Clairton is a city in Allegheny County, Pa., along the Monongahela River. It is home to Clairton Works, the largest coke manufacturing facility in the United States.
At the turn of the 20th century, Crucible Steel Company acquired a large tract along the Monongahela River, about 13 miles south of Pittsburgh. Soon thereafter, the Carnegie Steel Company (which later became U.S. Steel) built an integrated steel mill and coke production facility, which eventually became one of the world’s largest.
With the decline of the steel industry in the 1980s, Clairton began to experience severe employment problems and a declining tax base, which spurred major economic distress to the community. Pennsylvania’s Department of Community Affairs designated Clairton as a distressed municipality in 1988.
MORE TO COME…
I lived in Charleroi for 12 years. These are impactful photos. This is steel town baby. You are capturing it. It would be nice to see a feature on the ethnic clubs. All these towns.. every one have clubs for the French, The Italian, the French, the Slovaks and like for myself the Belgians. My grandfather was a charter member of the Belgium club in Charleroi. That is where the stories were told. In the bars on the hills of the valley overlooking the mills. There are great people in these valleys. Most hard working. Most from Eastern European descent. My Dad was a machinist in the Monessen mill and left in 1962 because he saw the writing on the wall and moved to work in Maryland. I look forward to more and more of your wonderful work.
Thanks Thomas. I plan to keep getting deeper into the story. Definitely want to capture more of the ethnic culture of the area.
I second Thomas’s comment about the ethnic clubs. I have always wondered about the clubs – what they were like in the steel heyday – and what services they provide now. Fantastic work all around.