Regardless if you’re a visitor, a recent transplant, or long time resident of the 'Burgh the landscape carved out by the three rivers is striking.
Our fair city was built upon a nexus point—where two becomes one—crafting a natural gateway to the western United States. We are subconsciously obsessed with our treasure. Businesses, organizations, and events that don’t reference steel, black and gold, or bridges will default to the three rivers.
Long before George Washington surveyed this land to build Fort Pitt, imaginations ran wild with stories about what might lie beneath. Ogua is one of those legends that while maybe not renowned, still lives on to this day. A massive two-headed turtle, Ogua was said to have patrolled the waters of the Monongahela munching on its favorite snack of careless deer that got too close to the river’s edge. Ogua, Mythical Patroller of the Monongahela RiverCreating this image of Ogua, I immediately thought about natural patterns and phenomena and our inherent call to explain them. We use these stories to bring order to things we don’t understand and teach lessons to our little ones. Ogua might well has served as a warning against drowning in the river or as entertainment to thrill but it has survived due to our fascination with what lies beneath the surface of the Monongahela. Whether it’s stories about a giant turtle or legends about a missing airplane we will forever gaze out over the Mon and let our minds build greater worlds.
Genevieve Barbee-Turner first visited Pittsburgh in September of 1985, a two month old temporary evacuee of Hurricane Gloria from Chesapeake, Virginia. She was taken with the area then and continues to explore the region — illustrating and documenting the people, places, and things of Pittsburgh. Connect with her at ki11erpancake.com, Instagram @ki11erpancak3, Twitter @ki11erpancake, or send an old fashioned email.