“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Coal Transportation

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Coal Transportation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
1. Coal Transportation Marker
Inscription.  Steamboats pushing coal barges transported vast amounts of bituminous coal from Pittsburgh to ports along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. Before the Ohio River locks and dams were built, low water was the major transportation problem faced by the mining companies. During periods of low water, barges could be docked along the riverbanks for months. When the rivers rose, the cry of "barge water" reverberated across the harbor, and the loaded barges were maneuvered into the river channel. Amidst boat whistles, smoke, and churning water, the coal fleet began its journey down river. In one 24-hour period, Pittsburghers could see millions of bushels of "black diamonds" being shipped from Pittsburgh's wharves.

The annual freight tonnage of coal at one time exceeded that of any other inland navigation system in the nation. Coal was, and still is, the most important commodity shipped on the three rivers.

The early coal industry relied on "manpower" to mine the coal and transport it on wooden barges. At the end of the journey, the barges were dismantled and the wood was sold. Carnegie Library of

Three Rivers Heritage Trail/Great Allegheny Passage image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
2. Three Rivers Heritage Trail/Great Allegheny Passage
Click or scan to see
this page online
Coal was transported down from Coal Hill (now Mt. Washington) by inclines and transferred through a tipple to waiting barges. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Barges waiting for high water choke the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Erected by Friends of the Riverfront, DCNR, Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, City of Pittsburgh, PHMC.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels.
Location. 40° 26.078′ N, 79° 59.084′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker is on Three Rivers Heritage Trail, 0.8 miles east of Grant Street, on the left when traveling east. Not accessible by motorized vehicle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Diamonds (here, next to this marker); Ormsby River Farms (here, next to this marker); Mercy Hospital (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oliver Iron and Steel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Immigrant Steel Workers (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pennsylvania Canal in Pittsburgh (approx. ¼ mile away); Pittsburgh Glass
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(approx. ¼ mile away); Panhandle Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
Also see . . .  Friends of the Riverfront. (Submitted on June 1, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 1, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

Paid Advertisements

Jun. 25, 2022