Ohio Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Ohio Street
Neighborhoods Allegheny Center, Allegheny West, East Allegheny
Origin of name Ohio River

Ohio Street was named on November 28, 1788, by a resolution of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The same resolution established the name of the town of Allegheny; the names Federal Street, Sandusky Street, and Beaver Street (now West Commons); and the names of six alleys and two lanes. The names were given by a committee consisting of "Mr. Woods, Mr. Redick and Mr. Dennison."[1]

The street is named for the Ohio River. The river is the original meaning of the name Ohio, together with the Allegheny River, which the native peoples considered to be the same river (see also Allegheny River Boulevard). There is some disagreement about the etymology of this name. William Bright says that it comes from the Seneca name Ohi:yó, derived from Ohi:yo:h, "good river."[2] Annie Clark Miller says it is a fragment of the Lenape (Delaware) name "Ohiopeekhanne," whose parts she translates as "Hanne, a stream; Peekhanne, the mainstream; Ohio, descriptive of the water whitened by the froth."[3] A 1936 article in the Post-Gazette gives the origin as an Iroquois name Ohionhiio, meaning "beautiful river."[4]

Both George T. Fleming and Bob Regan include Ohio Street in lists of streets named for states.[5][6] However, the naming of Ohio Street predates the State of Ohio by some 15 years. Gilbert Love, citing notes written by James S. West in 1885, claims that Ohio Street was so named because it was the road to Ohio.[7] But the original map of the "Reserve Tract of Land Opposite Pittsburgh," as the North Side was originally called, shows that Ohio Street did not extend beyond the limits of the town of Allegheny.[8]

Today Ohio Street is divided into East Ohio Street and West Ohio Street, separated by Allegheny Commons and the east end of Ridge Avenue. The two Ohio Streets were originally two halves of the same continuous street. It was split into "Ohio Street, East," and "Ohio Street, West," divided by Federal Street, in 1899 when all the houses in Allegheny were renumbered systematically.[9][10] The middle section of Ohio Street was eliminated in 1967 when the "Allegheny Center Loop" was opened (consisting of North Commons, West Commons, South Commons, and East Commons), and the part of West Ohio Street that connected to the loop became part of Ridge Avenue.[11][12]


  1. "Old state body laid out town of Allegheny: Executive council in 1788 fixed lot prices and furnished names for streets and alleys: Origin of the present parks." Pittsburg Press, Dec. 1, 1907, p. 32. Newspapers.com 142120163. [view source]old-state-body
  2. William Bright. Native American Placenames of the United States, p. 344. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2004, ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. [view source]bright
  3. Annie Clark Miller. Early Land Marks and Names of Old Pittsburgh: An address delivered before the Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at Carnegie Institute, Nov. 30, 1923, p. 6. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  4. "Street names sketch history of city: Tribute to many pioneers dimmed by time." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 26, 1936, anniversary section IV, p. 16. Newspapers.com 88921069. [view source]street-names
  5. George T. Fleming. "History told in Pittsburgh street names: Some commemorative designations have been lost, but others are still in use to recall the story of their selection: Haphazard municipal nomenclature." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Nov. 29, 1914, fifth section, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85906737. [view source]fleming-history-told
  6. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 73. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  7. Gilbert Love. "How names came." Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 11, 1952, p. 11. Newspapers.com 141584890. [view source]love
  8. Reserve Tract of Land Opposite Pittsburgh. L. J. Richards & Co., 1863. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0084. Reprinted in Dan Rooney and Carol Peterson, Allegheny City: A history of Pittsburgh's North Side, pp. 2–3, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8229-4422-5 (LCCN 2012047727). A variation entitled City of Allegheny 100 Years Ago is reprinted in Allegheny City Society, Allegheny City, 1840–1907, pp. 10–11, Images of America, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2007, ISBN 978-0-7385-5500-3 (LCCN 2007927944). [view source]reserve-tract
  9. "An ordinance authorizing the Superintendent of the Bureau of Engineering and Surveys to prepare a plan for the renumbering of all houses and lots in the City of Allegheny, Pa." Allegheny city ordinance, 1896, no. 155. Passed Nov. 19, 1896; approved Nov. 21, 1896. In City of Allegheny, Municipal Reports for the Fiscal Year Ending February 28th, 1897: 1896–'97, pp. 1119–1120, Derrick Publishing Company, Oil City, Penna., 1897 (Historic Pittsburgh 31735056290764). Reprinted in the Pittsburg Press, Nov. 24, 1896, p. 12 (Newspapers.com 141580237), Nov. 25, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 141580248), and Nov. 27, p. 11 (Newspapers.com 141580260); and in the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, Nov. 27, 1896, p. 3 (Newspapers.com 85437316), and Nov. 28, p. 6 (Newspapers.com 85437345). [view source]ordinance-1896-155
  10. "Renumbering houses: Allegheny residents will be in temporary confusion: Plan for districting the city north, south, west and east has been adopted and is now being enforced—East and West Side system of numbering." Pittsburg Press, Feb. 4, 1899, p. 9. Newspapers.com 141834825. [view source]renumbering-houses
  11. William M. Rimmel. Out of the Past. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 22, 1967, [p. 21]. Newspapers.com 88351802. [view source]rimmel-commons
  12. "Allegheny Commons Loop." Pittsburgh Press, Dec. 3, 1967, sec. 3, p. 8. Newspapers.com 148954558. [view source]allegheny-commons-loop