Thanks to those of you who followed along on my Philadelphia post and asked for more pictures. We'll make the leap to Pittsburgh here, equally rich in history...
After spending a week in Philadelphia recently, I boarded the train and traveled 300 plus miles west to Pittsburgh, leaving at noon and rolling in around 8:00 pm. The scenery was so beautiful along the way! In the 18th-century this was an arduous journey of at least 3 weeks over mountains and rivers on horseback. No official stagecoach route existed till 1821.
There were a great many Amish in my car. Old order, I think, as they were speaking Dutch. They were very friendly with Englishers like me:) I can see why Amish books are so popular as their way of life is like a living snapshot into the past. The children are just beautiful!
This bronze statue epitomizes Pittsburgh's history. My hero, George Washington, came to the Forks of the Ohio in the mid-18th century and ended up "treating" or meeting with Indians like the Seneca leader here. This statue atop Mount Washington is called "Points of View" and overlooks the city and its three rivers (Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny). You can see the Mon as locals call it, to the right at Washington's back.
This is the Pittsburgh I would have loved to witness when it was just a huge arrowhead-shaped piece of land in the 18th-century and a hotly disputed territory.
Pittsburgh as it appeared in the early 19th-century. This is taken from a sketch drawn by Mrs. E.C. Gibson, wife of Jason Gibson, Esquire of the Philadelphia Bar while on her wedding tour in 1817.
Pittsburgh today. I had a hard time seeing past all the steel and concrete to the history beneath even from my perch on Mount Washington. I so longed for an unspoiled view! I'm sure Ezekial Click and Red Shirt wouldn't recognize the place!
Here's an up close view of the point at which the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet and merge into the Ohio. I was unprepared for how HUGE the rivers are and how very hilly Pittsburgh is after the flats of Philadelphia. The white outline on the green is where the original Fort Duquesne was located. In back of this was Fort Pitt which was far more immense and had a surrounding moat around and drawbridges to access it, much like a castle.
The last remaining blockhouse of Fort Pitt. To the right of this is a huge area called "The King's Garden" which once consisted of orchards and vegetable gardens that supplied the fort. Flowers were also planted and people enjoyed strolling through the gardens in the late 18th-century before the fort was dismantled. Sadly, it is no more.
I took a giant leap in time of 100 or so years from the 18th-century to the Gilded Age when I spent a day at Clayton, the home of Henry Clay Frick, one of Pittsburgh's leading industrialists. The Gilded Age is not one of my favorite periods as there was so much excess. But the Clayton estate is a lovely echo of the past and its owners were very interesting, a true rags to riches story.
The entrance to Clayton. Guests would arrive here by carriage and call on Mrs. Frick in the parlor which was quite plush and overdone. I so wanted to take pictures but none were allowed inside the house. I liked the simplicity of the butler's pantry and kitchen best. On the front portico is an immense orchestrion which is like a player piano but creates orchestra music instead with all sorts of instruments. Mr. Frick played this each evening during dinner and it was something of a Pittsburgh sensation:)
The front view of Clayton. The Fricks had another home in New York City where his renowned art collection is housed to this day.
This was the playhouse for the heir, Childs, and daughter Helen with a charming rose arbor entrance. Within is a little parlor where all the furnishings are small and Helen entertained her friends for tea. There was also a bowling alley for Childs and miniature male guests (see photo above)!
The children's entrance to Clayton. Inside this door is the most charming little sink where the children washed up after playing outside. I guess parents were as concerned about germs then as now! A sad bit of history... Clay and his wife, Adelaide, had 4 children, only two of whom survived to adulthood. Tragically, their oldest daughter swallowed a pin at age 3 which festered inside her until she died at age 6. My tour guide remarked how sad it was that a man could have all the money in the world and not be able to help his little daughter. Despite his faults as an industrialist, Clay Frick was a loving father and husband.
The greenhouse is still full of vegetables and flowers today. I believe it services the tea room just across the way which serves wonderful things. I had some chocolate custard there which was delicious!
My hostess, chauffeur, and college roommate, Heather. I think Heather took me to every museum in Pittsburgh! Here she is at home in her kitchen making her amazing fresh berry tart:) Ummm, did we have fun!
Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? In terms of historic places, where would you like to go? Or where have you been that you'd recommend?