A Brief History of Ross Township

Ross Township

Ross Township got its name from prominent Pittsburgh attorney James Ross. He was later a U.S. Senator and personal land lawyer to George Washington. Ross Township’s beginnings started in June 1809, when John McKnight and dozens of other Pine Township residents called for the formation of a new township. Early settlers were fearful of Native Americans, since Ross Township was on the Seneca tribe’s hunting grounds. They saw white men as trespassers. In 1794, a man named Casper Reel decided to settle the area and his twin sons are considered the first settlers to be born north of Pittsburgh. In 1799, the Hiland Presbyterian Church was built. It still stands to this day. In 1908, the Perrysville Volunteer Fire Company was formed. Decades later in 1962, Northway Mall in Ross Township opened with 62 stores (it is now called The Block Northway). In the summer of ’67, the Big Mac was invented in a McDonald’s on McKnight Road.

Facts about Ross Township

Ross Township

Ross has 11 borders, including McCandless, Hampton, Reserve, Perry North, Kilbuck, Ohio Township and more. Ross also surrounds the borough of West View. Some communities within Ross include Holly Hill, McKnight, Northway, Laurel Gardens and more. One of Ross Township’s most famous claim to fames is one of the roads that passed through the community. The Native Americans called the path, Venango (later called Franklin Road) and it was an important road traveled by Commodore Oliver Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. After his victory, it was renamed Perrysville Plank Road. It is now known as Perry Highway.

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