Inhabited by the Seneca Indians until the late 1700s, Fox Chapel, about 6 miles northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, was claimed by the tribe until after the Revolutionary War.
George Washington travelled the area in about 1753 through to Fort Le Beouf to request that the French commander vacate and return to Canada. The next 10 years or so saw the French-Indian Wars throughout the region.
It is rumored that Seneca Chief Guyasuta, who was Washington’s guide during his journey in 1753 was involved on both sides of the conflict. At one point, General O’Hara of the British provided him refuge in his estate north of the Allegheny River (now Fox Chapel). Guyasuta passed away around 1800.
The first settler, James Powers, arrived in 1790. In 1806 Squaw Run was the home of the area’s first school… a log home. Pine Creek Church was organized around 1815 on Kittanning Road, near a branch of Pine Creek. James O’Hara, a Revolutionary Army General was one of the first landowners. He gave James Ross a tract of 1700 acres of his estate, now part of Fox Chapel… in the Delafield Estates section and along Buckingham Road.
The area did not change much throughout the 1800s, but in the early 1900s proliferation of the automobile made it possible for more settlement in the area. This settlement spurred the opening of the Pittsburgh Field Club in 1882 and the Fox Chapel Golf Club in 1919.
Originally part of O’Hara and Indiana Townships, in 1928 landowners in the area assembled at Shadyside Academy and voted Fox Chapel District Association into incorporation. The next 6 years saw the addition of roads and zoning for commercial areas. 1934 saw a court order establishing the area as a borough.
Fox Chapel is known for wooded hills and private, quite neighborhoods. It’s name was bequeathed from a German immigrant, John Fox, who came to the area in 1831. He farmed the land until his death in 1889, after which his family donated some of his land to the Methodist Protestant Church for a chapel to be named in his honor.