A Brief History of Castle Shannon

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The first families settled in Castle Shannon back in 1786. They ventured there for farmland and timber. Farmer David Strawbridge owned one of the most prominent ones and he named it Castle Shanahan. One can guess, this is how the neighborhood earned its name. In 1872, the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad line was completed. It provided a link from Pittsburgh to the village of Castle Shannon. Castle Shannon’s population blew up when development because of two years of free transportation and lumber on the railroad. Later, in 1877, a second railroad was constructed from Finleyville all the way to Castle Shannon to West End in Pittsburgh. About 30 years later, a portion of the railroad was purchased by Pittsburgh Railroad. This allowed the community to become a center for coal mining, with eight mines in the neighborhood. The First National Bank in Castle Shannon was the site of a famous bank robbery in 1917. $18,500 was taken but $10,500 was recovered after a man got shot while trying to escape. The full amount was never found. The neighborhood was incorporated as a borough in 1919.

Facts about Castle Shannon

Castle Shannon has five borders including Baldwin Township, Whitehall, Overbrook, Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon. Castle Shannon’s school system is Keystone Oaks School District, a joint venture with Green Tree and Dormont. In addition to public schools like Keystone Oaks Middle and High, Myrtle Elementary, Aiken and Dormont Elementaries, there is one Catholic school—St. Anne’s.

5 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Suburbs: History of Castle Shannon

  1. I lived on Castle Shannon Bvld during my 2nd and 3rd grade, mid-50’s. Went to Washington Elementary School. My brother, sister, and I roamed all over Castle Shannon in those years. We went to St. Anne’s Church, and i delivered the Pgh Post Gazette in 4th and 5th grade.

    1. Grew up on Middle Road in Baldwin Twp. In the 70s-80s. Grandparents were James Waters from May Street and Kathlene Carey from Broadway Avenue in Castle Shannon. Walked the tracks or road bikes from Brookline to South Park and ran around that entire area.

  2. I lived on Old Farm Road in the ‘50’s and went to Rolling Hills Elementary School. My best friend, Rhonda, lived on Middle Road.
    1958 – kindergarten through 1964 – 6th grade.
    Dormont Pool for swimming and fireworks, and Bethel Park for ice skating.
    The best place and time to grow up.

  3. I had lots of cousins that lived in Castle Shannon in the 60-70’s. We spent the summers there with the Kleer family that lived on Union St. Just up the hill were our more cousins of the Brubach family and on the other side of town were all the Creehans-lots of them! We had a blast running all over the place without a care in the world. I remember as a teenager we took the trolley from Shannon to Pittsburgh for the last Pirates game at Forbes field.

  4. I was found on a door step in Central Castle Shannon, on the convergence of Castle Shannon Blvd – Willow – Poplar Avenues, the Shannon/Drake Streetcar and Penn RR lines. Attended Hamilton School K thru 3 and Keystone Oaks schools, the same as it ever was. There’s a 1901 photo here from about where Winky’s on Library Rd. was; the 2 RR’s, Poplar Ave, Mt Lebo golf hill, to right the Presbyterian Church later relocated to Poplar where I spent my first 20 years. I married the girl up the street in that church in 1978. OMG the memories that keep becoming more vivid.

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