Pittsburgh Neighborhoods: History of Hays

A Brief History of Hays

Hays Woods Coffee Mug
Get Your Hays Woods Coffee Mug Right Here!

history of hays



This neighborhood is located on the south-east side of Pittsburgh. It is not a well known neighborhood, as it’s population is small, but it’s area is large. It got its name from James H. Hays, who decided to open a coal-mining business  in the early 1800s. The neighborhood was first settled in 1789 by John Smalls, who named the area Six Mile Ferry Village. It was actually still part of Baldwin Township at the time. Hays was first called Six Mile Ferry Village because the H.B. Hays and Brothers Coal Railroad ran from the mines along Streets Run and ended at the coal tipple in Six Mile Ferry.

Facts about Hays Woods

history of hays

The area was previously where the Navy’s Hays Army Ammunition Plant was located in the ’40s. Twenty years later, it was moved to the Army in 1966 and through World War II and the Vietnam War it employed thousands. Once the plant closed, the population of the neighborhood was just over 2,000 and as of seven years ago it was just over 350 people. It is part of the area in Pittsburgh called Hays Woods, which is the larges undeveloped tract of land in the city. The location almost became a racetrack for horses but that was declined. As of last year, Hays Woods is going to be the biggest park in Pittsburgh, much like Frick Park but even bigger. The views of the city from the area can be stunning!  The neighborhood is bordered by the Monongahela River, St. Clair, Arlington, New Homestead and Lincoln Place.  There are many Pittsburghers themselves who are unaware that this area or neighborhood is even part of their great city!

Hays Woods is also the location for the Pittsburgh Bald Eagle Cam – a live camera featuring the first Bald Eagles to return to Pittsburgh (2013) in over 150 years!

Scroll to Top