Carson Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
See also 20th Street, which was originally named Carson Street.
Carson Street
Neighborhoods Elliott, Esplen, Hays, South Shore, South Side Flats, West End
Origin of name A Philadelphia sea captain

Carson Street was named by Dr. Nathaniel Bedford, who laid out the town of Birmingham (today's South Side) in 1811, after a Philadelphia sea captain he knew.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Carson Street appears in William Darby's 1815 map of Pittsburgh and vicinity.[11]

George T. Fleming, in a 1916 Post-Gazette column about the early days of the city, implies instead that Carson Street is named for John Carson, one of the original members of the Pittsburgh common council.[12] This is almost certainly wrong: it contradicts all other sources, the city charter that established the common and select councils was not granted until 1816 (a year after Darby's map already included Carson Street in Birmingham), and Birmingham was not part of Pittsburgh until its annexation in 1872.


  1. History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania: With illustrations descriptive of its scenery, palatial residences, public buildings, fine blocks and important manufactories, from original sketches by artists of the highest ability, p. 140. L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, 1876. Historic Pittsburgh 00aee8639m. [view source]durant
  2. Oliver Ormsby Page. A Short Account of the Family of Ormsby of Pittsburgh, p. 22. Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, N. Y., 1892. Internet Archive ashortaccountfa00pagegoog, shortaccountoffa00page; [view source]ormsby
  3. E. W. Hassler. "Dr. Bedford's gift: The site of the Southside market house came from the old settler: He was prominent and wealthy: Owned much land south of the Monongahela river: His grave on Mount Oliver." Pittsburgh Post, June 18, 1893, p. 9. 87578785. Cut and pasted in [Pennsylvania county histories], vol. 3 (Allegheny County), pp. 118–121 (Internet Archive pennsylvaniacoun03unse_0), an untitled scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the State Library of Pennsylvania, call number 974.8 P38611. [view source]bedfords-gift
  4. "Birmingham borough: How it was founded—interesting historical incidents recalled." Pittsburg Press, Mar. 22, 1896, p. 14. 141573294. [view source]birmingham-borough
  5. Franklin Toker. Pittsburgh: An urban portrait, p. 132. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Penna., 1986, ISBN 0-271-00415-0. LCCN 85-71786. [view source]toker
  6. Bob Hoover. "A family prospers for generations from early foothold." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 10, 2003, p. A-14. 89905170. [view source]hoover
  7. Chris Potter. "My husband recently got a job on the South Side, and we noticed there are a lot of streets named after women. How come?" You Had to Ask. Pittsburgh City Paper, Dec. 29, 2005. [view source]south-side-women
  8. Stuart P. Boehmig. Pittsburgh's South Side, p. 56. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2006, ISBN 978-0-7385-3939-3. LCCN 2005932359. [view source]boehmig
  9. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 47. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  10. Franklin Toker. Pittsburgh: A new portrait, p. 160. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8229-4371-6. LCCN 2009022903. [view source]toker-new
  11. Wm. Darby. Plan of Pittsburg and Adjacent Country. R. Patterson and W. Darby, Philadelphia, 1815. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0197, DARMAP0198. Reproduced in John W. Reps, The Making of Urban America: A history of city planning in the United States, p. 207, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1965 (LCCN 63023414); and in Bruce J. Buvinger, The Origin, Development and Persistence of Street Patterns in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. 24. Also reproduced as "Plan von Pittsburg und Umgebungen" in Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Heinrich Luden, ed.), Reise Sr. Hoheit des Herzogs Bernhard zu Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach durch Nord-Amerika in den Jahren 1825 und 1826, vol. II, following p. 200, Wilhelm Hoffmann, Weimar, 1828 (Internet Archive reisesrhoheitdes00bern, reisesrhoheitdes00inbern). [view source]darby
  12. George T. Fleming. "Growth of city in century is great: Celebration of charter anniversary directs attention to progress made: Noteworthy events." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Mar. 12, 1916, fifth section, p. 2. 85766545. [view source]fleming-growth