Thursday, October 27, 2005

Duquesne is not pronounced 'Doo kwez knee'

At a recent meeting, and out-of-town colleague asked me “Who is this Duquesne guy, anyway?” I think I answered, “He must have been a robber baron; all of the famous guys in Pittsburgh were.”

Well, I’m thoroughly embarrassed that I couldn’t place this very famous name in Pittsburgh’s history.

During the French and Indian War, what is now known as Point State Park (“The Point”, the confluence of our ubiquitous Three Rivers), was a very popular place for military forts. First, it was the site of Fort Duquesne, named after Marquis Duquesne, governor general of Canada. When the British retook the fort, it was renamed Fort Pitt (after William Pitt, the driving force behind the war and British victory), which is why we are now Pittsburgh, instead of Duquesneburgh.

The area of Pittsburgh that is called Duquesne, which used to be part of Mifflin Township, was renamed in honor of the Marquis Duquesne.

Duquesne University was also named after the Marquis.

And so was the Duquesne Club, Duquesne Brewery, Duquesne Steel Mill, etc., etc.

More info here, if you’re interested.

A little history lesson for us today!

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