The Pump House, formerly of the Carnegie Steel Company’s Homestead Works, was home to the Homestead Strike of 1892, an unfortunate, yet significant event in US labor history. It sits among the Sycamore-lined banks of the Monongahela river, overlooking the Carrie Furnace. For over a decade, Rivers of Steel Heritage Area (RSHA) has worked to preserve the legacy and its important place in American History by restoring the structure and creating a small museum and event space inside. The site is also a popular restroom and water stop among cyclists traveling on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail.
Most recently, the RSHA has updated the parking area to a nearly 20,000 square feet asphalt parking lot. When it rains runoff from the parking lot flows into a narrow swale that extends the entire length of the lot, approximately 200 yards! In the late summer of 2016 the RSHA contracted with StormWorks, a program of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, to prepare and implement a landscape plan for the swale. Later that fall the landscape plan was realized thanks to the invaluable partnership with Landforce. Throughout the course of two days, StormWorks staff and the Landforce crew prepared the site and planted over 50 native shrubs and grasses along with nearly 2,500 perennials. Among those plants include native species such as: Ninebark, Chokeberry, Switchgrass, False Indigo, Joe Pye Weed, Blue Flag Iris, Butterfly Weed, which provide colorful and textural interest throughout the seasons.