5 Can’t-Miss Artifacts at Fort Pitt

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Looking for an escape from the cold this winter? Venture through Point State Park to the Fort Pitt Museum for a walk through Pittsburgh history in two floors and 12,000 square feet of exhibits.

There’s a lot to see, so we picked the top five artifacts you can’t miss on your next visit to the museum. Take a look!

1. Fort Pitt Diorama

Where is it?

The diorama resides behind the admissions desk on the first floor of the museum.

Why see it?

To become acquainted with the orientation of Fort Pitt at the Point.

Ever wonder why Point State Park has outlines sporadically laid out on the ground throughout the park? Look to the model of Fort Pitt to understand what those lines represent. The outlines show where the fort sat during the French and Indian War.

As you begin your visit at the Fort Pitt Museum, let your eyes wander through the model of Fort Pitt and think about what an average soldier’s or townsperson’s life would have consisted of each day at the Point. You will notice the main fortification that made up Fort Pitt as well as the King’s Gardens, complete with townspeople playing nine pins and deer frolicking in their pens.

Bonus

Scan the entirety of the model to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary for the 1700s for fun and bragging rights. (Hint: One is an extinct animal!)

2. Artillery Exhibit

Where is it?

Once you pay admission, make your way to the exhibit space located in the back of the first floor. Walk toward the brick walls and begin exploring.

Why see it?

To learn about the variety of artillery and ammunition that a cannon can fire.

Visitors love to check out the cannons on display at the museum, but what goes inside the cannons deserves a attention as well! Take a moment to examine the artillery laboratory in the fort’s casemate. Fort Pitt contained seven casemates, which are underground areas within the fort’s ramparts, during its time of operation. Three of them acted as provision storage, and the other four spilt the roles of artillery supply storage and laboratories. The laboratories served as the main workshop to construct the ammunition supplies, flannel cartridges, fuses, grapeshot, case shot, grenades, and shells that aided in protecting the fort.

Bonus

Try to find the different types of ammunition in the exhibit.

3. Wampum Belts

Where are they?

Travel up to the second floor to find these reproduction belts in the case near the puzzles.

Why see them?

To discover how the belts documented important events, stories, wars, and agreements between American Indian nations and their friends and adversaries.

Depending on the images woven into the belts, they could proclaim war or peace, record historically important events, or act as legal documents. Though not considered to be money, the individual beads from…

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