Notes:Fullerton Street

From Pittsburgh Streets

Source:Ordinance-1910-715: "Fulton, from Colwell to Cliff, old 8th wd., changed to Fullerton, 3d wd."

To do

  • Source:Ordinance-1960-159 vacated "Fullerton Street, from the northerly line of Colwell Street to the northerly line of Clark Street."

Source:Fleming-colonial: "Then, too, in the same manner we have Chateau for Chartiers in the North Side and Fullerton for Fulton street on the 'Hill;' in the latter the addition of a syllable. This is pretty near Fulton, but the street having the title before the street that has retained the name Fulton should have by right of priority been preferred. Other well-known names in the Manchester district were dropped and fanciful names adopted. Why did 'Fulton' stick there?"


THE story of the first steamboat on the Western waters of the United States, the New Orleans, in 1811, brings to view the relations of Robert Fulton to Pittsburgh and Washington county, and incidentally we may remark that Fulton is a well-commemorated name throughout the Union. In Pittsburgh we find this expressed in the name of a building and of a North Side street, originally the borough of Manchester and later in Allegheny City before its annexation to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh at that time had a Fulton street also, the well-known thoroughfare on the "Hill," extending from Colwell street to Cliff street, originally in the first Sixth Ward of the city, and in the renumbering of the wards in 1868 in the Eighth Ward. In the renaming of about 1,000 streets after the annexation of the North Side the name of this street was changed to Fullerton.

Street Name Changed.

When Fulton was exploiting his steamboat here, and had moved his mother and sister from their old home in Lancaster, Pa., to his Washington county farm, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, there was no Allegheny town, later the North Side, and no Manchester borough. Pittsburgh's boundary line to the east was Washington street; this section including the original Fulton street was not annexed to the city until 1846. Then the name Fulton was bestowed on the street and maintained for more than half a century. It was in memory of and in honor of a great American who gave Pittsburgh early fame as a port and built here the New Orleans, whose wonderful voyage we have been interested in reading of 106 years later.

The name Fulton, applied first to an original street in the original Pittsburgh, wholly and solely commemorative, should have been permitted to remain. The name Fullerton stands for nothing and nobody. But the changers of names had a wearisome and thankless job and no doubt had authority, at least precedence, for their action in respect to the street name in question. They could point with peculiar satisfaction to "Ruth" in Gilbert and Sullivan's well-known opera, "The Pirates of Penzance," who, when instructed to apprentice the hero, Paul, to a pilot, instead had him indentured to a pirate. The names were so very much alike, she pleaded and was forgiven.

Invented the Torpedo.

From all of which the inference is not wanting that commemoration in Pittsburgh is a fleeting, if not a wonderful thing. Imagine Wall street, New York, changed to Walter and our Penn avenue to Penner! But we've got Fulton street on the North Side and the world-famous inventor and artist is not wholly without notice in one of the places wherein success emblazoned high his fame. Further in the matter of incidence it should be known that several councilmen of the Annexation period, who succeeded in getting indicted, also succeeded in fastening their surnames upon streets in the city they had dishonored, one of whom at least had the decency to leave town afterward.