Originally inhabited by Susquehannock and Iroquois Indians when the City of Pittsburgh was still known as Fort Duquesne, Swisshelm Park is a little known neighborhood in Pittsburgh, occupying approximately one square mile. It’s bordered by Nine Mile Run, Duck Hollow (once called “Skeetersville” by locals), the Monongahela River and Swissvale. There was a cave overlooking the Monongahela River popular for arrowhead hunting in the 1920’s and 30’s. During prohibition it was also a good place to hide illegal contraband and booze.
A veteran of Valley Forge, John Swisshelm, settled the area in 1800. Running a grist mill in 1808 and building a small log cabin in Nine Mile Run. All of this most likely whare South Braddock and West Swissvale Avenues run today. Now, the Irish Centre is located in the area where Swisshelm originally settled.
The Jackson family had a large farm where palatial homes now line Windemere Drive. The farmhouse is still there and the old barn is the present Sarah Jackson Black Community Center, the site of popular teenage dances in the 50’s.