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stockade of Fort Duquesne first cast its shadows on the spot. Of this place a local historian, Neville B. Craig, fittingly writes: “Great Britain, France, and Great Britain again, Virginia, the United States, and Pennsylvania again, have each in turn ex
ercised sovereignty here. Twice it (Fort Duquesne) has been captured in war; first by Contrecoeur in 1754, and by Forbes in 1758. Once besieged by Indians in 1763, once blown up and burned by the French in 1758, it was the field of controversy between neighboring states in 1774, and finally of the civil war (“Whiskey Insurrection') in 1794.” To-day the redoubt, or “block-house,” built by Colonel Bouquet in 1764 still exists. In its weather-beaten logs are seen the peculiar openings through which were pointed the flint-locks of the beleaguered
Aones long ago. Pigeons flutter about this
quaint building, whose surroundings are Milesian rather than aboriginal. Mrs. Lee is a lady with a sunset tint in her hair, and the quickness of temper that usually accompanies capillary ruddiness. “A quaint old building this,” remarks
the stranger at the portals of Pittsburgh's oldest house. “If it's acquainted wid this house ye are, I wud be axin' yez for why I am payin' the sum of foive dollars the month's rint for the same, an’ bud the two rooms of it, an’ the lady kapin’ shtore on the flure below, an' payin' only the thriflin sum of four dollars, an’ she wid a fine big room.” This volley from the ancient redoubt failing to disclose a foe, a lull ensued, explanations followed, and Mrs. Lee and her brood of little ones and the fluttering pigeons were left in quiet possession of the block-house of departed Duquesne.
FROM THE BELL TOWER.
The stone tablet placed by Colonel Bouquet over the doorway of this centenarian among btuildings now fills an honored place in the new city buildings of Pittsburgh, whose tower affords the stranger a handsome view of the smoky blocks and bustling streets and tall spires, framed in everlasting smoke or fire, as the viewer chooses day or night for his trip to the roof of the City Hall.
This stone tablet and the old redoubt alone remain to suggest the Pittsburgh of a century ago. A great dépôt covers the site of the ancient fort, and a monstrous steel-works vomits flame and smoke from the spot made memorable by General Braddock's defeat in July, 1755. Taken all in all, the Pittsburgh of to-day is one of the yost interesting places on this continent. The watery forks of our great Y compress the growing city until its crowded streets are prolonged eastwardly, while in the angles of our symbol are found the “South Side” of the city proper, the sister city of Allegheny, and the busy, thriving suburbs. To the latter the careworn Pittsburgher flees when his daily duties end, glad to escape for the time the all-pervading soot and smoke. Up the two rivers that are nearing their end, and down the new-born stream, the hills and vales are covered with thriving settlements, all integral parts of one busy whole,
and combining to form virtually but a single community of a quarter of a million souls. Topographically its varied surface is not its least charm. Mountain and bluff, stream and ravine, have until recently defied the skill of the engineer and of the street-maker. That liberality and pluck have triumphed is evident to any of our readers who, journeying Pittsburgh ward, will patronize the nerve-trying “inclines” that scale the bold cliffs of Coal Hill, and view the tripartite valley from the summit. It is a view that will repay a very long journey. Eye and ear must long bear witness to the eloquence of the sights and sounds enjoyed, and it is doubtful whether any equal area in this broad republic would so forcibly suggest to the stranger what is meant by a busy, energetic, and wealthy manufacturing city. Aside from her great industries, Pittsburgh, as the head of navigation on the Ohio, claims attention, and extends her influence along the 18,000 miles of navigable streams attainable by her river steamers. This influence she retains in spite of the rapid growth of that great destroyer of river trade, the railway. On either side of the three valleys that radiate from Pittsburgh are found the omni
present parallel lines of rails, six arms of .
a great cuttle-fish, whose body is the
smoky city, and whose suction disks are the station-houses that draw the life from the trade of each stream. On the Alleghany this trade has long disappeared entirely; the Monongahela bears upon its slack-watered current a line of fine boats that have existed since the earliest days of steam navigation, but whose business begins to feel railway encroachment. The Ohio is plied by a line of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh packets, and by smaller craft earning a precarious existence between “way” points, but the glory of the river is departed. And yet, at favorable stages of water in the fickle Ohio, the levee at Pittsburgh shows most animated scenes. A stranger reaching the city during a stage of water favorable for boating—say four to eight feet of water in the channel—would be treated to a most interesting sight on the . Monongahela Wharf, between that manypiered and venerable structure the Monongahela Suspension - Bridge and the “Point.” This scene is especially characteristic when witnessed from the upper or “hurricane” deck of some big 1000-ton steamer. The observer is reminded of nothing so much as of a freshly disturbed ant-hill. This simile is borne out by
the action of the double stream of big black “rousters,” i.e., colored boat hands. As these pass in opposite directions over the gang-plank, each biped ant bears, not a milk-white egg, but a fat sack of bran as to the out-goers, or a box of glass or bar of steel as to the incoming procession. This double process goes on until the great hull has exchanged its St. Louis freight for Pittsburgh's products. And so skillfully is this same hull fashioned and adapted to the precarious channels of Western rivers, that, with a thousand tons of freight aboard, a Pittsburgh and St. Louis passenger and freight boat will scarcely “draw” four and a half feet of water. And in this way, during the first three months of 1880, 10,000 tons per month of the varied products of Pittsburgh's fieryhearted furnaces were wafted by steam and current 3500 miles toward the setting sun. Kindly showers thus washed away 30,000 tons of freight from the railroads.
But the magic wand which most potently transforms the river-front of Pittsburgh, which brings intense energy out of apathy, which turns day to night and silence into a Babel of sounds, is the sudden advent of a “coal-boat” stage of water, i. e.,
From The hurrica NE DECK.
anything over eight feet. This occurs when both rivers, swelled by rapid thaw or continued rains, send down their quickened tides, so that both freshets reach the Ohio at the same time. About the mouth of the Monongahela, or safely moored in its slack-water “pools,” float hundreds of great clumsy craft that have the draught of a small ocean steamer. These are laden deep with millions of bushels of the wonderful bituminous coal and matchless coke of Western Pennsylvania. The coal, in glistening irregular cubes, is fresh from a hundred collieries up the beautiful Monongahela Valley, and the coke, in huge barges that hold 35,000 bushels each, is the output of the adjacent regions, where 5000 coke ovens blacken the fair land and sky with their dense smoke. In 1879 62,000,000 bushels of coal and 3,500,000
bushels of coke passed through the locks of the Monongahela, dependent for its going upon the caprice of Jupiter Pluvius. These awkward-looking boats, with their load of carbon, may have lain thus for months, while the price of their cargoes has doubled in the far-off markets for which they were loaded, and their owners are moved to profanity, or pray for rain to float off their waiting cargoes. Pittsburgh is the home of 130 tow-boats of a pattern incomprehensible to Eastern eyes, for they do not “tow,” but push. Their homeliness is outweighed by their bull-dog tenacity of purpose, when it comes to their legitimate business of harbor and long-trip towing of cumbersome fleets of coal-laden craft. These are lashed in a solid fleet, of which the steamer is the hindmost hull. In cost these craft range from the perfectly appointed monster representing a fortune of $50,000 and the power of 1700 horses, down to the battered veteran that might bring $2000. This motley fleet is huddled in port, each boat ready and anxious to move these coal craft over the hundreds or thousands of miles of tortuous Ohio or muddy Missis-sippi. Their fires are laid and their boilers are filled, and when the coalboat stage comes at last it finds Pittsburgh boats and their crews galvanized into intense action. It may be that this long-expected rise is an affair of a single day, or of forty-eight hours’ duration at best. The rivers of Pittsburgh rise and fall like a jack-inthe-box. There may be three feet of water on Saturday, thirteen on Sunday, and Monday's sunset will redden “six feet scant” in the channel. Between these extremes is the tide which, taken at the flood, leads the coal fleet to Southern and Western markets, and brings long-deferred cash to the shippers. The amount of systematically directed energy, backed by experience and ability, necessary to get out a coal shipment of, say, 10,000,000 bushels (twenty-six and a half bushels to
AT THE LOCK.
the ton), in thirty-six hours, can hardly be fittingly described. The small, oldfashioned locks of the Monongahela dams are gateways utterly inadequate to the task of passing the fleets of barges and steamers and flats and boats that await their turn. Crews, and boats, and big ropes, and rolling smoke, and puffing steam, and shouting men, are features in a scene only to be witnessed, even in Pittsburgh, when there comes a sudden rise after a long season of low water. But at last the rearmost craft gets through, and joins the emancipated throng of boats that are slowly steaming down the winding Ohio. Each boat has charge of her “tow,” the latter consisting of from five to twenty-five big square boats, holding in all from 50,000 to 600,000 bushels of solid carbon. This coal is mined along the Monongahela Valley and up the valley of jawracking Youghiogheny. The coal seams lie in most cases far above the level of the river, and in the older pits the coal has been removed for a distance of three miles from the water's edge. The mouths of these ink-black tunnels show far up the green-walled hill-sides. From these inky spots issue noisy cars that rush down the “incline,” bang against the “tipple,”
and discharge their contents over sloping “screens” into the waiting boat or barge below. And back and forth in these gloomy pits stalk the forlornest of mules, solemn visaged, and wearing a bandage over one eye in a way suggestive of some subterranean difference of opinion. This bandaging is done for the good of the beast, which, unbandaged, will “shy” over to one side and bang his anatomy against the wall, but the drapery does not add to his beauty in the least. For half a century this undermining of these everlasting hills has been going on, until they rest their strata upon posts or upon thousands of columns of coal in the abandoned mines beneath. An acre of coal, be it understood, means 120,000 bushels of the merchantable article stored in a “seam” four feet eight inches thick. A single tow-boat will take to New Orleans, 2000 miles away, the output of five acres of coal, at a cost for transportation of four cents per bushel. While this work is going on along the rivers mentioned, coal is leaving the Pittsburgh fields by rail at the rate of 180,000,000 bushels per year, and the supply is practically inexhaustible. From coal it is but a short step to coal's brighter and purer first cousin, coke. To