Situated just across the Monongahela River from in the Carrie Blast Furnaces, the Pump House was once part of the U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works.
The Pump House
The Pump House
The Pump House dates back to 1892 when it was built by the Carnegie Steel Company. That same year it was the site of the Battle of Homestead, a defining moment in the nation’s labor history. Today, the building and its adjacent water tower help to interpret the tumultuous events of 1892, as well as to highlight the illustrious steel-making legacy of the region.
Bicyclists traveling on the Great Allegheny passage are welcome to use amenities on-site, including the bike racks, benches, picnic tables and the restrooms located in the Water Tower. Please note that the Pump House, Water Tower and grounds are a privately owned and maintained site; the facilities are closed in the winter months and parking may be full or partly restricted to accommodate programs and events hosted by Rivers of Steel and its partners. When available, on-site parking is offered without a fee; overnight parking is prohibited.
Created by artist Lorraine Vullo in 2009, the Homestead Labyrinth was created to be a meditative journey that memorializes those who died on the site during the 1892 Battle of Homestead. Spanning 68-feet, the labyrinth features more than 250 triangular stones, labeled with the names of steel mills, foundies, and blast furnaces from throughout the region. The labyrinth offers one path with parallel lines that leads to a compass star in the center.
To honor the steelworkers past and present, the Yellow Dog sculpture was developed through the collaborative efforts of sculptor Jim West, George Junior Republic’s Fine Arts program, and the welding program at the William H. Gladden Career and Technical Center on the campus of George Junior Republic.
Meetings & Events
In recent years, the Pump House has also become an in-demand location for weddings and celebrations due to historic charm and authenticity, as well as its modest rental rates.
Visiting the Pump House
The Pump House is one of four historical attractions managed by Rivers of Steel. As the owner and steward of the Pump House and surrounding grounds, River of Steel secures its industrial and cultural legacy for future generations, while allowing for its use as a public and private multi-use site.
In the spring through fall seasons, it functions as a trailhead for the Great Allegheny Passage. The public is welcome to visit its grounds, which offer views of the Monongahela River, the Carrie Blast furnaces, industrial relics and public art, including a meditative stone labyrinth. Interpretive panels on-site help visitors gain insight into the importance of this historic site.
Private and group tours of the interior of the Pump House are available by appointment. It is also a popular venue for wedding receptions and family celebrations.
The Pump House is featured in the WQED program The Great Ride. Watch the segment below; for more visit WQED.org.