Monday, August 17, 2015

A Walk About Old Allegheny City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

     This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania attending my 50th high school reunion.  So extremely wonderful to reunite with old friends for two evenings.

      My husband and I had planned to visit The Mattress Factory, an exciting three building installation art museum, on the North Side of Pittsburgh.  The area now referred to as the North Side was once called Allegheny City...a portion of land across the Allegheny River from the city of Pittsburgh.  As late as 1921, when my mother and father were born, it was listed on their birth certificates as Allegheny City.

     A high school friend also mentioned that we should wander up Jacksonia Street to visit Randyland.  This is a colorful "must see" destination when on the North Side.  

     Part of my walk about was to try to locate streets and homes listed on various federal census reports for members of my family who once lived in Old Allegheny City/North Side.

     Huzzah!!!  I did have one success.

1240 Palo Alto
Left side of  red brick buiding behind black SUV

     My paternal great grand aunt, Olive Poole Reeves, at age 57, ran a boarding house at 1240 Palo Alto Street during the 1930's and 1940's located on what is now referred to as the Mexican War Street area on the North Side of Pittsburgh.  The large red brick building is still standing at the corner of Palo Alto and North Taylor.  According to census reports, Great Grand Aunt Olive rented the building.  During the 1930's she had six lodgers and two boarders.  There was another family living there; however I do not know if they paid rent and maintained their own quarters or were also boarders.

     Of great interest to me--one lodger was John A. Pinyerd, my paternal great grand uncle.  He was married to Olive's sister, Sarah Ann Poole Pinyerd.  John was a riverboat engineer and was probably spending a night or two in Pittsburgh while his boat was docked on the Allegheny River.  Two boarders were Olive's niece and nephew, Olive Pettit Bashaw and Poole Leon Bashaw (my first cousins two times removed). 

     I did Google lodger and boarder to determine the difference.  A lodger is a person who rooms and a boarder rooms and receives meals.  Running a boarding house was a frequent occupation to the Pool women.  My paternal great grandmother, Jessie Poole VanGilder ran boarding houses in Morgantown, West Virginia and Woodlawn, Pennsylvania after her husband's death.  She was also the cook on a riverboat until her retirement.  Another sister, Sarah Ann Poole Pinyerd, John's wife, was a nurse and ran a maternity hospital in her home in North Charleroi, Pennsylvania.  Some very resourceful women.

     Great grand aunt Olive continued to run her boarding home at 1240 Palo Alto in the early 1940's.  She is enumerated on the 1940 Pennsylvania Federal Census running her boarding house with three lodgers.

     I did look for other houses on streets on the North Side--primarily my maternal great grandparents, Charles and Wilhelmina Stark.  Some streets are no longer in existence and house numbers have been changed as new homes were added.  Point in case.  The house Great Grand Aunt Olive lived in was numbered 1240 in the 1900's; however a brick with a number on it beside the door lists the house as having a different number (#56) during an earlier time.  Unfortunately my photo is not as clear as I would have liked.

Also on Flipside:

Jumping Back into the Poole:  Olive Poole Reeves

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for uncovering some new fascinating bits in our family's past. Should have known we'd have ancestors on the riverboats (but I guess no Gaylord Ravenals).