Adon Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Adon Street
Neighborhood Sheraden
Dithridge Street (1869–1880)
Portion South of Chartiers Avenue
Eberhardt Street (1869–1880)
Portion North of Chartiers Avenue
Seventh Street (1880–1908)
Origin of name Numbering of streets in the borough of Sheraden
Aschenez Street (1908–1927)
Origin of name Ashchenaz, an early settlement here, of uncertain origin

This street was originally Dithridge Street south of today's Chartiers Avenue and Eberhardt Street to the north, both laid out in 1869 for N. P. Sawyer as part of a village he called Ashchenaz.[1] These were the "D" street and one of the two "E" streets in an alphabetical sequence of street names in Sawyer's plan that went from A to P (see Tybee Street).

In 1880 Ashchenaz was re-subdivided by Andrew Patterson and renamed Sheridan (later spelled Sheraden). In this new plan, the former Dithridge and Eberhardt Streets together became Seventh Street.[2][3] See Faust Street for more about Sheraden's formerly numbered streets.

The borough of Sheraden was annexed to the city of Pittsburgh in 1907.[4][5] Its numbered streets conflicted with the numbered streets downtown and in the Strip District, so they were renamed the next year; Seventh Street became Aschenez Street,[6] named for the original settlement of Ashchenaz (with a minor spelling change).

Aschenez Street was renamed Adon Street in 1927.[7]

The name Ashchenaz

The origin of the name Ashchenaz, often spelled Aschenaz, is rather obscure. No two sources give the same story.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Press published in 1900 (before N. P. Sawyer's death), Aschenaz was the name of a Native American chief whose grave was located within the bounds of Sawyer's plan. The name was said to be Cherokee and to mean 'pleasant land,' 'father,' or 'leader of a tribe,' while the chief was supposedly an ancestor of Queen Alliquippa. Sawyer's aunt, Mary Brooks, suggested the name for the town.[8]

The name Ashchenaz or Ashkenaz is found in the Hebrew Bible as a great-grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:3, 1 Chronicles 1:6) and the name of a kingdom (Jeremiah 51:27). Based on this, the Press article claimed that the lineage of the Native American chief could be traced back to Noah, fitting into the traditional Judeo-Christian belief that all peoples of the world descended from Noah's three sons.[8] However, this is historically impossible. It seems more likely that "Ashchenaz" was a European-American corruption of the chief's actual name, or perhaps a complete fabrication.

Just a few years later, another article in the Press said that Aschenaz was the Native American name for the valley in which Sheraden lies, and also that it was the name of a Native American princess.[9]

One source says that Ashchenaz was named directly for the Biblical kingdom.[10] Another says that Aschenaz was the name of a landowner.[11]

See also


  1. "Boro of Ashchenaz plan of lots situate in Chartiers Tow'p laid out for N. P. Sawyer." Laid out June 1869; recorded Sept. 21, 1880, Plan Book 6, pp. 223–225. Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds 3779448. [view source]ashchenaz-plan
  2. "Sheridan: Plan of lots situated in Chartiers Twp. Allegheny County Pa." Laid out Apr. 1880; recorded May 12, 1880, Plan Book 6, pp. 212–214. Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds 3779433. [view source]sheridan-plan
  3. Atlas of the Vicinity of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Pennsylvania, plate 26. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1886.; included in the 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1886
  4. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 11. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  5. Mark A. Connelly. "Sheraden Borough–Pittsburgh City 1907 Merger." Local Geohistory Project. [view source]lgeo-sheraden-annexation
  6. "An ordinance changing and establishing the names of avenues, streets and alleys in the Forty-third ward (formerly the Borough of Sheraden) of the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1908, no. 393. Passed July 9, 1908; approved July 13, 1908. Ordinance Book 19, p. 496. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the [Select and Common Councils] of the City of Pittsburgh for the years 1907–'08–'09, appendix, pp. 210–214, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1909 (Google Books gMBEAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust chi.096598897; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecordselect1907, Pghmunicipalrecordcommon1907). [view source]ordinance-1908-393
  7. "An ordinance changing the names of certain streets and ways in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1927, no. 392. Passed May 9, 1927; approved May 12, 1927. Ordinance Book 38, p. 619. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, May 19, 1927, p. 23 ( 88715306), and May 20, p. 19 ( 88715326). [view source]ordinance-1927-392
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The grave of the Indian chief Aschenaz: Last resting place of one of the forbears of Queen Alliquippa: Name can be traced back to Noah." Pittsburg Press, Mar. 22, 1900, p. 10. 141368098. Reprinted as "A Pittsburg Indian mentioned in the Bible: Chief Aschenaz, one of the forbears of Queen Alliquippa, is buried at Sheraden—name traced back to the time of Noah," Pittsburg Press, Apr. 1, 1900, p. 8 ( 141372843). [view source]grave-of-aschenaz
  9. "Something of ancient Sheraden: Indian history deals with the beginning of the beautiful suburb—realty values are upon good basis: Data which shows development." Pittsburg Press, Dec. 24, 1905, p. 36. 141848194. [view source]ancient-sheraden
  10. Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance. An Atlas of the Sheraden Neighborhood of Pittsburgh 1977, p. 2. 1977. Historic Pittsburgh 31735070289230; [view source]pna-sheraden
  11. William A. White. "Sheraden at 100." Pittsburgh Press, June 27, 1957, p. 15. 148073755. [view source]white-sheraden