Hazelwood: History

What are the origins of Hazelwood's name?

"Hazelwood's name derives from the hazelnut trees which once covered its site along the Monongahela River." (1)

Why was part of Hazelwood once known as "Scotch Bottom?"

"Immigrants from Scotland were the first settlers in this Indian territory, and the area from Four Mile Run to the Six Mile Ferry (four and six miles respectively from The Point) was called Scotch Bottom." (2)

Who was among the first settlers in what is now Hazelwood?

"John Wood[s], a prosperous lawyer, (3) first settled here in 1784 and built an estate which he called 'Hazel Hill.'" (4)

What fame attaches itself to John Woods' father, George Woods?

"The first survey of Pittsburgh was made in 1784 by Colonel George Woods and the present Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh honors him." (5)

What was the result of early real estate development in Hazelwood?

"Large farms and estates were carved into the woodland areas along the Monongahela, attracting numerous families of wealth to the region." (6)

What Pittsburgh families early settled in Hazelwood?

"Early families included the Olivers, Nixons, Evanses, Scullys, Burgwins, Joneses, Laughlins and Blairs." (7)

What physical improvements were made due to the number of wealthy residents?

"A wooden plank road--the first of its kind around Pittsburgh--[was] built to bear the carriage traffic between the Point and Hazelwood." (8)

What is one aspect of Hazelwood's terrain?

"The Hazelwood district has an attractive backdrop of a hilly, tree-covered area within its boundaries. This area has slopes of a 25% grade or more which makes development rather difficult." (9)

What strategic, geographic advantage spurred Hazelwood's growth?

"Hazelwood was strategically located between the coal fields of Connellsville and the City of Pittsburgh." (10)

How did B. F. Jones change the face of Hazelwood?

"In 1861 Mr. B. F. Jones, of the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad and later of Jones and Laughlin, built the first line of track through the area, bringing with it new residents and new jobs." (11)

Where did B. F. Jones place his railroad tracks and why?

"Even with the railroad, Hazelwood retained its image of a tranquil place to live. Concerned citizens convinced Mr. Jones to build his railroad inland from the river in order to retain the the natural beauty of the river banks." (12)

When was the Hazelwood area annexed to the City of Pittsburgh?

Hazelwood was annexed to the City of Pittsburgh in 1869. (13)

Between 1870 and 1910 what kind of industries and businesses blossomed in Hazelwood?

"The iron and steel industries, railroading, boatbuilding and the river trade." (14)

Did industrialization change Hazelwood?


Was coal ever mined in the Hazelwood area?

"A coal seam was once mined in Glen Hazel Heights by the Pittsburgh Coal Company." (15)

What was once a principal feature of the social life of Hazelwood?

"A strong fraternal town, Hazelwood had its share of lodges--Masons, Odd Fellows, Pythias, Malta, Rebekah, Eastern Star, Knights of Columbus, Hibernians, Moose, veterans, service and ethnic clubs." (16)

In 1962 what was the profile of business in Hazelwood and Glenwood?

In 1962 Hazelwood and Glenwood had "two shopping centers, one extending from Hazelwood Avenue to Elizabeth Street and the other from Mansion Street. There [were] 206 business houses in the area. [These included:]
2 large supermarkets             1 movie house (now closed)
2 hardware stores                5 beauty shops
3 jewelers                       5 real estate offices
1 five and ten cent store        2 variety stores
8 independent grocers            5 drug stores
1 bank                         210 store fronts in the area
1 loan office                    1 Post Office" (17) 

In the late 1970s what ethnic mix could be found in Hazelwood?

Hungarian, Italian, Slovak, Carpatho-Rusin, Polish, Irish and African-Americans. (18)

In the late 1980s what plans were laid for the site of the old Jones & Laughlin Steel plant in Hazelwood?

"Two university presidents, standing in the former Downtown board room of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., described high-tech research centers their schools plan to build on the former site of a J & L hot strip mill in Hazelwood.
"The buildings will be part of the Pittsburgh Technology Center along the Monongahela River." (19)

What was the first structure to be completed in the Pittsburgh Technology Center?

The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biotechnology and Bioengineering "is the first structure to be completed in the Pittsburgh Technology Center along Second Avenue. Carnegie Mellon University, Pitt and the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority devised the plan six years ago for scientific and research development on the former J & L Steel site. It was seen then as a major step for this post-industrial city." (20)

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