Notes:Amberson Avenue

From Pittsburgh Streets

To do

  • Source:Pna-shadyside@2: "Shadyside was the original name of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in that area. The Railroad asked David Aiken, donator of the land for the building, to name it. His wife Caroline suggested 'Shady Side', supposedly the title of a book she had been reading. Wood and farmland, replete with shady lanes at the time of its development in the mid-19th century, the neighborhood had been named appropriately. ¶ During the 1700's, George Anshutz bought 286 acres in the area. In 1792, Anshutz established an iron furnace in the vicinity of Bayard and Amberson. Anshutz later sold some of his land to David Ekin, who farmed this purchase. ¶ The Ekin or Aiken Farm lay within what is today Shadyside West. David Ekin married Rachel Castlemen [sic] and their daughter, the wife of Thomas Aiken, inherited the farm. Following Mrs. Aiken's death, Thomas divided the farm with his son, David. Thomas took the eastern part, from Amberson Avenue to Aiken; his son, the western, from Amberson to Neville. From 1854 to 1855, the elder Aiken built a home at what is today Ellsworth and St. James. David, who had married Caroline Jones, built 'The Homestead,' surveyed by a man named Amberson, on the avenue of that name in 1865."
  • Source:Bothwell: "Devereux Smith's daughter Mary married William Amberson for whom Amberson Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pa., was named. He was a man with a fine civil and military record. His accomplishments would make interesting reading, but they cannot be set out here. A known descendant of the Ambersons, J. Burns Amberson, M. D., is living in New Jersey."
  • Source:Adams: "One item that has been seldom mentioned in the references to the furnace is that it was owned by a partnership. It is generally spoken of as the 'Anshutz Furnace,' and there is but little doubt that George Anshutz was the only practical furnace man in the concern. There were two other men associated with him, however—William Amberson, for whom Amberson Avenue is named, and Francis Beelen, former minister to the United States from the Austrian Netherlands, now Belgium. Francis, Baron De Belen Bartholf, and his son, Anthony, remained permanently in America and engaged in various business enterprises. For such purposes the baron used the name of Francis Beelen. He settled in the eastern part of Pennsylvania but he had real-estate interests in western Pennsylvania in and near Pittsburgh and sent his son Anthony there to manage his affairs. The blanket 'power-of-attorney' to the son to make all real-estate transactions for him is on record at the courthouse in Pittsburgh. It is probable that Francis Beelen himself was never in Pittsburgh for any considerable period of time but was represented in the firm by his son, Anthony. ¶ Both Mr. Amberson and Mr. Anthony Beelen played active and important parts in the early business life of the city. Advertisements in the Pittsburgh Gazette show that Anthony was later a partner of Ebenezer Denny in several enterprises, and about 1815 he was the owner of a foundry in Pittsburgh. The property on which the furnace was built belonged to Mr. Amberson, who sold a one-third interest in it to each of his partners. It is probable that Mr. Amberson did not take part in the actual running of the furnace. Mr. Anthony Beelen acted as clerk at the furnace. In the deed of sale of the property, Mr. Amberson is listed as 'of Pittsburgh,' while Mr. Anshutz and Mr. Beelen are listed as 'of Pit-township,' where the furnace was located and which was not a part of Pittsburgh at that time."
  • Source:Jucha: "Closer scrutiny reveals that Shadyside's land use is not of a uniform pattern but is a series of three subpatterns or neighborhoods. The first of these three smaller areas is that which is bounded by Centre, Aiken, and Fifth avenues and Neville Street. Originally this land belonged to Jacob Castleman in the 1780s, and he called his estate Castlemania. In 1793, William Amberson and two partners operated an iron furnace on this estate, the first of its kind in the Pittsburgh vicinity. Because no iron ore deposits were ever located in the immediate area, the venture came to an abrupt end in 1794. [Footnote: For information on the Castleman estate see, Miller, Chronicles [i.e., Annie Clark Miller, Chronicles of Families, Houses and Estates of Pittsburgh and Its Environs (Pittsburgh, 1921)], 109. For the Shadyside Furnace see, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas, A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces in Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, 1966), 6.]"
  • Source:Miller-chronicles, p. 110: "In 1854 a survey was made of the Castleman–Aiken property, and it was divided among the heirs. The surveyor was Col. William Amberson. When names were needed for the new streets, Mrs. David Aiken, Jr., suggested one street be named 'Amberson' in honor of the surveyor; one 'Ellsworth' and one 'Elmer' for Ephraim Elmer [sic] Ellsworth, the conspicuous young Northern leader who lost his life in an effort to lower the secession flag at Alexandria, Virginia—and was publicly regarded as a martyr."
    • Source:Frey, p. 145: "In 1854, a survey, made to divide the [Aiken] property for the heirs, necessitated street names. Mrs. David Aiken Jr. suggested 'Amberson' in honor of the surveyor; 'Ellsworth' and 'Elmer' for Ephraim Elmer [sic] Ellsworth, the young Northern leader considered a martyr in the Civil War."