OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

“Joining communities through fitness, recreation, heritage and transportation networks”

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area

J&L Steel 1977 Photo by Kevin Scanlon

Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area

The Ohio River Trail corridor is part of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, which is a federally designated National Heritage Area in southwestern Pennsylvania, centered on Pittsburgh and oriented around the interpretation and promotion of the region's steel-making heritage. The area roughly covers the valleys of the Ohio, Monongahela and lower Allegheny rivers. The Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation has managed the National Heritage Area since its designation in 1996.

In 1900, Jones & Laughlin (J&L) Steel Corporation built the region’s largest mill, the Aliquippa Works along the Ohio River. This industrial upsurge spurred new locks and dams, barge building and railroad yards. These elements chartered the course for southwestern Pennsylvania’s ascendancy as the steel making capital of the world. In 1937 a U.S. Supreme Court case, NLRB vs. J&L declared that the Wagner Act of 1935 was constitutional and granted collective-bargaining rights for steel workers throughout America. Nearly 9,000 workers were employed during World War II, nevertheless, in 1984 the LTV Corporation, successor to J&L Steel, closed most of the Aliquippa Works, which was the last and greatest mill to fall in Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

Event Photos

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