The bridge is still in use in It was the first meeting of that illegal frontier insurrection. Until a bridge was built across the river, Brownsville was the western terminus. It was an alternative route down to the Monongahela River valley from Braddock's Road , which George Washington helped to build. When the nascent United States government appropriated funds for its first road building project, in Brownsville was chosen as an early intermediate target destination along the new National Road. In the s, Jacob Bowman bought the land on which he built Nemacolin Castle ; he had a trading post and provided services and supplies to emigrant settlers. In , the Lane Bane Bridge was constructed just downstream, and path of U.
Brownsville is connected to the satellite community of West Brownsville in Washington County by the Brownsville Bridge completed in , which spans the Monongahela River. Brownsville tightened its belt during the Great Depression , but the local economy resumed growth with the increased demand for steel during and after World War II, when many infrastructure projects hatched the improved and rerouted U. The Monongahela is fully navigable at Brownsville, and offers inexpensive barge transportation to Chicago , New Orleans , St. In , Brownsville has a handful of buildings that are condemned or boarded up. Entrepreneur Thomas Brown acquired the western lands in what became Fayette County, Pennsylvania , around the end of the American Revolution. See Dunlap's Creek Bridge. Much of the borough's residential buildings are built above the elevation of the business district. The entire region sprouted small industries utilizing local coal and Iron deposits feeding iron fittings and products to outfitting settlers about to embark on the river. Plaque commemorating the first cast iron bridge built in the United States The first all- cast iron arch bridge constructed in the United States was built in Brownsville to carry the National Pike at the time a wagon road across Dunlap's Creek. Redstone Old Fort is mentioned in C. Transportation[ edit ] Brownsville is located on the banks of the Monongahela River , a major tributary of the Ohio River , one of North America's most important waterways. According to Mike Evans in his book Ray Charles: Yet the rise of the steel industry in the Pittsburgh area led Brownsville to develop as a railroad yard and coking center, generally integrated into other towns within the valley, so Brownsville and West Brownsville were tied to regional operations and while no one yard had space enough to be large, each township along the river shared resources and functioned as an elongated yard system. The opposite river shore of Washington County is, uncharacteristically for the region, shaped even lower to the water surface and is generally flatter. Archaeological research is ongoing working to tie the local mounds and others regionally close to a particular era and culture. Route 40 was moved to the new high-level structure and new four lane highway by-passing old Route 40 until the two merged in the small bedroom neighborhood known locally as Malden [c] History[ edit ] In pre-Columbian times, the right bank Monongahela held several mounds where iron rich red stone predominated, [d] now believed to have been constructed by a branch of the Mound Builders cultures, but were believed by colonials to have been forts—leading to the area near the river crossing being called Redstone Old Fort in various colonial government records,  and later Fort Burd, when an arms cache was built there. Many travelers used the Ohio River and its tributary, the Monongahela. Its color came from the ferrous sandstone that lined its bed, as well as the sandstone heights near the Old Forts. Brownsville developed as an early center of the steamboat-building industry in the 19th century. Steamboat propulsion would not be replaced by diesel powered commercial tugs until the technology matured in the midth century. The river's action eroded the steep-sided sandstone hills, creating shelf-like benches and connecting sloped terrain that gave the borough lowland areas adjacent to or otherwise accessible to the river shores. For instance, the Mississippian culture , reaching a peak about CE at Cahokia in present-day Illinois , had sites throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, and into the Southeast. The sidewalks around the town are still intact and usable. It commanded the important strategic river ford of Nemacolin's Trail , the western path to the summit; this was later improved and called "Burd's Road". After , its boats were used even by those intending to later take the Santa Fe Trail or Oregon Trail , as floating on a poleboat by river to St. A small hamlet called West Brownsville developed on the western shore, with a current population of
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