Welcome to the Historic Pump House

Battle of HomesteadVisit the site of one of American Labor's bloodiest battles and learn about the events leading to the 1892 Homestead Strike and Lockout.

In the early morning hours of July 6, 1892, at the Pump House of the Carnegie Steel Company's Homestead Works, thousands of workers, their families and supporters, armed with sticks, rocks, and guns rushed to meet two barges coming up the Monongahela River.  The barges carried 300 Pinkerton guards who had been sent to protect the works during the Homestead Strike and Lockout.  After a bitter day of conflict that left seven strikers and three Pinkerton men dead and dozens of others wounded, the guards surrendered.  They were then forced to "run a bloody gauntlet" while being lead to a temporary jail at the Homestead Opera House until they were sent out of town by rail the next morning.

Battle of HomesteadHenry Clay Frick, Andrew Carnegie's partner, convinced Pennsylvania governor Pattison that Homestead was under "mob rule" and on July 12, 1892 8,000 state militiamen entered Homestead. The strike and lock out continued until November when unskilled laborers asked to be released from their strike pledge. Two days later, the strike ended - the union had been broken. The Battle of Homestead signaled the end of union activity in the steel industry until the 1930s.

Listen as Ron Baraff talks about the Battle of Homestead on Essential Pittsburgh.

Click here for information on the Pump House structures and the Battle of Homestead.  Click here for a copy of the National Historic Landmark application for this site. 

The Pump House Today

Bike-Friendly Eco Center

Bikes at the Pump HouseThe Historic Pump House location is a trailhead of the Great Allegheny Passage which encompasses the Steel Valley Trail in the Mon Valley.  Rivers of Steel welcomes cyclists to the property to enjoy bike-amenities such as restrooms in the nearby Water Tower, bike racks, benches and picnic tables.  All parking is at your own risk.  Rivers of Steel is not responsible for damage or theft to vehicles or vehicle contents.  

Event Rental Opportunities
The Historic Pump House is a great location for small-scale events and intimate weddings and gatherings.  The maximum person capacity inside the building is 150.  Limited electricity is available. Restrooms are located in the nearby Water Tower. To rent The Historic Pump House for private events or indoor photography appointments, contact Stacy Drane at 412-464-4020 ext. 232 or sdrane@riversofsteel.com.



The 45-Inch Mill

The 45-Inch Mill
Constructed in 1942 as part of Homestead's World War II expansion, the 45-inch mill was in operation until the early 1980s.