“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)

Pennsylvania Canal in Pittsburgh

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Pennsylvania Canal in Pittsburgh Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
1. Pennsylvania Canal in Pittsburgh Marker
Inscription.  The Pennsylvania Canal was Pittsburgh's most important transportation system until the 1850s when railroads began to replace the old canal system. Irish workers dug the canal across the state from the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg to the Monongahela River.

When packet boats moved into the canal from the river, mules pulled the vessels through four canal locks to reach a spectacular tunnel built through Grant's Hill, where the courthouse stands today. Boats plunged into the dark tunnel and emerged near Liberty Avenue. This canal tunnel, one of the first built in the United States, was as impressive a structure as people in the 1830s had ever seen. Thirty-five years later, after the canal tunnel was abandoned, the Panhandle Railroad built a second tunnel near the abandoned canal tunnel.

When the canal opened through Pittsburgh in 1831, a great ceremony was held on this site at Lock #1, known as the Washington Lock. This lock was constructed to join two famous canal systems—the Pennsylvania Canal and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O) coming from the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. The never made it this far north.


Three Rivers Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
2. Three Rivers Heritage Trail
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the Washington Lock is buried beneath the Parkway East.

Canal tunnel and adjacent railroad tunnel found as foundation for U.S. Steel Buildings is excavated. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Packet boat pulled by mule through canal tunnel. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Map of canal through Pittsburgh with tunnel locations and site of photograph indicated

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 & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels.
Location. 40° 25.905′ N, 79° 59.291′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker is on Three Rivers Heritage Trail 0.4 miles east of South 4th Street, on the left when traveling east. Not accessible by motorized vehicle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15203, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pittsburgh Glass (here, next to this marker); Panhandle Railroad (here, next to this marker); Oliver Iron and Steel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ormsby River Farms (approx. ¼ mile away); Black Diamonds

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(approx. ¼ mile away); Coal Transportation (approx. ¼ mile away); St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Immigrant Steel Workers (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
Also see . . .  Friends of the Riverfront. (Submitted on June 2, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on June 2, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   2. submitted on June 1, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Jun. 12, 2021