Marshall Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets
Marshall Avenue
Neighborhoods California-Kirkbride, Marshall-Shadeland, Perry North, Perry South
Origin of name Thomas M. Marshall
Black Lane (until 1879)
Portion West of Brighton Road
Woodland Avenue (until 1879?)
Portion East of Brighton Road

This road appears as an unnamed township road in maps from the 1850s and 1860s.[1][2][3] It was originally named Black Lane (at least the part west of Brighton Road).[4]

Black Lane was renamed Marshall Avenue in 1879[5] in honor of Thomas M. Marshall, called "Glorious Old Tom," a lawyer who settled on Black Lane in 1863.[6][7][8]

A story connects Marshall to the Perrysville Plank Road, today Perrysville Avenue. Marshall regularly traveled along the road to get to Pittsburgh. One day he refused to pay the toll because of the poor quality of the road, and cut down the toll gate with an ax so that he could pass.[9]

The 1876 and 1882 Hopkins atlases label the part of the road east of Brighton Road Woodland Avenue.[10][4] It may have been considered part of Woodland Avenue on the west side of Brighton Road somewhat farther north, or perhaps this was an error in the Hopkins atlases. The 1890 edition labels the entire length of the road Marshall Avenue.[11][12]


Marshall Avenue and Shadeland Avenue gave their names to the neighborhood of Marshall-Shadeland, in the same pattern as other neighborhoods such as California-Kirkbride and Crawford-Roberts.

The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance, in their 1977 atlas of Marshall-Shadeland, claims that the neighborhood was named for Archibald M. Marshall, and Bob Regan repeats this claim in his book.[13][14] This Marshall was born in Ireland about 1815 and grew up in Butler County, Pennsylvania.[15] By 1839 he owned a grocery and dry-goods store on the Allegheny Diamond.[13][14][15] He bought two acres of land at the southwest corner of the West Common in 1847[15] and built a mansion there in 1851.[16] He was the landscaper of West Park.[13][16][14] He joined the flour-milling firm of Marshall, Kennedys & Company about 1870.[13][15]

It is clear that the neighborhood of Marshall-Shadeland is named for the two avenues that pass through it. It is plausible that Marshall Avenue could be named for Archibald M. Marshall, but this origin seems less likely than Thomas M. Marshall, who actually lived on the road that later took his name.

See also


  1. Sidney & Neff and S. McRea. Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with the Names of Property-Holders. Philadelphia, 1851. LCCN 2012592150. [view source]sidney-neff
  2. 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. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  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. 4.0 4.1 Atlas of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, plates 35–36. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1882.; 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1882
  5. "North Side Solons: Sitting of both branches of the local legislature: A reform movement—looking after the corporations." Daily Post (Pittsburgh), July 11, 1879, [p. 4]. 87629059. [view source]north-side-solons
  6. Edward C. Sykes. I Remember. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, May 3, 1941, [p. 10]. 523252263. [view source]sykes-1941-05-03
  7. Edward C. Sykes. I Remember. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Oct. 22, 1941, [p. 16]. 523618034. [view source]sykes-1941-10-22
  8. Edward C. Sykes. I Remember. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Apr. 26, 1943, p. 17. 523921901. [view source]sykes-1943-04-26
  9. Leland D. Baldwin. Pittsburgh: The story of a city, pp. 188–189. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 1937. HathiTrust 001263101. [view source]baldwin
  10. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, pp. 52–53. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1876.; included in the 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1876
  11. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Allegheny, vol. 1, plate 16. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890.; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1890-allegheny-vol-1
  12. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Allegheny, vol. 2, plates 17, 18. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1890.; included in the 1890 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1890-allegheny-vol-2
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance. An Atlas of the North Side: Marshall-Shadeland Area Neighborhood of Pittsburgh 1977, p. 2. 1977. Historic Pittsburgh 31735070289024; [view source]pna-marshall-shadeland
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 44. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson. Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side, pp. 33–35. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5. LCCN 2012047727. [view source]rooney-peterson
  16. 16.0 16.1 Allegheny City Society. Allegheny City, 1840–1907, p. 27. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2007, ISBN 978-0-7385-5500-3. LCCN 2007927944. [view source]allegheny-city