Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
June 30, 2008
From journal Positively Pittsburgh
, West Virginia
June 21, 2005
Don’t pass up this museum because of preconceived notions that it resembles a frontier
fort. It doesn’t.
You will find no blacksmiths, coopers, or guides in historic garb. Think of it as a history
museum that tells the story of an important war that shook four continents for 7 years
and longer and changed their borders and futures. As British statesman Horace
Walpole remarked, "A volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America set
the world on fire."
As a result of the Seven Years’ War in Europe, France surrendered to England colonial
holdings not only in America, but also in Africa and India, allowing the British to
proceed with empire. Russia emerged as a power. Hapsburgs’ borders were altered, and
so were Prussia’s. It was the first world war (without the capital letters) and one focus of
it was Fort Pitt, which guarded the American West from this point on the Forks of the Ohio. We
begin our tour with the model of the Fort on first floor.
Lights and audio explain the layout.
I recommend a visit to Duquesne or West End Overlook before coming here so that you
see the expanse of the rivers and imagine their importance to the development of this
country. However, if you miss that, the film at the beginning of the second-floor exhibit
should set you right, and illustrations create the mood.
You can read about the war at home, but come here to enjoy artwork and artifacts. Even
though much literature is posted, this museum owns some impressive items, such as early
maps and journals of George Washington. The journals were published in Williamsburg
in 1754 to popularize land acquisition by Virginia planters on the east bank of the Ohio
River. Governor Dinwiddie’s proclamation ordering such is also here.
Artwork on Braddock’s Wounding, Braddock’s Defeat, Braddock’s Retreat, etc. is
impressive. I especially like Edwin Willard Deming’s 1904 oil of Braddock’s
Defeat and Robert Griffing’s more recent The Wounding of General
Braddock that occurred just 7 miles east of here at Turtle Creek on the banks of
the Monongahela. A Charles Wilson Peale portrait, Washington in the Uniform of a
British Colonial Colonel, dates from 1772. My favorites, those of Braddock, include
renderings of the smoky primeval forest of the Monongahela.
The Blockhouse, one of four ordered by William Pitt, remains and is the oldest structure
west of the Alleghenies.
After a look at it, we enjoy walking in the park to appreciate land coveted by English,
French, and Indians. Today, locals are enjoying it, the site of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
From journal Three Rivers: Stages for Empires and Arts