Braddock is a borough located east of Pittsburgh, about 10 miles from the mouth of the Monongahela River… or the Point.
Originally inhabited by the Lenape Indians, ruled by Queen Allequippa, in 1742 John Fraser establised an area at the mouth of Turtle Creek as the first permanent English settlement West of the Allegheny Mountains. The area was visited by George Washington in 1753-4, and eventually named for General Edward Braddock, as it was the site of his death and defeat of his troops in 1755 fighting the French at Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War.
The first industrial facility was a barrel plant that opened in 1850. Incorporated as a borough in 1867, the real industrial boom in Braddock began when Andrew Carnegie built his Edgar Thomson Steel works on the historic site of Braddock’s Field, where the famed battle took place yeas before. This plant is still in operation today.
The first of over 1600 Carnegie Library Branches was build in this Pittsburgh suburb and dedicated in 1889. It included a tunnel entrance for the millworkers and a bathhouse in the basement to use before entering the library. Additions begun in 1893 and added a swimming pool, basketball court and a music hall. Set for demolition in 1978, the Braddock’s Field Historical Society rescued the structure and it is still in use as a public library.
During the early 1900s many immigrants settled in Braddock, primarily from Croatia, Slovenia, and Hungary.
The collapse of the steel industry in America let to hard times for Braddock, and this led to a dramatic decline in the population of the area. Recently, a large effort to revitalize Braddock has begun and old hazardous buildings have been razed and replaced with more modern commercial structures. An influx of new commercial facilities to include restaurants and trade companies have located to this historic area, and efforts by local community organizations are beginning to help Braddock turn the corner and become a viable and attractive neighborhood.
Braddock is bordered by Rankin, Whitaker and West Mifflin.