Tag Archives: historic

Colonial survey of the land south of Coal Hill (Mount Washington), 1769

30 Jan
This map traces the path of Saw Mill Run creek from the Monongahela River to a point near present-day Whited Street. Click to make BIG.

Found this on a cute site dedicated to the history of Brookline.

In 1769, John Penn ordered the first official survey of a 5000 acre tract of land around Fort Pitt. This included the Golden Triangle, the North Side, Mount Washington and a portion of the South Hills along Saw Mill Run Creek.

The map itself lists the boundaries of the territory as “beginning at a marked Spanish Oak standing on the South side of the Monongahela River Thence South 800 perches to a marked Hickory thence West 150 perches to a marked White Oak, thence N 35 W144 perches to a marked White Oak”…and on and on.  So cool.

The page where this map comes from features the original survey maps of the South Hills.

Despite looking like it’s from the days of internet past, complete with waving American flag gifs, it’s a really cool, informative site featuring everything you never thought you needed to know about Brookline.



Plan of Ft Duquesne, 1846

17 Dec


Click to make BIG

The British Library just released a million images on flickr that are now in the public domain.  This gem of a map was on it, as well as a bunch of other old images from Pittsburgh.

This one is taken from a book entitled, Early history of western Pennsylvania, and of the West, and of western expeditions and campaigns, 1846.

I can’t quite figure out what’s going on in the map, as it appears the confluence is of the Mon and the Ohio.

General Map of the Pittsburgh District – a dot = 200 persons

23 Nov


Click to make BIG

Not sure when this was made, mid 1800s? It looks like it was created by Fredrick Law Olmstead’s planning company, who you may know from such places as Central Park, as well as the town of Vandergrift.

A dot = 200 people.

Interactive Pittsburgh Historic Maps and Places, 1835 to present

22 Nov


The Historic Pittsburgh site comes in handy once again.  This interactive map allows viewers to inspect an area of old plat maps and satellite images, and using a slider, view what it looks like through the years.  For instance, you can zoom in on your street, and then see how it’s changed over time. You’ll be able to narrow down when your house was built, and even see if your street had a different name. In addition, using data from the National Registry of Historic places, you can research the history of specific buildings, then see how the neighborhood changed around it.

A+ site.  Check it out!

A short history of Pittsburgh’s Inclines in the Post-Gazette

22 Nov


I’m a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s interactive maps (duh), but this one might be the best ones yet.  It tracks the history of Pittsburgh’s numerous inclines over a vintage map, that were sadly torn down over the years.  Fortunately, we still have our beloved Mon and Duquesne inclines, but it’s nice to imagine a time when people could take an incline directly to a street car and go and get their shoes repaired. On some of these inclines, people were allowed to even bring their horses on!  Think of that the next time one of the operators gives you trouble for wanting to take your bicycle aboard.

Do not miss this incredible interactive map

Retrographer: Mapping Pittsburgh’s Photographic History

25 Mar


This amazing website has been out for some time, and I keep forgetting to post about it.

Complete with a slider, the interactive map literally allows you to take a stroll through time and see how much Pittsburgh has changed…or didn’t.

The best part is, the site looks to the collective knowledge to help identify old photos and locate them over a google map, so you can compare the modern street view to the old image.


Over 5,000 images have been mapped so far, with plenty more that need your help locating the site.

Say goodbye to your evening exploring this gem.

Explore the map here: retrographer.org

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