Plummer Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Plummer Street
Neighborhood Central Lawrenceville
Origin of name Jonathan and George Plumer
Centre Street (until 1881)
Plumer Street (1881–1910)
Origin of name Jonathan and George Plumer

This street was originally named Centre Street.[1] It was renamed Plumer Street by a Pittsburgh city ordinance in 1881.[2]

The street is named for Jonathan Plumer and his son George.[3] Jonathan Plumer moved from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania in 1750. He was a member of the Braddock expedition in 1755 and, according to family tradition, also the Forbes expedition of 1758 that captured Fort Duquesne and named the site Pittsburgh. In 1761 he brought his family to Western Pennsylvania and built a cabin on 1500 acres of land along the Allegheny River, which he jointly owned with Col. George Croghan. This land included what later became the Allegheny Arsenal and Allegheny Cemetery.[3]

Jonathan's son George Plumer was born in this cabin on December 5, 1762. It is said he was "the first white child . . . born west of the Allegheny Mountains under British dominion." He became a hunter and scout. He eloped with Margaret Lowrey of Lancaster County in 1784, and they started their life together in a log cabin in what is now Westmoreland County. They later moved to the mouth of Big Sewickley Creek, where George built a sawmill and a grist mill. He subsequently went into the distilling and mercantile business. He was elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, and 1817, and to the United States House of Representatives in 1820, 1822, and 1824. He died in 1843.[3]

The spelling of the street name was changed, probably inadvertently, to Plummer Street by a city ordinance in 1910.[4]

See also


  1. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, pp. 58–59. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872.; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1872
  2. "An ordinance establishing the names of avenues, streets, lanes and alleys of the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1881, no. 33. Passed Feb. 28, 1881; approved Mar. 4, 1881. Ordinance Book 5, p. 212. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the Select and Common Councils of the City of Pittsburgh, for the year 1880, pp. 213–234 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1880). [view source]ordinance-1881-33
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 George T. Fleming. "Romantic tale recalled by street: Career of George Plumer is remarkable in several different ways: First white child." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 7, 1916, sec. 6, p. 2. 85459927. [view source]fleming-romantic
  4. "An ordinance establishing the names of the avenues, streets, lanes and alleys in the City of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh city ordinance, 1910, no. 716. Passed Mar. 31, 1910; approved Apr. 5, 1910. Ordinance Book 21, p. 359. In Municipal Record: Minutes of the proceedings of the [Select and Common Councils] of the City of Pittsburgh for the years 1909–1910, appendix, pp. 328–381, Devine & Co., Pittsburgh, 1910 (Google Books doQzAQAAMAAJ; HathiTrust uiug.30112108223832; Internet Archive Pghmunicipalrecord1909). Reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post, Apr. 29, 1910, pp. 12–16 ( 86616256, 86616285, 86616314, 86616333, 86616343), and Apr. 30, pp. 12–16 ( 86616643, 86616672, 86616694, 86616726, 86616748). [view source]ordinance-1910-716