Drovers Way

From Pittsburgh Streets
Drovers Way
Neighborhood Central Northside
Origin of name The "drovers" who drove livestock to the stockyards here
Drovers Alley (until 1914)
Origin of name The "drovers" who drove livestock to the stockyards here

In 1847, William Robinson, Jr., laid out a plan of lots called the Buena Vista Extension (today known as the Mexican War Streets).[1][2][3] This alley appears in Robinson's plan, but it was not given a name.[1][2]

The alley is labeled Drover Alley in the 1872 and 1882 Hopkins atlases[4][5] and Drovers Alley in the 1890 edition.[6] It became Drovers Way in 1914 when a Pittsburgh city ordinance changed all alleys to ways.[7]

It gets its name from the "drove yards" that were established here starting in the 1850s, near the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad. Drove yards were the predecessors of industrial stockyards; they provided a place for drovers (drivers of cattle or sheep) and others involved in the livestock trade to rest and conduct business.[8] The 1872 Hopkins atlas shows stockyards on the west side of this alley and also on the east side of Buena Vista Street.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Plan of the subdivision of Out Lots Nos. 179–180, Allegheny County by Wm. Robinson Jr." Laid out 1847; recorded July 20, 1854, Plan Book 2, p. 61. Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds 3778343. [view source]buena-vista-extension-plan
  2. 2.0 2.1 R. E. McGowin. Map of the Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny and of the Boroughs of South-Pittsburgh, Birmingham, East-Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Duquesne & Manchester etc. Schuchman & Haunlein, Pittsburgh, 1852. https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/agdm/id/32269/. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  3. Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson. Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side, pp. 32–33. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5. LCCN 2012047727. [view source]rooney-peterson
  4. 4.0 4.1 Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, pp. 76–77. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1872-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1872
  5. Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, plate 33. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1882-atlas-pittsburgh-allegheny; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1882
  6. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Allegheny, vol. 1, plate 3. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-1-plat-book-allegheny; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1890-allegheny-vol-1
  7. "An ordinance changing the name 'Alley' on every thoroughfare in the City of Pittsburgh, to 'Way.'" Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1914, no. 402. Passed Nov. 10, 1914; approved Nov. 16, 1914. Ordinance Book 26, p. 360. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Nov. 23, 1914, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 86505785), and Nov. 24, p. 12 (Newspapers.com 86505809). [view source]ordinance-1914-402
  8. David S. Rotenstein. "Model for the nation: Sale, slaughter, and processing at the East Liberty stockyards." Western Pennsylvania History, vol. 93, no. 4, winter 2010–11, pp. 36–47. https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/view/58775. [view source]rotenstein-model