A Brief History of Braddock
Braddock is a borough located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. It is 10 miles upstream from the mouth of the Monongahela River. The population was just over 2,000 as of the 2010 census. The borough receives its representation from the State Senate’s 45th district and the state’s 14th Congressional district in the nation’s House of Representatives. Braddock is located in Allegheny County. The town gets its name from General Edward Braddock, whose expedition crossing the Monongahela River at present-day Braddock in July of 1755 was famous.
The crossing led to Braddock’s death and a defeat of his troops who had been fighting against the French at Fort Duquesne. The battle was called the Battle of the Monongahela, which was a huge catalyst to the start of the French and Indian War. Braddock’s first industrial facility was a barrel plant that opened in 1850. The community’s industrial economy started in 1873 when Andrew Carnegie chose to construct what was called the Edgar Thomson Steel Works. It is still around today and this era of Braddock’s history is shown in the novel Out of This Furnace by Thomas Bell.
Facts about Braddock
Braddock is also known for being the first of Andrew Carnegie’s public libraries in the United States. The Braddock library was dedicated on March 30, 1889. It included a tunnel entrance for millworkers to get to a bathhouse to lean up before entering the library. In 1893 a pool, basketball court and pipe organ were added.
During the 1900s, immigrants predominantly from Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary settled into Braddock. Mayor John Fetterman has recently initiated revitalization efforts like the non-profit Braddock Redux, aimed at bettering the community. IFC and Sundance TV showed a movie in September of 2010 called Ready to Work: Portraits of Braddock which interviewed local residents and their efforts to help the town. It was produced by the Levi Strauss corporation.