Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John Nass

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Allen Zagarell

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis is a detailed ethnohistorical study examining landscape changes in Brownsville Pennsylvania from 1759 to 1925. The changes that occurred in the town were heavily influenced by the flatboat and steamboat industries and the later introduction of the railroad. The catalyst for the shifts in landscape use was derived from the economical transition from a frontier economy and core producer, to mining satellite of the Pittsburgh region.

This study employs the use of period town directories, diaries, maps, photographs, and oral histories to recreate the town and to flesh out gender roles, racial diversity, and class structures both on land and on the steamboats. This thesis tracks changes in the businesses that the steamboat industry consisted of and how, as the town refocused its economy to mining, these business reacted. The research I conducted will aid in the long term as the community begins to rebuild Brownsville's past and serve as a model for future archaeological work.

Included in

Anthropology Commons