Pittsburgh, circa 1804 -- Painted by George Beck
When the Darlington Memorial Library was brought down in its boxes from the hillside campus and permanently housed on the sixth floor of the Cathedral of Learning, in one of the boxes was a large portfolio belonging to Miss Mary Darlington. In the portfolio was this painting of early Pittsburgh. Miss Darlington had exhibited it in the Carnegie Institute Galleries in 1916. It was identified then as a painting of Pittsburgh in 1806 by George Beck.
Click on the image to see a larger version
However, there is evidence within the following article written in 1948 by Lois Mulkearn (Librarian of the Darlington Memorial Library at the time) that suggests that Beck created this painting prior to 1806. Indeed the author, believed that it was painted around 1804.
Owned by the University Library System, the painting is currently on display in the Special Collections reading room on the third floor of Hillman Library. It is believed to be the earliest illustration of Pittsburgh.
"Pittsburgh in 1806" by Lois Mulkearn
Originally published in the Spring 1948 issue of Pitt: A Quarterly of Fact and Thought at the University of Pittsburgh
The painting, "Pittsburgh in 1806," reminds one that Pittsburgh, steel capital of the world, has a natural setting which is a center of beauty and power alike.
Written history of early Pittsburgh stresses her military and business advantages. When George Washington first viewed the site of Pittsburgh, he said that the land was extremely well situated for a fort because it had the absolute command of both rivers. From 1754, when the first English fort (Prince George) was begun at the Point to the present time, Pittsburgh's history is a succession of developments in business and industry. Travelers' accounts and other records of early Pittsburgh depict her a frontier town, buzzing with activity—traders and their Indian customers rushing about, bartering "indoors, outdoors, over the counter and under the counter." As the frontier moved westward, newly established Pittsburgh shipyards built boats to carry the traders' wares down the Ohio and into the Illinois country. The town became a depot for this western trade. In 1804, when George Beck, the artist, passed through on his way to Kentucky, even then, manufacturing was important. And besides, more than seventy wholesale and retail merchants had establishments in Pittsburgh. But the artist was more impressed by the beautiful, natural setting of this quiet hamlet situated between the high hills and the rivers that had cut their way through and around them. This painting shows the real beauty of Pittsburgh, a mushrooming frontier town and home of distinguished and busy families.
Although this painting is known as "Pittsburgh in 1806," evidences lead one to believe that the title should be "Pittsburgh in 1804." A published account in The Portfolio (1813) reveals that in 1804 Beck made a tour of the western country enroute to Kentucky. James Lambdin as quoted by William Dunlap in his History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design... states that George Beck was the first painter "who penetrated beyond the Alleghenies." An advertisement in the Pittsburgh Gazette, dated June 12, 1804, reads as follows:
In the light of William Dunlap's statement and The Portfolio account one may believe that the Philadelphia landscape painter who advertised in the Pittsburgh Gazette may have been George Beck.
Internal evidences in the painting also lead one to favor the date, 1804. Pittsburgh's first big fire, July 25, 1805, destroyed some twenty buildings on Market Street; no such devastated area is shown in the painting. Imposing Trinity Church, built in 1805 at Wood and Liberty Streets, is not delineated on the canvas. This brick, octagonal edifice was a noted "landmark" in early Pittsburgh. In the beginning Beck was a draftsman in the employ of the British government, and the accurate delineation of the streets and the few buildings, descriptions of which are recorded, show that he was no less accurate with the brush than with the drafting instruments. True, there were at the time many buildings not shown nor even indicated in the painting, but the important ones are there in their approximate location.
The three important streets of that time—Penn Avenue, Liberty Avenue, and Water Street—are located accurately on the canvas. Quarry Hill, Grant's Hill, and Boyd's Hill are located accurately, too. And one can clearly identify the buildings which are isolated and those in the foreground of the painting.
Click on the locations shaded in yellow to "jump" to their descriptions in the text.
The identity of fifty buildings and areas is possible. They are numbered in this text to conform with the numbers on the cut below. The information about them has been gathered from a variety of reliable sources, contemporary and modern.
"Handsome estate" located in the square bounded by Penn Avenue, Washington Street (now Tenth Avenue), and the Allegheny River. The Woods home was a large mansion with a wing on either side.
John Woods, prominent lawyer and one of Pittsburgh's leading citizens, was among the first lawyers admitted as a member of the Bar at the first Quarter Sessions Court, December 16, 1788. Attorney Woods was State Senator and at one time Speaker of that body. He was also one of the founders of the First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, holding pew, number 27, in the log church built in 1788.
2. FERRY. From the foot of Ninth Street across the Allegheny River.
William Mason's Map of Pittsburgh (1805) indicates Valentine's ferry at this location. This ferry was later owned by Mr. Yerkins and operated until 1830 by David Haney.
3. JOHN PARKIN. Near Fort Fayette.
In the spring of 1804 John Parkin moved to the house of Gaspar Sheets near the garrison. He advertised the manufacture of iron wire.
4. FORT FAYETTE (1792-1815).
Situated about a quarter of a mile above Fort Pitt on the Allegheny on a plot bounded by Penn Avenue, Allegheny River, and what is now probably Ninth and Tenth Streets.
This fort served the western country from the time of the demolition of Fort Pitt in 1791 to the end of the War of 1812. It was a stockaded fort enclosing block- houses, barracks, and an arsenal. On December 16, 1791, General Henry Knox, Secretary of War, alarmed over reports of hostile savages in this territory, requested Major Isaac Craig, commandant of the garrison at Fort Pitt, "to procure materials for a block house and picketed fort, to be erected in such part of Pittsburgh as shall be the best position to cover the town, as well as the public stores which shall be forwarded from time to time."
Major Craig complied with this request, and the fort was completed in May, 1792. The fort served first as headquarters for Generals Wayne and Wilkinson and later as a supply depot for troops in the Western campaign. The last use of the fort was to house the naval officers and men captured at the Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813.
An Act of Congress, dated August 2, 1813, provided for demolition of the buildings and sale of the property.
5. WILLIAM SEMPLE. Opposite the Gardens of Fort Fayette.
In 1804 Mr. Semple lived opposite the gardens of Fort Fayette. Previously he had lived in William Turnbull's house on the north side of Second Street near Chancery Lane, and on Wood Street near General Wilkins.
6. DR. NATHANIEL BEDFORD. Seventh and Liberty Avenues extending through to Penn.
Dr. Bedford, pioneer physician in western Pennsylvania, "for years lived in a beautiful home at the northwest corner of Seventh and Liberty Streets extending back to Penn." It is said that he lived in the "style of an English nobleman, had servants, horses and hunting dogs." His first wife was Jane Ormsby, oldest daughter of John Ormsby, influential pioneer and leading merchant in Pittsburgh. Originally Dr. Bedford was a surgeon in the British Army. He entered private practice in Pittsburgh before 1784. He was one of the first trustees of the Pittsburgh Academy, now the University of Pittsburgh, and although he held office for only two days, he was one of the first assistant burgesses of the borough.
7. FERRY. Across the Allegheny River at Federal Street (Sixth Avenue).
Owned and operated by James Robinson.
8. WILLIAM CECIL. Sixth and Liberty Streets.
William Cecil, pioneer merchant and one time chief high constable of the borough.
9. "LARGE DEEP POND, the frequent resort of wild ducks."
This pond may be on the site of the "row of house, elegant and neat, but swept away in the course of time," as related by Hugh Henry Brackenridge in 1786. Robert Stobo's Map of Fort Duquesne (1754) marks "gardings" in this vicinity. Records of Fort Pitt show that the King's Gardens were located just outside the fort on the banks of the Allegheny River. General James O'Hara's first home (1783) in Pittsburgh was a log cabin situated "near the Allegheny River above Fort Pitt in what was called the 'Officer's Orchard.'" It is said that James O'Hara's bride astonished the people by the luxurious furnishings of her home. Carpets on the floors of her home were called "coverlets" by the neighbors who hesitated to walk on them.
10. FERRY. Across the Allegheny River in the vicinity of Marbury (Third) Street.
On September 25, 1783 William Butler was granted by the Legislature of Pennsylvania "a piece of Land in the reserved tract, opposite Pittsburgh, & an exclusive right of ferrage from the town to it." Later Mr. Butler sold the ferry to Robert Knox and John Morrison. In 1804 Robert Knox was operating the Pittsburgh side of the ferry.
11. WILLIAM BUTLER. Penn and Marbury (Third) Street.
The brothers, William and Richard Butler, were among the earliest realty holders in this vicinity. Traditionally this log house was among the first four built in the permanent settlement of Pittsburgh (ca. 1764). Prior to the Revolution William and Richard Butler carried on trade with the Indians. During the Revolution William Butler served as lieutenant colonel in the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment. He died in 1789. His widow lived for many years afterwards in this log house.
12. RICHARD BUTLER. East side of Marbury (Third) Street and one door south of Penn Avenue.
Richard Butler, distinguished officer in the Revolution and second in command under St. Clair, was killed in the battle on the Miami River, November 4, 1791. He was also superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Department, Pennsylvania State Senator, and a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. His widow continued residence here for many years after his death.
13. POINT BREWERY. On site of Fort Pitt.
This brewery, founded in 1803 by James O'Hara, was housed in three buildings. The Malt house, a most pretentious "two-story structure with a belfry," was formerly the officers' quarters of Fort Pitt. Note the belfry in the painting.
14. BOUQUET'S REDOUBT, now known as "The Block House." At "the Point."
Built by order of Colonel Bouquet in 1764. The Block House is a five-sided brick structure, two stories high, with squared oak log floors and loopholes on each floor. This blockhouse was so situated that it completely commanded the moat on the Allegheny River side of the fort. When the property was bought by Isaac Craig and Stephen Bayard, a large annex was added to the Block House, and it was used as a dwelling from that time to 1894. William Turnbull lived here for one year. The next tenant was Isaac Craig who lived here for two years. This building is still standing.
15. FERRY. At the foot of Liberty Avenue.
The Jones or Lower ferry was operated first by hand, then by horse, and finally by steam power. When Ephriam Jones died, his heirs carried on the business until the close of the Civil War when they sold out to a company chartered under the name of Jones Ferry Company.
16. GENERAL JAMES O'HARA. A large frame dwelling at the corner of West and Water Streets.
James O'Hara, pioneer industrialist and business man in Pittsburgh, probably made the greatest contribution to the early development of Pittsburgh. He was successively Indian trader, contractor for Army supplies, government Indian agent, wholesale and retail merchant, real estate owner and dealer, manufacturer, and quartermaster general for the United States Army. Isaac Craig and James O'Hara built the first glasshouse in the western country. Although conceived in 1796, it was not until 1798 that they began the "blewing of glass." O'Hara was also owner of the "Point Brewery," the first operated in the borough. In 1804 he operated in addition to his glassworks and brewery, "two tan-yards and a yard for shipbuilding." His real estate holdings were vast. In the Manor of Pittsburgh alone he owned 129 acres. It is said that he bought much land and sold very little. James O'Hara had the distinction of being one of the Presidential Electors who cast the ballots to elect our first president. The first bank in Pittsburgh, established in 1804, had James O'Hara as one of its directors. Unlike most prominent, early Pittsburghers O'Hara was not active in politics of the day.
"On the sixteenth of December 1819 James O'Hara, one of the oldest and most respectable citizens of Pittsburgh, died at his home on West and Water Street."
17. ABRAHAM KIRKPATRICK. On Water Street adjoining O'Hara's house.
Major Abraham Kirkpatrick was a veteran of the Revolution, justice of the peace for Allegheny County, (1788), and commissary general of the Western Army at the time of the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794. The insurgents, inflamed against him, demanded his exile from Pittsburgh and burned part of the buildings on (now Mt. Washington). Only the close proximity of his town house to James O'Hara's saved it from destruction by the insurgent mob. He died in 1817 and is buried in Trinity Churchyard.
18. ISAAC CRAIG. Frame tenement on Water Street one door above Redoubt Alley.
Isaac Craig came to Pittsburgh with the military at the time of the Revolution. In 1784 Isaac Craig and Stephen Bayard purchased Fort Pitt and the land upon which it stood. Major Craig was at one time commandant at Fort Pitt and army officer responsible for the building of Fort Fayette. He was also deputy quartermaster general for the United States Army under James O'Hara.
In civilian life Mr. Craig was partner with General O'Hara in building the first glassworks. Later his interests were in shipbuilding and real estate. In 1802 he was chief burgess of the borough of Pittsburgh.
Before this dwelling was built on Water Street "the Craigs" lived in remodeled Bouquet's Redoubt. Neville Craig, a son, was born there.
19. "NEVILLE MANSION." A large, two-story building set in a garden on the northwest corner of Water and Ferry Streets.
This was the famous shingle-roofed house built about 1766 by George Morgan for the conduct of sales and the storage of goods which were to be sent for trade in the Illinois country. When George Croghan visited Philadelphia, in 1765, he induced George Morgan, youthful member of the firm, Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan, to enter the western Indian trade. After the company closed their business in the Illinois country and removed from Pittsburgh, the house was rented to Samuel Semple. In 1770 when George Washington made his tour to the Ohio, he "lodged in what is called the town, distant about 300 yards from the fort, at one Mr. Semple's, who keeps a very good house of public entertainment." Later, General John Neville bought the home and lived there at least until the latter part of 1801. At that time he advertised the place for sale.
General John Neville, a Virginian, served in Braddock's Army and in Lord Dunmore's War. Neville was commandant at Fort Pitt, renamed Fort Dunmore during Virginia's occupation. He served as an officer in the Revolution and later as an inspector of revenue under the excise law. General Neville, Abraham Kirkpatrick, and others were targets for the Whiskey Insurrectionists in 1794. His country estate, Bower Hill, was burned by that angry mob. General Neville died in 1803. This home for many years was known as the "Neville Mansion."
20. GRANT'S REDOUBT (1764). On the Monongahela at the foot of Redoubt Alley.
Captain William Grant was stationed at Fort Pitt until late in 1764, when he was transferred to Fort Bedford.
On February 24, 1764, Captain William Grant, in command at Fort Pitt, reported to Colonel Bouquet that the redoubt which "you traced out upon the banks of the Monongahela is just begun." On September 4, 1764, Colonel John Reed reported to Colonel Bouquet: "Captain Grant has finished some Redoubts that contribute greatly to the security of the fort." Although the Redoubt is not shown on the William Mason Map of Pittsburgh, 1805, this building on the painting is on the site of "Grant's Redoubt at the foot of Redoubt Alley." John Irwin is said to have lived here about 1781. The plan, "Pittsburgh in 1795," locates Grant's Redoubt in the same location as Beck has given this building in the painting.
21. JOHN ORMSBY. Corner of Water and Ferry Streets.
This log house together with Bouquet's Redoubt and the Butler brothers' homes were the first houses built after Bouquet's relief of Fort Pitt in 1763. John Ormsby, prominent citizen of Pittsburgh, came here with General Forbes' Army. It is evident that he maintained a residence here before this house was built in 1764, for Colonel Bouquet, on September 30, 1763, states that "neither Ormsby, nor any other Inhabitant had ever any right of Property to any House or Ground at this place [Pittsburgh] but merely the use of them, while they remained here, and no longer, being always obliged when they went away, to deliver the keys of their Houses to the Commanding Officer, who gave them to other People, and not a farthing has ever been paid on that or any other Account." Ormsby was in turn Indian trader, King's Commissary at Fort Pitt, and manager for a contractor for army supplies. In 1784 he was granted the right of a ferry across the Monongahela River, which he operated until John Patch took it over in 1789. Mr. Ormsby at one time also kept a tavern. Birmingham, now a part of Pittsburgh, was laid out on lands once owned by John Ormsby.
22. PRESLEY NEVILLE. Water Street near the west side of Market Street.
Presley, John Neville's son, like his father was a leading citizen of Pittsburgh. Mr. Neville was an aide-de-camp of Lafayette during the Revolution, member of the state legislature, and burgess of Pittsburgh in 1804. He was one of the incorporators of the Pittsburgh Academy (1787), now University of Pittsburgh.
23. SAMUEL EWALT'S RESIDENCE. On the northeast corner of Market and Water Streets.
Samuel Ewalt was first sheriff of Allegheny County and state assemblyman in 1796. At one time he owned the entire block on the east side of Market between Water and Front Streets. When George Woods surveyed Pittsburgh Manor for the Penns, he began his surveys in different directions from Ewalt's house at Market and Water Streets. Ewalt did not live here in 1804.
24. ADAMSON TANNEHILL RESIDENCE. Center of the block on Water between Market and Wood Streets.
When John Johnston, one time postmaster, came to Pittsburgh in 1787, he took up residence in the Tannehill house. From here he carried on his business as jeweler and clockmaker. General Tannehill later removed to his country estate on Grant's Hill.
25. WILLIAM MORROW's "Sign of the Green Tree."
When this tavern was conducted by D. McLane, it was known as the "Whale and the Monkey." Here many political and social gatherings were held. In 1799, Lodge 45, Ancient York Masons, held their scheduled meetings at the "Sign of the Green Tree."
26. FERRY. From the end of Wood Street across the Monongahela.
Although owned by Jacob Beltzhoover, this ferry was operated by William Graham, who kept a tavern at the northwest corner of Wood and Water Streets. It was in operation until 1818.
27. ALEXANDER ADDISON. Second and Smithfield Street, near the Academy.
Alexander Addison, who emigrated from Scotland to western Pennsylvania in 1785, preached for a short time in Redstone Presbytery. In 1787 his interests turned to law. He was admitted to the bar in Washington County in that year. A short time afterwards he came to Pittsburgh and here resided until his death in 1807. Addison was the first president judge of the fifth judicial district of Pennsylvania, serving from 1791 to 1803. In politics he was a rabid Federalist, a stand which led to his impeachment and removal from the Bench in 1803.
28. WILKINS HOME. Wood Street between Second and Third.
Both John Wilkins, Sr. and John Wilkins, Jr. lived in this locality. This double brick house, 40 by 33 feet with an added kitchen, was probably the home of John Wilkins, Jr.
29. WILLIAM SEMPLE. Wood Street near General Wilkins' home.
Mr. Semple moved from here to a house near the Garrison Gardens. In 1804 this house may have been the home of James Morrison.
30. PITTSBURGH ACADEMY. At Third Street and Cherry Alley (William Penn Way).
In 1787, when the Pittsburgh Academy, parent of the University of Pittsburgh, was founded, the state legislature granted for its use and revenue some 5,000 acres of unseated lands west of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers. Hugh Henry Brackenridge, the founder, got for the Academy a plot of land bounded by Second and Third Streets, Cherry Alley, and Smithfield Street. This plot was known at the time as Ewalt's field. The first structure erected was a log building. The brick two-story structure identifiable in the picture was built later. The log academy nearby became the home of the principal of the school. Benjamin Hopkins was principal in 1804.
31. ANDREW RICHARDSON. Market Street between Water and Ferry.
Dr. Richardson's establishment was a combination dwelling, physician's office, and drugstore.
32. ANDREW WATSON. North side of Front Street between Chancery Lane and Market Street.
John and Samuel Calhoun had a general store here. When Allegheny County was founded, the second floor was rented by the county for the use of the Courts and was called the "Court House." Here were held the first Court of Quarter Sessions, the first Court "of Common Pleas, and the first Court of Oyer and Terminer for Allegheny County. Some authors attribute ownership of this property to Henry, not Andrew Watson.
33. JOHN SCULL. Front Street next door to the northwest corner of Market.
John Scull contributed greatly to the progress of the community. In 1786, in a small, one-story building in the rear of his house, Scull printed the first newspaper published west of the Alleghenies. One year later he was named Pittsburgh's first postmaster, a position he held until 1794. The post office was in his residence. The third volume of H. H. Brackenridge's Modern Chivalry, printed by John Scull, was the first book published west of the Alleghenies.
34. WILLIAM EICHBAUM'S TAVERN, "Sign of the Indian Queen." Front Street just off Market.
When William Eichbaum came to Pittsburgh, he was employed to direct the construction and operation of the newly founded glassworks of Isaac Craig and James O'Hara. In May, 1804, Richard Hancok's Bakery was next door to Eichbaum's tavern.
35. WILLIAM TURNBULL. North side of Second Street, one door west of Chancery Lane.
The owner, William Turnbull, prominent Philadelphia businessman, may have been the Mr. Turnbull who first occupied Bouquet's Redoubt after it was turned into a dwelling. This large, two-story, stone structure, in 1794, housed William Semple's store. In 1804, the building was occupied by the newly founded Pittsburgh branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania.
36. JAMES O'HARA PROPERTY. Northwest corner of Second and Market Streets.
This three-story, double brick building was investment property of James O'Hara. Scott and Trotter's general store was in the building.
37. GEORGE ADAMS. Front Street near Ferry.
This log house was the second post office in Pittsburgh. Adams was postmaster from 1794 to 1801.
38. DEVEREUX SMITH. Corner Front and Ferry Streets.
George Woods, who made the survey of Pittsburgh Manor for the Penns, named Smithfield Street in honor of Devereux Smith. When James O'Hara came to Pittsburgh, he became associated with the Indian trading firm of Devereux Smith and Ephriam Douglass. The ledgers of this trading house are in the Darlington Memorial Library of this University. Although, by 1804, this large building had not been occupied by Devereux Smith for many years, it was still known as "Devereux Smiths."
39. HUGH HENRY BRACKENRIDGE. Second and Market Streets.
After 1801 this building was occupied by Isaac Gregg. This "large frame dwelling painted blue and with a white fence around it" was the home of one of Pittsburgh's most distinguished citizens. Judge Brackenridge and John Woods, who lived on Penn Avenue on the outskirts of the town, were considered the ablest lawyers in the vicinity. Mr. Brackenridge attained fame in both the literary and political field. He was founder of the Pittsburgh Academy, now the University of Pittsburgh. The first Pittsburgh newspaper, the Pittsburgh Gazette, and The Tree of Liberty, second newspaper to be published in Pittsburgh, owe their existence to Judge Brackenridge. The office of The Tree of Liberty was in a building adjoining his home and the printing office was housed in a one-story building to the rear of his dwelling. Mr. Brackenridge figured largely in the political and literary life of the community from 1781 to 1801, when he moved to Carlisle. In 1799 he reached high attainment in the judicial world when he was appointed Justice of the State Supreme Court, a commission he held until his death in 1816. His son, Henry Marie Brackenridge, like his father, was both able lawyer and literary figure in his time.
40. EBENEZER DENNY. Market and Third Streets.
Ebenezer Denny's home was the last in the row of brick tenements between Second and Third Streets on Market. Mr. Denny and James O'Hara had constructed these tenements in 1791 with bricks from Fort Pitt. It is said that the demolition of Fort Pitt in 1791 made more than a million bricks available for building in Pittsburgh. In partnership with Anthony Beelen, Denny conducted a general store. This partnership was dissolved in 1794.
Major Denny had an illustrious career. At thirteen he bore dispatches from Carlisle to the commandant at Fort Pitt; he served his country well in the Revolution; he was lieutenant under George Rogers Clark in the Illinois; he fought in the Harmar and St. Clair campaigns. In civic life Ebenezer Denny was no less active, holding the offices of County Commissioner and Treasurer of the County. He was Pittsburgh's first mayor, (1816). In 1822 Mr. Denny died in this house.
41. WILLIAM IRWIN. Southwest corner of Market and the West Diamond.
This three-story, brick structure built of bricks from Fort Pitt was completed about 1800. The third floor became the "lodge room" for Lodge 45, Ancient York Masons. Court was held in this third floor room for a short time previous to the completion of the Court House. Mr. Irwin kept a house of "public entertainment, and sold, in addition to whiskey, and other diverting drinks, 'kettles, stoves, and dry goods.'"
42. COURT HOUSE. "On the Diamond."
Constructed of brick, the courthouse consisted of a main, hip-roofed building two stories high, surmounted by a belfry and spire and flanked by two one-story wings designed for offices. The building was completed about 1800.
43. ROPEWALK. Liberty and Third Streets.
This ropewalk was operated by Mary, Colonel John Irwin's widow, and her son, John. The business was on this site from 1795 to 1812.
44. JAMES ROSS. Grant and Fourth Streets.
This was formerly John Marie's tavern, famous meeting place for politicos of the time. The Marie estate consisted of six acres known at that time as Grant's Hill. Early in the 1800's James Ross bought this property from John Marie. Later it was known as the "Oregon Lot." In present-day Pittsburgh the "Oregon Lot" is the square block bounded by Fourth and Grant Streets, and Fifth and Ross Streets. And from 1855 to 1882 the University of Pittsburgh (then Western University of Pennsylvania) stood on the Ross and Diamond corner of this lot. The present Court House is on this site. The building, Marie's Tavern, was a plain, frame dwelling which housed both household and office for James Ross.
James Ross was a prominent Pittsburgh lawyer and twice United States Senator.
45. ADAMSON TANNEHILL. Top of Grant's Hill.
This "handsome cottage," the country seat of Mr. Tannehill, was the scene of many Fourth of July celebrations in Pittsburgh. Advertisements in the newspapers reveal the importance of this event to the citizens. The first Tannehill residence was on Water Street.
46. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Wood Street and Virgin Alley (Oliver Avenue).
This log church was built in 1786.
47. MILITIA PARADE GROUND. Area northeast of Marie's Tavern. Fifth and Grant Streets.
Each year from April to October this level plot of land served as a parade and training ground for the militia.
48. "SIGN OF THE CROSS KEYS." Northwest corner of Wood and Diamond Alley.
In 1804 this tavern was operated by Jeremiah Sturgeon.
49. PITTSBURGH FOUNDRY. Northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street.
In 1804 this first iron foundry in Pittsburgh was erected by Joseph McClucy and his associates. It is said that during the War of 1812 "cannon howitzers, shells, and balls" were made here to be used by Commodore Perry's Fleet on Lake Erie and by General Jackson at New Orleans. This first foundry is parent to the present Mackintosh, Hemphill and Company of today.
50. RACE TRACK. Area not far from present site of Union Station.
This race track was abandoned in 1801.
For an enriched understanding of this "View" one should consider, too, the number of homes and business establishments that cannot be identified on this painting. Market Street, from Water Street to the Diamond, was the core of small business at this time. Gabriel Dubac, the lovable Frenchman, had his confectionery and dry goods store directly across Market Street from Dobbins and McElhinney, cabinet makers and upholsterers. It is said that Chevalier Dubac's pets, Sultan, the dog, and Bijou, the monkey, were a delight to all the children in the town. The Tarascon brothers, John Hamshier, William Steele, William Herd, Samuel Davis, William Christy, Thomas and Samuel Magee, Joseph McClurg, Zadoc Cramer of Navigator and Almanac fame, William Woods and Company, John and Alexander Wills, and John Wrenshall, the founder of Methodism in Pittsburgh, all had businesses on Market Street or on the Diamond.
The physicians, George Stevenson, Peter Mowry, and Hugh Scott, had their offices there.
The "Sign of the General Butler" on Market, and the Black Bear Tavern on the Diamond vied with the "Sign of the Cross Keys" for popularity both among townsmen and travelers.
The jail, a two-story, stone structure, was off the West Diamond, directly behind the Court House.
John Gibson's property was near Andrew Watson's on Front Street. The Gibson house was said to be the first brick house built in Pittsburgh. John Gibson served with General Forbes in the Fort Pitt campaign, and after 1763 made his permanent home in Pittsburgh. He was commandant at Fort Pitt in 1781-1782, a judge of Common Pleas Court, major general of Militia and secretary of the Indian Territory, and one of the incorporators of the "Academy at Pittsburgh."
The John Johnston home was near Andrew Watson's on Front Street. The post office stood here from 1804-1822.
A Mr. Roberts may have lived in the large, white house on Grant's Hill overlooking the Monongahela River. Although there appears to be no written evidence that he lived there at this time, this large, white house appears prominently on the painting, and a plan of Pittsburgh in 1830 marks this location for "Roberts."
Waters from the north and the south join at Pittsburgh on their journey home to the sea. Here, from east and west, the supply and demand of early trade met in Pittsburgh's early days, and from here flowed westward those eager crowds of people and their activity—known as, "The Westward Movement." Pages of history give cause and effect and actual happenings in this great progress. "Pittsburgh in 1806" shows "Whence it came."