McKeesport

Situated at the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny, McKeesport is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

The city’s first steel mill was established in 1851, and when National Tube Company opened operations in McKeesport in 1872, the city became the fastest growing municipality in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Families arrived from other parts of the eastern United States, as well as Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary to work at National Tube Company.

McKeesport rose to national prominence during the 1900s as a center for manufacturing steel.

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3 thoughts on “McKeesport”

  1. Many of my mother’s family lived (and some still do) in McKeesport. I love hearing her stories of the bakery where she worked as a teenager, the iconic St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, and playing on the cobble stone streets, which still exist. It has been difficult to watch that once-vibrant area become desolate over the years because it will always hold such rooted memories and history for my family.

  2. I lived in McKeesport with my two small children from 1979 to 1984. In those five years, the prosperous neighborhood where we lived (the Mayor was a neighbor) fell to ruin as the tube mill closed forever. Everything of value was swept away in a tidal wave of despair–jobs, homes, vehicles, families, the downtown shopping district–and hope went with them. This was before Pittsburgh’s high-tech renaissance, and decent-paying jobs could not be bought in the entire southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. Escape was the only solution. With the help of family members, I relocated with $1,500 in my pocket and my car. On a recent trip to the area, I discovered that my past in McKeesport has disappeared: the duplex where we lived=demolished; the school that my children attended=demolished; the Boy’s Club they loved=abandoned. The river bank where we fished for carp is still there.

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