hill" west of Negleystown, at present-day Hillcrest Street off North Fairmont. No remains. A supporting battery was to the southeast downhill of the fort, above present-day Negley Ave.. No remains.
An unnamed redoubt located on "Davis' Hill", above Winebiddle Street at the end of Hillcrest Street, at the present-day Fort Pitt School playground. No remains. Two supporting batteries were located to the south at Bloomfield (Winebiddle Street south of Penn Ave.), and to the southwest along present-day Penn Ave. just west of Allegheny Cemetery, now St. Francis Hospital. No remains.
Another battery was located south of present Penn Ave. near Main Street at the northern end of the Bloomfield Bridge. No remains.

In the "Uptown" area were:
Fort Herron, aka Fort Herron Hill, a strong battery located on Herron's Hill. It was completed and garrisoned by a local militia unit. The original proposed name was to be Fort Ely. The site became the Herron Hill Reservoir in 1872. Some outer trenchworks survived until the 1920's.
Fort Anderson, a battery located along the old Braddock Road, now Fifth Ave., in the Oakland area. Site now part of the "Upper Campus" of Pittsburgh University, along University Drive. No remains.
Fort Zug, a battery located in the West Oakland area, on the ridge behind the Fifth Ave. entrance to Iron City College. No remains.
An unnamed battery was located on "Gazzam's Hill", just west of present-day Robinson Street, near Burrows Street. The hill was leveled for development in the 1940's. No remains.
Another unnamed battery (or two adjacent batteries) was located above present-day Soho Street near Aliquippa Street, at the northern end of the Birmingham Bridge. No remains.
Fort Mahoney, a vague reference to this name is made for the area at Webster Ave. and Roberts Street. This location does not correspond with any known sites shown on period maps.

South of the Ohio River in the West End area was:
An unnamed battery located on a bluff ("River Hill") near the mouth of Saw Mill Run, near today's West End Overlook. No remains.

On Brunot's Island near McKees Rocks a battery was planned in December 1860 during a local crisis to prevent the shipment of heavy ordnance from the Allegheny Arsenal to the south. It may or may not have actually been emplaced. One gun was actually emplaced below the city at "Glass House Riffle" (location ?).

Located in Crafton was an unnamed redoubt sometimes referred to as the Crow's Nest, covering the Steubenville Pike approach from the Chartiers Creek Valley. Site now on a rise above East Steuben Street, bounded by Clairtonica, Round Top, and Strathmore Streets. Hollywood Street dead-ends in the interior of the former earthwork. No remains.

South of the Monongahela River in the "South Hills" area were:
Fort Robert Smalls, a circular redoubt located on "McGuire's Hill" at the mouth of Becks Run, built by the city's free blacks. Survived until the 1940's, site located in Arlington Heights area on the rise beside Devlin Street and St. Peter's Cemetery. No remains.
Fort Laughlin, aka Fort McKinley or Fort Ormsby, a circular redoubt located on "Ormsby's Hill", site now Arlington Park on Arlington Ave., bounded by Fernleaf, Salisbury, Sterling, and Fort Hill Streets. No remains.
Fort Jones, a redoubt located in Mount Oliver. Possibly also known as Fort Jackson. Razed in 1868 for St. Joseph's Church at 438 Ormsby Ave.. No remains.
An unnamed redoubt was located in the Allentown area, site now on Proctor Way between Arlington Ave. and Amanda Street. Razed soon after the war. No remains. A supporting battery was located northwest, east of Grandview Park, near present-day McLain Street and Beltzhoover Blvd.. No remains.
An unnamed redoubt was located on the hill in present Grandview Park (1879) at Beltzhoover and Bailey Aves.. Site was leveled in the 1890's to build the still extant water storage tanks. A brick powder magazine was located nearby at Washington and Beltzhoover Aves.. No remains.
Fort Mechanic, a strong battery located on "Coal Hill" in the Mt. Washington area. It was reported completed with a public flag raising on June 27, 1863. Site on Bailey Ave., just west of the Monongahela Incline (1870), behind the cell phone tower and housing complex on 122 Bailey Ave. No remains.
Fort McKnight, a redoubt located in the Mt. Washington area at old Cowanville. Razed after the war, site now the play field behind the Prospect School (1871, 1931) at Prospect and Cowan Streets. No remains.
An unnamed redoubt (Fort Wood ?) was located on "Coal Hill" in the Duquesne Heights area, site now behind the Duquesne Incline (1877) upper station, in the block bounded by Virginia Ave., Oneida, Meridan, and West Sycamore Streets. No remains.
An unnamed redoubt was located overlooking the mouth of Saw Mill Run, at the north end of present-day Fingal Street near Reese Street. Site now housing and a radio station. No remains. A supporting battery was located just south, site now a graded terrace and fill deposit behind (west of) a ballfield on Bradley Street. Possible trenchwork trace remains.
An unnamed circular redoubt (Fort Wood ? or Fort Schultz ?) was located on the back side of "Coal Hill" to cover the southern approach from the Saw Mill Run valley. The still extant earthwork is located near the south end of Fingal Street, within the Duquesne Heights Greenway, a city-owned nature reserve. This work, although overgrown, is the best remaining example of all the area defense works.

In the Greenfield area was:
Fort Black, aka Fort Chess, Fort Lytle, or Fort Squirrel Hill, a massive bastioned earthwork fort that was completed, and remained standing until demolished in 1928. Site now on Bigelow Street between Parade and Shields Streets. No remains. A brick powder magazine was built nearby on present-day Beechwood Blvd. at Alger Street (or Kaercher Street at Greenfield Road ?). No remains.

Located in Turtle Creek was an unnamed redoubt on "McKinney's Hill", behind the Braddock Cemetery off Wolff Ave.. No remains.

Camp Copeland (August 1863 - May 1865), aka Camp Reynolds, Braddock, a regional recruitment camp located at "Braddock's Field", the site of the 1755 Battle of Monongahela. Site became a massive steel manufacturing complex in the late 19th century, but closed in the early 1980's.
Camp Wilkins (April-May 1861, April-December 1862), Pittsburgh, a temporary recruitment camp located at the old Allegheny County Fairgrounds, between 29th and 32nd Streets (within the present-day "Strip District"), and extending along the railroad to Lawrenceville. Replaced by Camp Wright, but re-opened the following year.
Camp Wright (May 1861 - January 1862), Oakmont, site near the Carnegie Library at 700 Allegheny River Blvd., near the old Hulton railroad station.
Camp Howe (June-December 1862, June 1863, July 1864), Oakland, located in the area once known as "Linden Grove", in the vicinity of the 3500 block of Forbes Ave..
Camp Scott (2) (July-August 1861), South Oakland.
Camp Fremont (August 1861), Oakland.
Camp Montgomery (October-December 1862), Oakland.
Camp Swearinger (June-July 1863), Shadyside.
Camp Brooks (June-July 1863), North Side (Allegheny City).

(special thanks to Bill McCarthy for providing info on Pittsburgh's Civil War Defenses)

John Fraser's Post (2)
(1753 - 1754), Port Perry
A British trading post that was relocated from Venango because of the French.

Turtle Creek Camp
(1755), near Wall
The site of the last British encampment during General Braddock's Campaign before the fateful Battle of Monongahela (July 1755).

Pioneer Forts of Allegheny County and/or
(1770's - 1790's), various locations
Coe's Station (1778 ? - ?), Springdale, one mile below Fort Crawford. PA state militia troops were posted here in 1793.
Couch's Fort (2) (1770's - 1790's), Bethel Park, also noted in use during the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion. The fort's spring reportedly still flows.
Ewing's Blockhouse (1770's - 1780's), Collier Township, two miles from Carnegie along Ewingsville Road. Still in use in 1782.
Myres' Blockhouse (1770's - ?), near Braddock, at mouth of Turtle Creek. Also spelled Myers.
Rayburn's Blockhouse (1770's - ?), Turtle Creek
Whitaker's Blockhouse (1777 - ?), McKeesport

Cold War AAA Defenses of Pittsburgh
(1952 - 1958), Pittsburgh area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Pittsburgh (East) (1952 - 1955): at Frick Park.
Blawnox (1952 - 1958): on Blawnox Prison Farm Road at Allegheny County Prison Work Farm (now RIDC Industrial Park).
Etna (1952 - 1958): at Middle Road and South Magnolia Drive, above PA 8 and Saxonburg Blvd..
Pittsburgh (North) (aka Millvale) (1952 - 1958): on McKnight Road (US 19 By) in Ross Township (now Ross Park Mall).
West View (1952 - 1958): on Logan Drive off Gass Road. A NIKE radar control site (PI-93 C) was built in 1956 adjacent to the gun site on Valley Hi Drive.
Kenmawr (1952 - 1958): on Phillips Road.
Moon Run (1952 - 1958): on Planet Way.
Heidelberg (1952 - 1958): on Collier Street.
Bridgeville (1952 - 1958): on Cook School Road.
Broughton (1952 - 1955): at South Park.
Brentwood (1952 - 1955): on Brentwood Road.
West Mifflin (1952 - 1955): at Kennywood Park.

NIKE missile defense sites (1955 - 1974) are beyond the scope of this website.

See also Cold War Air Defense of Pittsburgh by Thomas Koedel

Southeast Pennsylvania - page 1 | Northeast Pennsylvania - page 2 | Central Pennsylvania - page 3
Southern Pennsylvania I - page 4 | Southern Pennsylvania II - page 5 | Southwest Pennsylvania - page 6
Northwest Pennsylvania - page 7

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