Brief History of Elizabeth

History of Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a borough in Allegheny County where Route 51 crosses, 15 miles south of Pittsburgh close to the county line. The borough is entirely contained by the 15037 zip code. Elizabeth has two land borders within the townships of Elizabeth to the east and northeast and Forward to the south and southeast. Elizabeth is adjacent to West Elizabeth and Jefferson Hills. In 1787, the community was founded by Samuel Mackay, Colonel Stephen Bayard and his wife Elizabeth (whom the town was named after).

Elizabeth was one of the first of seven townships in Allegheny County. In 1803, the keelboat used in the Lewis and Clark Expedition was built in Elizabeth (however, the claim was disputed by the city of Pittsburgh). On April 2, 1834, a charter was used to incorporate the Town of Elizabeth as a borough and in 1869, Forward and Lincoln Townships were separated from Elizabeth Township.

Facts about Elizabeth

History of Elizabeth

Among the earliest industries of Elizabeth were glass making, safe making, and steamboat and ship building. The community was also the home of two coal inclines in the late 1800s. Elizabeth was also the site of a Nike anti-aircraft missile from 1956 through ’63.

The oldest cemetery, known as “The Old Graveyard,” is in Elizabeth and contains the remains of Elizabeth Mackay Bayard. The cemetery’s first burial dates back to 1774. As of the 2000 census, there were 1,609 people living in Elizabeth.