Moosehart Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Moosehart Street
Neighborhood East Hills
Origin of name Probably the Loyal Order of Moose
McKee Street (until 1925)
Origin of name Probably H. McKee
Grace Avenue (until 1933)
Origin of name Grace Warmcastle

In a 1951 column in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Kenneth Speer remarked that there was a street named Moosehart and wondered where the name came from.[1] A few weeks later, Speer had a follow-up: "Now comes a Wilkinsburger who points out only one side of that street is named Moosehart. The other side is Grace St. How did that happen?"[2]

Moosehart Street has two segments. The eastern segment, between Sickles Street and Fahnestock Street, was originally named McKee Street, and the western segment, between Oakwood Street and Singer Place, was originally Grace Avenue.[3]

The street was laid out as part of the "Nimick Terrace Plan" by Samuel D. Warmcastle.[4] McKee Street was probably named for H. McKee, who owned 2.34 acres in the north part of Wilkinsburg (slightly south of McKee Street) in the late 1800s.[5] Grace Avenue was named for Warmcastle's wife Grace.[6]

McKee Street became Moosehart Street in 1925 when a Pittsburgh city ordinance renamed over 100 streets to eliminate duplicates: in this case, to avoid confusion with McKee Place in Oakland.[7][8][9] (The renaming ordinance actually spelled the name Mooseheart, with an A.)[9] Eight years later, in 1933, Grace Avenue was also renamed Moosehart Street to fix the duplication with Grace Street on Mount Washington and to match the eastern segment.[10]

The name Moosehart (or Mooseheart) is likely connected to the Loyal Order of Moose, a fraternal and service organization: the order runs Mooseheart, a home for children in Illinois that was dedicated in 1913, and its female auxiliary, the Women of the Moose, also founded in 1913, was originally called the Women of Mooseheart Legion. Perhaps one of the city officials who planned the street renamings was a member. The name Moosehart also preserved the first letter of McKee, which was a common theme in the city's deduplication efforts.

The street forms part of the boundary between Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg, and the Pittsburgh ordinances applied only to the Pittsburgh side of the street. Wilkinsburg still calls the two segments McKee Street and Grace Street. This explains the unusual state of affairs that surprised Speer in his newspaper column.

This complicated naming situation has been confusing even to residents of the street. In 1935, a woman living on the Pittsburgh side wrote to the "Mr. Fix-it" column in the Pittsburgh Press to complain that Grace Street was not listed in the city street directory, nor did it have any street signs.[11] "Mr. Fix-it" referred her letter to the Division of Bridges and Structures, who responded that the street was now named Moosehart Street, a new street sign had been installed, and an existing sign had been moved to be more legible.[12]

See also


  1. Kenneth Speer. Pittsburgh Day by Day. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, June 13, 1951, p. 34. 524640628. [view source]speer-1951-06-13
  2. Kenneth Speer. Pittsburgh Day by Day. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, July 3, 1951, p. 22. 524643166. [view source]speer-1951-07-03
  3. Real Estate Plat-Book of the City of Pittsburgh, vol. 2. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1904.; included in the 1903–1906 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1904-vol-2
  4. Atlas of Greater Pittsburgh, plate 20. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1910.; 1910 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1910
  5. Atlas of the Vicinity of the Cities Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Pennsylvania. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1886.; included in the 1882 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1886
  6. Martha W. Brown Haven. The Pittsburg and Allegheny Blue Book: An elite directory containing prominent professional, literary, business and society families of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Lawrence, Mercer and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania: Also East Liverpool, Salem and Youngstown, Ohio: June, 1895. Martha W. Brown Haven, Pittsburgh, 1895, p. 458. PGH_ALLEGH1895_BBM; Historic Pittsburgh 09acu4141s. [view source]brown-haven
  7. "137 streets to get new names: City officials and postal chiefs unite to wipe out duplications: Program tentative." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Jan. 22, 1925, pp. 1, 5. 86164194, 86164222. [view source]137-streets
  8. "Street name changes made in 150 cases by council: Members balk postal authorities in some designations: Conflict in titles cause." Pittsburgh Post, Jan. 22, 1925, pp. 1, 8. 88486660, 88486701. [view source]150-cases
  9. 9.0 9.1 "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets and ways in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1925, no. 175. Passed Apr. 20, 1925; approved Apr. 22, 1925. Ordinance Book 36, p. 299. Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 27, 1925, p. 15 ( 88691643), and Apr. 28, [p. 21] ( 88691689). [view source]ordinance-1925-175
  10. "An ordinance changing the names of certain avenues, streets, roads and ways in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1933, no. 121. Passed May 29, 1933; approved May 31, 1933. Ordinance Book 45, p. 241. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh: For the year 1933, appendix, p. 72, City Printing Co., Pittsburgh (Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1933). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 5, 1933, p. 25 ( 89887815), and June 6, p. 23 ( 89888832). [view source]ordinance-1933-121
  11. "Danger corner needs signals, resident says: North Side intersection favorite spot for reckless driving." Mr. Fix-it. Pittsburgh Press, June 15, 1935, p. 20. 147202728. [view source]danger-corner
  12. "No other city disregards its beautiful trees as Pittsburgh does, Mr. Fix-it hears." Mr. Fix-it. Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 6, 1935, p. 13. 147194742. [view source]disregards-trees