Evergreen Road

From Pittsburgh Streets
Evergreen Road
Neighborhoods Perry North, Summer Hill
Origin of name Evergreen Hamlet

Evergreen Road takes its name from Evergreen Hamlet, an early planned community in Ross Township, the first such community in the United States. The Evergreen Hamlet Association was founded in 1851 by William M. Shinn, a Pittsburgh lawyer. He and five other founders wrote "The Constitution of Evergreen Hamlet," the goal of which was "to secure to its members and their families, the advantages and comforts of the country at a moderate cost, without doing violence to the social habits incident to city life to which they have all been accustomed." The hamlet was to be a self-sufficient community of 16 families, with a communal farm, dairy, orchards, gardens, and pastures. Shinn purchased a plot of 85 acres on Girty's Run (in the area around today's intersection of Babcock Boulevard and Thompson Run Road) and the hamlet was laid out in 1851. Avenues were graded and a schoolhouse, a carriage house, a stable, an ice house, and a spring house were built. But in the end only four houses were built, and in 1866, fifteen years after its founding, the experiment was declared a failure and the community was dissolved.[1][2][3]

Evergreen Hamlet adopted its name from the Evergreen Trail, a Native American path that is today Babcock Boulevard.[1][2] Evergreen Hamlet appears on the 1851 map of Allegheny County by Sidney & Neff and S. McRea[4] and the 1862 map by S. N. and F. W. Beers.[5] The 1890 Hopkins atlas shows today's Evergreen Road as the Evergreen Plank Road.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Patricia Lowry. "Hamlet out of hiding: Details of America's first picturesque suburb, a Ross village that's still evolving, are falling into place after 140 years." Pittsburgh Press, Jan. 13, 1991, Sunday Magazine, pp. 4–7. Newspapers.com 143418384, 143418405, 143418416, 143418437. [view source]lowry-hamlet
  2. 2.0 2.1 Leonard Thompson. "Enduring Evergreen." Pittsburgh Press, Oct. 23, 1955, Pittsburgh's Family Magazine, pp. 8–10. Newspapers.com 148326838, 148326850, 148326862. [view source]thompson
  3. "Utopia experiment failed in district: WPA writers publish story of Evergreen Hamlet, started along Girty's Run in early 1850's in attempt to escape 'tension and turmoil' of town life." Pittsburgh Press, July 24, 1937, p. 18. Newspapers.com 146973501. [view source]utopia
  4. Sidney & Neff and S. McRea. Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with the Names of Property-Holders. Philadelphia, 1851. LCCN 2012592150. [view source]sidney-neff
  5. S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]beers
  6. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Allegheny, vol. 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890. http://historicpittsburgh.org/maps-hopkins/1890-volume-2-plat-book-allegheny; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps (https://esriurl.com/pittsburgh). [view source]hopkins-1890-allegheny-vol-2