The fundamental reason Pittsburgh  became the "Port to the West" is people were drawn here to the rivers. The Allegheny river and the  Monongehela river converged and that point became know as the "Forks of the Ohio. The Ohio River in the latter part of the 1700s was the primary way to go west. The keelboat was was the primary vehicle for people and cargo, powered by "pole-men."

l Forks of the Ohio