Inside Point State Park, the Fort Pitt Museum details the clash of empires — British, French, and Native American — at the confluence of the Monongahela River and Allegheny River. Exhibits and collections highlight warfare and cunning during the French and Indian War, the region’s supply role in the American Revolution, the impact of the Whiskey Rebellion, and the founding of Downtown Pittsburgh. A unit of the Senator John Heinz Regional History Center, the museum features a full gallery on 18th century life in the region, and regular reenactments of fort maneuvers, including firing of roaring British six-pounder cannons. The museum occupies a recreated bastion of the original British fort.
Fort Pitt was constructed in 1758 by British forces, to succeed the French-built-and-occupied Fort Duquesne, and to control the hard-fought, strategic peninsula of land on which it sat. In 1763, Fort Pitt was held under siege for 40 days by Lenape and Shawanee people as part of Pontiac’s War, an effort to rid the region of European settlers. It later served as the locus of activity during the American Revolutionary War’s western theater. One surviving redoubt, a small brick outbuilding built in 1764, is the sole remnant of Fort Pitt, and is believed to be the oldest building still standing in Downtown Pittsburgh.
The Fort Pitt Museum is open 10:00 am to 5:00 seven days a week, except on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Metered on-street parking and several fee-based parking lots and garages are located within walking distance, and there are bike racks out front.