As I was walking through the city, I came across this museum, which is part of the Smithsonian, and the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh .
It’s the Fort Pitt Museum and it sits right where the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet.
It wasn’t on my list of places to see while I was in Pittsburgh , but the beauty of traveling ,whether you’re doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour or not ,is discovering places that weren’t on your list and weren’t even mentioned in a guide book.
The museum sits right under one of the many bridges that seem to line this city.
There are 446 of them by the way.
The bridge that’s near the museum is the Smithfield Bridge.
I paid my admission and went to explore this museum which tells the story of Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War , long before there was even a United States .
I discovered facts about the city that I wasn’t even aware of , even though I was a history major in college .
As you enter the first floor , right in front of you is a diagram of Fort Pitt, and what would become the city of Pittsburgh.
You also find out about the different Native American tribes in the area and which tribes sided with the French and who sided with the British as well as the Native Tribes who didn’t side with either the French or British.
Not surprisingly , many tribes didn’t trust either the British or French.
You can take pictures on the first floor only but not on the second floor of the museum , which is too bad, because there are a lot more interesting exhibits on the second floor , not to mention the really gorgeous view that you have of the Smithfield Bridge.
But because the artifacts are so delicate, it’s easy to see why they dont want you taking pictures on this floor.
On the first floor, you get to see how soldiers and ordinary citizens lived during this time.
There’s even a portrait of George Washington, who was a member of the Virginia Regiment of the British army.
It was Washington who was sent as an envoy by the British to ask the French to give up the Fort .
Since war came later, you can only guess what the French response was.
Besides the artifacts on the second floor, you get to learn who the major players were for the French, British, Americans and Native Americans .
I was surprised to learn that even back then, Benjamin Franklin was involved in helping the British.
How this would change many years later.
You also learn how after the French and Indian War, and even the Revolutionary War , nothing was resolved with the Native American tribes, and bitterness of some of the tribes seems to linger even until this day.
You might not want to spend that long a time at this museum , but believe me , if you want to learn about some unknown United States history and you happen to be in Pittsburgh visit the Fort Pitt Museum .
Fort Pitt Museum
Plaza Building B
Point State Park
Pittsburgh , PA 15222
Open daily 10am-5pm
Seniors 62 years and older $6
Youth 6-17 and students with valid ID $3.50
Retired and active military $4
Children 5 and under Free