Western Pennsylvania refers to the western third of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. Pittsburgh is the region's principal city, with a metropolitan area population of about 2.4 million people, and serves as its economic and cultural center. Erie, Altoona, and Johnstown are its other metropolitan centers. As of the 2010 census, Western Pennsylvania's total population is nearly 4 million.
Although the Commonwealth does not designate Western Pennsylvania as an official region, since colonial times it has retained a distinct identity not only because of its geographical distance from Philadelphia, the beginning of Pennsylvania settlement, but especially because of its topographical separation from the east by virtue of the Appalachian Mountains, which characterize much of the western region. In the 18th century, this separateness caused some to rally for the formation of a 14th state in this region named Westsylvania. The strong cultural identity of Western Pennsylvania is reinforced by the state supreme court holding sessions in Pittsburgh, in addition to Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
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Since at least the early twentieth century, scholarly books such as Guidebook to Historic Western Pennsylvania, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press (1938), formally define the region as the twenty-six counties west of the Appalachian divide, a meridian from the north at McKean County down and along its eastern border and ending in the south at Bedford County.
In alphabetical order those counties are:
Long recognized as a powerhouse of American industry, Western Pennsylvania is a large geophysical and socio-economic entity. It encompasses that portion of the state to the west of the Appalachian divide and included within the Mississippi drainage system of rivers.
The largest rivers in this area are the Allegheny River, which flows southward from the New York border, and the Monongahela River, which flows northward from West Virginia. These two rivers meet in Downtown Pittsburgh and join to form the Ohio River, which from that point flows an additional 981 miles (1,579 km) southwest to the Mississippi River. The juncture of the Allegheny and Monongahela was historically regarded as strategic and the gateway to the interior of the continent from the east. At various times this juncture has been called the Forks of the Ohio, Fort Duquesne, Fort Pitt, the Golden Triangle, and today, at its apex, Point State Park. Incredibly, after several decades of border war and 150 years of high-rent city-center urbanization, the original 1764 blockhouse from Fort Pitt still stands here and is one of the oldest buildings in the region.
Other notable rivers are the Youghiogheny River, flowing north from West Virginia and western Maryland to join the Monongahela just upriver of Pittsburgh, and which was the early route of penetration into Western Pennsylvania, the Kiskiminetas River, French Creek, a major passageway between Lake Erie and the Allegheny River for the Indians and early French explorers and traders, and the small Oil Creek in Crawford and Venango counties, where slicks gave an indication of petroleum reserves and in whose watershed the first oil well in the United States was drilled.
The highest point in Pennsylvania, Mount Davis, reaches 3,213 feet (979 m), and is located near the southern border of the state in Somerset County, approximately 100 miles (160 km) east of the southwestern corner, where the Appalachian Mountains enter Pennsylvania from the south. To the west and north of this point lies the Allegheny Plateau, a dissected plateau so eroded that it appears to be an interminable series of high hills and steep valleys. The peaks in the area are among the lowest in the East Coast highlands, but what they lack in height they make up in wide extent of land covered, which forms a vast formidable barrier for mile upon mile to overland travel from the coast.
Western Pennsylvania is home to more than two dozen institutions of higher learning, including those listed below. (Seminaries are not listed)
Western Pennsylvania is distinctive from the rest of the state due to several important and complex factors:
Pittsburgh boasts three major league sports teams: the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League, the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball, and the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Panthers is a NCAA Division I college team. Erie and Johnstown both have junior ice hockey teams as well. The Erie Otters play in the Ontario Hockey League and the Johnstown Tomahawks play in the North American Hockey League.
The 1898 Western Pennsylvania All-Star football team was a collection of early football players, from several teams in the area, to form an all-star team. The team was formed by Dave Berry, the manager of the Latrobe Athletic Association, for the purpose of playing the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, which fielded a team composed of many of the game's stars from the era. The game between the two clubs ended in a 16-0 Duquesne victory and is considered to be the very first all-star game for professional football. Contrary to popular belief, while the game was held at Exposition Park, which would be currently located inside of the city limits of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the 1898 location of the game was Allegheny, Pennsylvania which was not incorporated into the city of Pittsburgh until 1907.American football in Western Pennsylvania
American football in Western Pennsylvania, featuring the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, has had a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of the sport. All levels of football, including high school football and college football, are followed passionately, and the area's National Football League (NFL) team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, is consistently one of the sport's most popular teams. Many of the NFL's top stars have come from the region as well, especially those that play quarterback, earning Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks".Heinz History Center
The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the largest history museum in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States. Named after U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III (1938–1991) from Pennsylvania, it is located in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.
The Heinz History Center is a 275,000-square-foot (25,500 m2) educational institution "that engages and inspires a diverse audience with links to the past, understanding in the present, and guidance for the future by preserving regional history and presenting the American experience with a Western Pennsylvania connection."Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
The Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (HSWP) is a cultural organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After several attempts during the early and mid-century to establish a historical society, an organization called Old Residents of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania was formed on January 10, 1859. Five years later the group changed its name to Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.
Now the region's oldest cultural organization, HSWP does business as and operates both the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Meadowcroft Rockshelter.
The History Center includes the Library & Archives, which preserves hundreds of thousands of books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, atlases, newspapers, films and recordings documenting over 250 years of life in the region; and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a museum-within-a-museum documenting Pittsburgh's extensive sports legacy.
The History Center opened in 1996 in Pittsburgh's Strip District and receives funding from various private, foundation and governmental sources as well as public sources including the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
The Detre Library and Archives on the sixth floor are free and open to the public to use.
Western Pennsylvania importance to the North in the Civil War
Western Pennsylvania was one of the industrial strengths that helped the North win the Civil War. One of the most crucial moments that Pennsylvania saved the North from losing was the Rodman guns cast at the Fort Pitts Works. They supplied the north with 1.193 cannons. This was nearly 15% of the total manufactured. Other than guns, Pennsylvania also created many kinds of boats and used in Mississippi.Steam ram boats were one of the most famous kinds, they helped smash the confederate ships in Memphis. While having a variety of boats, their docks were very busy and the city became a popular area because of the railroad that were supplying the troops. A popular spot for soldiers to stop for a little was Pittsburg. Having many soldiers in the city, a myriad amount of money went into supplying them.List of hospitals in Pittsburgh
This is a list of hospitals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Allegheny Cancer Center
Children's Home of Pittsburgh - Homepage
Children's Institute of Pittsburgh - Homepage
HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital - Homepage
Jefferson Regional Medical Center - Homepage
LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh - Homepage
Pittsburgh's Ohio Valley Hospital - http://www.ohiovalleyhospital.org
Pittsburgh Specialty Hospital
Saint Clair Memorial Hospital - Homepage
Southwood Psychiatric Hospital
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) - Homepage
UPMC Cancer Centers - Homepage
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh - Homepage
UPMC Eye & Ear Institute - Homepage
UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital - Homepage
UPMC Mercy - Homepage
UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center - Homepage
UPMC Montefiore - Homepage
UPMC Passavant - Homepage
UPMC Passavant Cranberry - Homepage
UPMC Presbyterian - Homepage
UPMC Shadyside - Homepage
UPMC St. Margaret - Home Page
UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic - - Homepage
Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Health System - Homepage
West Penn Allegheny Health System - Homepage
Allegheny General Hospital - Homepage
Allegheny General Hospital Suburban Campus - Homepage
Western Pennsylvania Hospital - Homepage
Western Pennsylvania Hospital Forbes Regional Campus - HomepageMahoning Valley (geographic)
The Mahoning Valley is a geographic valley encompassing the area of northeast Ohio and a small portion of western Pennsylvania that drains into the Mahoning River. According to information at the bottom of Page 321 in a publication by the Ohio Secretary of State's Office, the river name comes from an Indian word meaning “at the licks.”Mosquito Creek (Pennsylvania)
Mosquito Creek is a 21.8-mile-long (35.1 km) tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania in the United States.Mosquito Creek joins the West Branch Susquehanna River at the township of Karthaus.Pittsburgh Athletic Club
The Pittsburgh Athletic Club or Pittsburgh PAC was one of the earliest professional ice hockey teams. It was based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from around 1895 until 1904 and again from 1907 to 1909. The team was a member of the Pittsburgh Hockey League, which was formed in 1896 and became known as the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League by 1900.Pittsburgh Duquesne
The Duquesne Country and Athletic Club hockey team or Pittsburgh Duquesne were an amateur, and later professional, ice hockey club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and were members of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League (WPHL).Pittsburgh Keystones (ice hockey)
The Pittsburgh Keystones were a semi-professional ice hockey club, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was a member of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, the first league to openly hire hockey players from 1900-1904. The team played all of its games at the Duquesne Gardens, and was involved in allowing Harry Peel become the first admitted professional hockey player in 1902.Pittsburgh Lyceum
The Pittsburgh Lyceum Club, or Pittsburgh Lyceum, were a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team was a member of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League from 1907 to 1908, and played all of their games at the Duquesne Gardens.Pittsburgh Pirates (WPHL)
The Pittsburgh Pirates were an early professional ice hockey club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and were members of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League for the 1908 WPHL season. The team, and the league, played all of their games at the Duquesne Gardens. The Pirates are best known for being involved in the first known trade of professional hockey players.Pittsburgh Victorias
The Pittsburgh Victorias were one of the earliest professional ice hockey teams. The club was based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and were members of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, the first league to openly hire hockey players, from 1902–1904. The team folded in 1904, when the WPHL disbanded its teams to form the Pittsburgh Professionals and compete in the International Professional Hockey League.Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania
The Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania is a partnership between the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (Communication Disorders) at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Department of Communication Science and Disorders in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
The co-directors of the Stuttering Center are J. Scott Yaruss and Craig Coleman.Western Pennsylvania English
Western Pennsylvania English, known more narrowly as Pittsburgh English or popularly as Pittsburghese, is a dialect of American English native primarily to the western half of Pennsylvania, centered on the city of Pittsburgh, but potentially appearing as far north as Erie County and Limestone, New York (north of Bradford), as far east as Sunbury, Pennsylvania, as far west as Youngstown, Ohio, and as far south as Clarksburg, West Virginia. Commonly associated with the white working class of Pittsburgh, users of the dialect are colloquially known as "Yinzers".Western Pennsylvania Hockey League
The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League (WPHL), was a semi-professional ice hockey league founded in 1896 and existing through the 1910s. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the league was the pre-eminent ice hockey league at the time in the United States. It was the first league to openly hire and trade players.Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) is an interscholastic athletic association in Western Pennsylvania. It is District 7 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.Western Pennsylvania Professional Football Circuit
The Western Pennsylvania Professional Football Circuit was a loose association of American football clubs that operated from 1890 to approximately 1940. Originally amateur, professionalism was introduced to the circuit in 1892; cost pressures pushed the circuit to semi-professional status from about 1920 through the rest of its existence. Existing in some form for 48 years, it was one of the longest-lived paying football loops to operate outside the auspices of the National Football League.
The football clubs of the 1880s and 1890s were amateur teams. They were under the membership of an athletic club, which provided both sports and the ability to wager money on the sports. However, the prestige and increased membership that could come from a successful team, led these clubs to begin secretly hiring talented players. The amateur athletics that these clubs engaged in were policed by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). By the mid-1890s allegations of professionalism became known to the AAU. The Allegheny Athletic Association was found guilty of paying cash to players and was permanently barred from any kind of competition with other AAU members. This punishment would end a team, because their opponents, whether other pros, amateur associations, or colleges, would have simply stopped playing them. Allegheny then defied the AAU in 1896 and created an entirely open professional team. A year later, the Latrobe Athletic Association, went entirely professional. The misconception that these were amateur athletic club were held to in public, even when newspapers wrote openly of players being under contract. To get around this, the circuit teams played for local or regional championships, with the only generally recognized national champion being the best college football team. However, the winner of the circuit was usually able to lay claim to a national, but professional, football title from 1890-1903.By 1904, the exodus of pro football talent to the "Ohio League", diminished the region's level of play and the national professional champions, were usually then claimed by the teams from Ohio. Though a champion was declared by the media, fans and clubs throughout this period, a formal league was not founded until 1920, when several teams from the "Ohio League" and the New York Pro Football League formed the American Professional Football Association. In 1922 the APFA became the National Football League.The circuit did not immediately die out and in fact experienced a slight renaissance in the 1920s as the Western Pennsylvania Senior Independent Football Conference. 1920s era blue laws in the state of Pennsylvania meant that while the NFL played its games on Sunday, Pennsylvania teams would have to play on Saturday; while this prevented the state's teams from joining the NFL until 1924, Pennsylvania teams could thus schedule exhibition games against NFL teams on either one's day off (other circuits such as the eastern Pennsylvania circuit and the Eastern/Anthracite Leagues also thrived in the 1920s) The J.P. Rooneys were founded in 1921; it later joined the NFL in 1933 as the Pittsburgh Pirates (now the Pittsburgh Steelers). Records of the Pirates playing other Western Pennsylvania teams (including the McKeesport Olympics) continue up to at least 1940, after which point most teams dissolved due to World War II; the Pirates (by now renamed the Steelers) then shifted its exhibition schedule to other minor league teams.Whiskey Rebellion
The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary war veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. It became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but American whiskey was by far the country's most popular distilled beverage in the 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax". Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures to make whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.
Throughout Western Pennsylvania counties, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. Washington himself rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency, with 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to tax—in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law. Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts.The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the will and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws, though the whiskey excise remained difficult to collect. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already under way. The whiskey tax was repealed in the early 1800s during the Jefferson administration. Historian Carol Berkin argues that the episode in the long run strengthened American nationalism because the people appreciated how well Washington handled the rebels without resorting to tyranny.