Near this site stood Fort Vance, a settlers fort built during the French and Indian War era by Revolutionary War Captain Robert Vance. Robert Vance was a member of the Virginia Regiment of the Colonial Army, under the command of George Washington, during the French and Indian War.
Vance constructed a blockhouse, and later a stockade, for the protection of settlers moving westward from Pittsburgh (blockhouse circa 1759-1765). The fort and the hamlet that developed near it became the first westward community post of the French and Indian War. The fort, which stood through the Revolutionary War, was located between Broadway, Chestnut Street, Second Avenue and the railroad. In the great history of the United States, Fort Vance is truly where the west began.