Pittsburgh Suburbs: History of Fox Chapel

 A Brief History of Fox Chapel

History of Fox Chapel

Fox Chapel is a borough in Allegheny County and a suburb of Pittsburgh. Fox Chapel is located six miles from downtown Pittsburgh. In the 1750s, the area was occupied by Seneca Indians. The Fox Chapel area was popular among Indian tribes for hunting and fishing. George Washington, along with Christopher Gist, pushed across Fox Chapel as he came south from Fort Le Boeuf in late 1753. During the French and Indian Wars, the battles of Braddock’s Defeat and Bushy Run among others brought British and Virginian scalps which later were put on top of wigwams in Fox Chapel. The first settler in the area was James Powers, who came in 1790. The first schoolhouse in Fox Chapel was on Squaw Run in 1806. The first church in the neighborhood came about in 1818 on Kittanning Road, a branch of Pine Creek. One of the first landowners was James O’Hara, a Revolutionary Army general and Pittsburgh-based businessman. Fox Chapel was actually originally part of O’Hara and Indiana Townships (the former being named after O’Hara).  After the automobile was invented, many began venturing out to Fox Chapel to experience the Pittsburgh Field Club (opened 1882) and the Fox Chapel Golf Club (1919). Shady Side Academy opened soon after.

Facts About Fox Chapel

History of Fox Chapel

The name Fox Chapel is named after John Fox, a German immigrant who came to the community in 1831. He farmed the land around what is now the Faith United Methodist Church. After he died his daughter Eliza donated land to the Methodist Protestant Church for a chapel to be named after her dad, hence the name Fox Chapel. Fox Chapel is home to many Pittsburgh notables, including Rocky Bleier, former Steeler and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher. The creator of the Big Mac Jim Delligatti and Teresa Heinz Kerry also grew up in Fox Chapel.

1 thought on “Pittsburgh Suburbs: History of Fox Chapel”

  1. Not sure how old this article is but Theresa Heinz Kerry did NOT grow up in Fox Chapel. She married John Heinz who his family grew up in Fox Chapel. They grew the tomatoes on their farm for the ketchup they made in Sharpsburg. Theresa is Portuguese.

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