Ethnographic Surveys

The Ethnographic Survey Project was conducted in 1992–1993, and 1997, to survey areas within Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.  The region encompasses seven counties, including: Armstrong, Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette,Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

The goal of the survey was to gather via oral history interviews, photographs and other misc. fieldwork, information about cultural life (historic and present) in the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in order to develop a cultural context and inventory of resources for cultural conservation planning in the region. Information gleaned fell into the following categories:

  1. Historical Overview of the Community/Communities
  2. Ethnic/Racial
  3. Religious
  4. Family/Community
  5. Environmental/Geographical

The surveys encompassed the following locations:

Selected Boroughs along the Allegheny River

  • Millvale
  • Etna
  • Sharpsburg
  • Aspinwall
  • Blawnox
  • Verona

Alle-Kiski Valley

  • New Kensington
  • Arnold
  • Braeburn
  • Tarentum
  • Brackenridge
  • Natrona
  • West Natrona
  • Natrona Heights

Armstrong County

Asian Communities

Beaver County

Bloomfield, East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Morningside, Shadyside




Fayette County

Homestead Area

  • Homestead
  • Duquesne
  • Munhall
  • West Homestead
  • West Mifflin

Homewood, East Liberty, Point Breeze and Highland Park

Lower Armstrong County

  • Apollo
  • Dayton
  • Freeport
  • Kiskimere
  • Leechburg
  • Schenley
  • Yatesboro
  • Hyde Park
  • Lower Burrell
  • North Apollo
  • North Vandergrift
  • New Mine
  • Smicksburg
  • Washington Township

McKeesport and Glassport

Monongahela Valley

  • Braddock
  • McKees Rocks
  • Marianna
  • Rice’s Landing

The North Side

Oakland and the Hill District


South Pittsburgh

  • West End
  • Mount Washington
  • South Side
  • Hazelwood

Squirrel Hill and Greenfield 

The Strip District, Lawrenceville, Polish Hill and Stanton Heights 


Turtle Creek Valley

  • East Pittsburgh
  • Turtle Creek
  • Wilmerding
  • Crestas Terrace/Boyd Hill/Port Perry

Washington County

Westmoreland County and Forward Township


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.