A Brief History of Coraopolis

History of Coraopolis

Coraopolis is a borough in Allegheny County. As of the 2010 census, the population was around 5,600 people. In 1940, the neighborhood was at its peak with just over 11,000. Andrew Montour, a settler who was an Indian interpreter and gave service to English settlers during the French and Indian War, was given a land patent in April of 1769. The 350 acres would later become Coraopolis and Neville Island. The first permanent settler in the community was Captain Robert Vance, who settled in 1773. Vance was a Virginian who had been a member of a regiment that was commanded by George Washington. For protection, Vance built a stone blockhouse to protect against Indian raids. The fort’s site is right around Broadway and Chestnut Streets. The area was once called Middletown in the 1800s—for its location between Pittsburgh and Beaver or because an early settler named Alexander Middleton ran a tavern there. One of the earliest, and perhaps most important industries in the area was started by the Watson family. They built a sawmill and later a grist mill that brought a lot of economy into the area. Coraopolis was incorporated as a borough on June 7, 1886.

Facts about Coraopolis

History of Coraopolis

Coraopolis was the site of two important instances in the advancement of education. First, Dr. Harry Houtz published findings that phonics were an effective way to teach reading. Second, Herbert Snell published a study of performanced-based academic tracking in junior high school. The neighborhood is home to actors Michael Keaton and S. William Hinzman. Coraopolis is experiencing revitalization as of late, with two brewpubs, a craft distillery, restaurants and coffee shops all popping up. The Richardson Romanesque train station is being restored to its 1896 glory and will become a community center and event space later this year.


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