Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pennsylvania: U.S. Steel

Tom Russell: U.S. Steel


A good song about the closing of the steel works in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

From the Wikipedia entry:

“Settled in 1871, Homestead was chartered in 1880. For most of its first 100 years, Homestead served as the place where one of the world's most productive steel mills existed. About 7,000 men were employed in the plant around the turn of the century in 1900 when the population of Homestead was 12,554 people. The industrious people of Homestead increased their numbers to 18,713 in 1910, and to 20,452 in 1920.

In 1940, 19,041 people lived in Homestead. During the early 1940s half the population was displaced as the United States Government added on to the steel mills to have the capacity for armor plating for ships and tanks (preparing for WWII). After the end of World War II, a decline in the steel-making industry of the United States took place.

By 1970, it had become well-nigh impossible to obtain employment at the Homestead Works, which was not producing much steel at that time. In 1984, the mill closed and The Homestead Works was demolished, replaced in 1999 by The Waterfront shopping mall. As a direct result of the loss of mill employment, the number of people living in Homestead dwindled. By the time of the 2000 census, the borough population was 3,569. The borough began financially/economically recovering in 2002, with the enlarging retail tax base.”

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