“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Ormsby River Farms

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Ormsby River Farms Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
1. Ormsby River Farms Marker
Inscription.  Homestead Farms, owned by Major John Ormsby, was a huge tract of nearly 3,000 acres that included Pittsburgh's South Side and Mt. Washington neighborhoods. Major Ormsby acquired part of this land from England as payment for military service during the French & Indian War. He purchased the remainder of the land tracts through Indian trading. Ormsby's son-in-law Nathaniel Bedford laid out a town plan within Homestead Farms. He called it "Birmingham" after the British industrial city where he was from, and he named the streets after female members of his family—Jane, Sidney, Sarah, Mary and Josephine. The Borough of Birmingham later became part of the South Side.

After the Major died in 1804, his descendants continued to build beautiful riverside mansions between 21st Street and 26th Street. In front of these manor houses, extending down the gentle slope to the river's edge, were rose gardens, forests and meadows. The country scene changed when the railroad and industrial development transformed

Three Rivers Heritage Trail/Great Allegheny Passage image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, May 30, 2021
2. Three Rivers Heritage Trail/Great Allegheny Passage
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the South Side riverfront during the early the 20th century.

A fisherman casts his line into the Monongahela River in front of the Ormsby Farms. The trees along the river were huge, boats could be dock beneath their exposed roots. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Grant's Hill was blasted away and the rocks and earth were carted off to fill the stream valleys. The site is known today as Grant Street.
In 1790, farms with log or wood houses lined the Monongahela River along today's South Side. Across the river, Pittsburgh was little more than a river village. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Erected by Friends of the Riverfront, DCNR, Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, City of Pittsburgh, PHMC.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, French and Indian.
Location. 40° 26.076′ N, 79° 59.084′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker is on Three Rivers Heritage Trail, 0.8 miles east of Grant Street, on the left when traveling east. Not accessible by motorized vehicle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Diamonds (here, next to this marker); Coal Transportation

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(here, next to this marker); Mercy Hospital (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oliver Iron and Steel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Immigrant Steel Workers (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pennsylvania Canal in Pittsburgh (approx. ¼ mile away); Pittsburgh Glass (approx. ¼ mile away); Panhandle Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
Also see . . .  Friends of the Riverfront. (Submitted on June 1, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 1, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Jun. 25, 2022