A Brief History of Homestead

History of Homestead

The history of Homestead saw the first settlers arrive back in the 1770s. About 100 years later, many farmland and hillsides were purchased and laid out into lots and sold and arranged by local banks and landowners to create what is today Homestead. The town was chartered in 1880 and soon saw a railroad, glass factory, and iron mill. In 1883, Andrew Carnegie bought out Homestead Steel Works and the town soon gained notoriety in July of 1892 as the site of a violent clash between steelworkers who were locked out and hired Pinkerton guards (known as the Homestead Strike). By 1920, due to immigration by Eastern and Southern Europeans, the population of Homestead jumped to over 20,000. In 1940, around 19,000 people lived in Homestead, but during the next few years half the population ended up being displaced as the government added the steel mills to have the capacity to make armor plating for ships and tanks to prep for World War II. At war’s end, a decline in the steel-making industry of the U.S. took place. By 1986, steel mills closed and the Homestead Works was demolished in the early ’90s to make The Waterfront complex that debuted in 1999. The number of people residing in Homestead dwindled to just over 3,000. It has since began to start thriving again.

Fast Facts about Homestead

History of Homestead

Famous people from Homestead include the Steelers’ Charlie Batch, actors Jester Hairston, Tamara Tunie and Frank McHugh, race car driver Butch Leitzinger, jazz singer Maxine Sullivan and Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum. Surrounding neighborhoods include Squirrel Hill, Munhall and West Homestead.

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