Pittsburgh Neighborhoods: History of Bethel Park

A Brief History of Bethel Park

History of Bethel Park

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Bethel Park is a borough in Allegheny County and part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area. It is southwest of the city. The area was first settled around 1800 and named Bethel Township in 1886. It wasn’t incorporated into a borough until 1949 and became a municipality in the late ’70s. The name “Bethel Park” came from a meeting house, or a place where religious or public meetings take place.

In 2010 the census estimated Bethel Park’s population at 32,315 in over 13,000 households. With an area of about 11.7 Square miles, the area’s highest point is Rocky Ridge in the southwestern part of the borough, at 1370 feet.

Facts About Bethel Park

History of Bethel Park

Bethel Park is home to many popular Pittsburgh spots like South Hills Village, the South Park Wave Pool and Hundred Acres Manor to name a few. Pittsburgh’s first drive-in theater was the South Park Drive-In (1940-1985). It is now occupied by a Jiffy Lube, Arby’s and other retail.

The first armored car heist in America occurred in the area in the 1920s, and Andy Warhol’s gravesite is also located in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery.

The NBC television show This is Us is set in Bethel Park, where the show’s creator Dan Fogelman lived until he was seven years old.

The area is known as a growing and vibrant suburb just outside of Pittsburgh.  It’s home to sprawling suburban neighborhoods, vibrant shopping and dining areas and a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.

9 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Neighborhoods: History of Bethel Park”

  1. Memories and a love of the area are why I chose to move back here after going through a major life change. For me, it is the perfect place!

  2. In the fifties, our address was 639 South Park Rd., Bridgeville, Pa. When a post office was built in Bethel, the house numbers, at least those on South Park Road were changed, and the address became Bethel Park, Pa, because there was another Bethel somewhere in Pennsylvania, and the post office there was Bethel. A few years later, the boro changed its name to match the name of the local post office.

    1. It’s the JR Taylor memorial bridge which carries the Montour Trail over Clifton Rd by Washington School & Al’s Cafe

  3. I was on the original staff of the weekly newspaper founded just after the borough was created. It was called the Bethel Burro and had a burro as its logo. It was part of a chain that included the Mt. Lebanon News and the newly published Whitehall News.

  4. Janet S McCormack

    Bethel is the Hebrew name for “God’s house.”

    Someone knew this back in the early 1800’s which may have lead to the name Bethel Park.

    Religious meeting parks were popular in the Pgh. area in the early 1800’s.

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