A Brief History of Squirrel Hill

History of Squirrel Hill

Squirrel Hill is a neighborhood located in the East End of Pittsburgh. The population of this vibrant and growing Pittsburgh neighborhood has grown since 2000. As of six years ago, when the 2010 Census was collected, about 40 percent of Squirrel Hill’s residents were Jewish. The United Jewish Federation released a study in 2002 that most of the Jewish population of the greater Pittsburgh area lives in this area and only 14 percent live in other neighborhoods.

With an interesting name like “Squirrel Hill,” one has to wonder at times its origin. The history of Squirrel Hill shows that  Native Americans may have given the neighborhood its name due to the large amounts of squirrels that inhabit the area. The very first recorded home in the neighborhood was built in 1760 by a soldier named Colonel James Burd, at a place called Summerset. The second home, which is still standing in Schenley Park, was built by a man named Ambrose Newton.

In 1868, the neighborhood was annexed to the city of Pittsburgh after spending time as part of Peebles Township.

Fun Facts

History of Squirrel Hill

This popular neighborhood is home to many non-profits like the Children’s Institute, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, Jewish Community Center and more. Famous notables from the area include the great sportscaster and Terrible Towel inventor Myron Cope and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray. The great Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood also grew up in Squirrel Hill.

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