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Ancient History of the area
McKees Rocks Indian Site
The prehistoric village site had been occupied by humans for thousands of years, dating back to the Paleolithic era. The site sits on top of a high bluff with fairly steep sides all around with the 'front' (eastern side) ending in a sheer cliff about 100 feet high. The hill was a excellent area for early settlements.
The most recent inhabitants were the Delaware Indians (circa. 1600- 1700's). The village was visited in 1753 by George Washington for the purpose of inviting the chief of the Delawares, Shigiss, to attend a council meeting in Logstown, PA (present day Ambridge, PA). Washington, noting the superb quality of the area, intended on having the Ohio Company erect Fort Pitt on the site. Chief Shigiss advised Washington that 2 miles east at the 'forks of the Ohio' would be a more suitable site for the fort. As we know today, that advise was followed and Fort Pitt and eventually Pittsburgh is on the Point.
There were excavations carried out at the site in the late 1800's, but they were sloppy and poorly documented. The next excavations were in the early 1960's by a man named William Buker and were careful and thorough, with many of the items found on display at the Carnegie Museum. The site had been reduced in size to about 1/3 of the original due to an industrial plant. The burial mound itself was destroyed when the plant went up. What is left, however, we owe to the Historical Preservation Society, as the industrial plant wanted to rip up the rest of the area. I myself have visited the site numerous times, finding many items from the prehistoric people, including broken pieces of worked flint, fragments of bone and mussel shells.
It is amazing that amidst all the development, both commercial and residential in the area, that signs of early man still exist today. Submitted by Allen Peck
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of McKees Rocks and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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