A Brief History of Neville Island

Neville IslandNeville Township is located in Allegheny County. The land is all an island on the Ohio River. The island was formerly known as Montour’s Island. The name Montour comes from Native American interpreter Andrew Montour, who lived on the island in colonial times. Pre-American Revolution, the island was claimed by Pennsylvania and the state of Virginia as well. The dispute over ownership of the land went all the way to the Supreme Court. Charles Simms won the case and ownership of the island, which was eventually transferred to his partner in the lawsuit, General John Neville. Neville is whom the island and township was named after. The township was incorporated on April 8, 1854 from a piece of Ohio Township. In 1903, a newspaper ad allegedly promoted Neville Island as “the next Manhattan Island.”

Facts about Neville Island

Neville Island

In 1998, the Island Sports Center was built by the Hillman Company in 1998. Robert Morris University bought the center in 2003—inside is a hockey rink, mini golf course, pro shop and more. The township has an area of 2.2 square miles and the island is five miles long. Adjacent neighborhoods include Coraopolis, Robinson Township, Stowe and Kennedy Township. Across the river’s main channel includes Haysville, Glenfield, Kilbuck, Emsworth, Avalon and Ben Avon.

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