Browns Hill Road

From Pittsburgh Streets
Browns Hill Road
Neighborhoods Glen Hazel, Hazelwood, Squirrel Hill South
Origin of name Browns Hill, named for the Brown family

Browns Hill, down which Browns Hill Road runs, takes its name from the Brown family, who owned the hillside in the 1800s and early 1900s, along with property on the Monongahela riverbank. William Hughey Brown (1815–1875) came into wealth through coal mines, coke ovens, and steamboats which carried these products as far as New Orleans.[1] An 1851 map of Allegheny County shows "Brown & Miller" on the north bank of the Monongahela just downstream from the mouth of Nine Mile Run.[2] Atlases from 1862 and 1872 label the residence of W. H. Brown at this location "Rock Cottage" and mark the hillside as his property.[3][4] His oldest son, Captain Samuel S. Brown (1842–1905), built the first bridge across the Monongahela at this location in 1897. It was called Brown's Bridge and it lasted until 1938, when it was replaced by the Homestead High-Level Bridge (now called the Homestead Grays Bridge). Sam's mansion, next to the tracks of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad along the Monongahela, was threatened by the railroad's expansion in 1903, so Sam hired the John Eichleay Jr. Company to raise it to the top of the 160-foot bluff overlooking the river. The successful project took three months and cost $40,000.[5][6][1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Squirrel Hill Historical Society. Helen Wilson, ed. Squirrel Hill: A neighborhood history, pp. 33, 153–157. History Press, Charleston, S. C., 2017, ISBN 978-1-4671-3625-9. LCCN 2016961484. [view source]wilson-helen
  2. Sidney & Neff and S. McRea. Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with the Names of Property-Holders. Philadelphia, 1851. LCCN 2012592150. [view source]sidney-neff
  3. S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]beers
  4. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872.; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1872
  5. Helen Wilson. "The Samuel S. Brown mansion and the Jewish Home for the Aged." Squirrel Hill Historical Society. [view source]wilson-brown-mansion
  6. Helen Wilson. "More about the Samuel S. Brown mansion." Squirrel Hill Historical Society, Aug. 2020. [view source]wilson-brown-mansion-more