South Seventh Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
South Seventh Street
Neighborhood South Side Flats
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Monongahela River
Gregg Street (until 1869)
Origin of name Sidney Ormsby Gregg and Isaac Gregg
Seventh Street (1869–1881)
Origin of name Sequential numbering up the Monongahela River

South Seventh Street was originally named Gregg Street,[1][2][3][4][5] after Sidney Ormsby Gregg (born 1774, daughter of John Ormsby) and her husband Isaac Gregg.[6] Isaac owned a factory on the South Side, operated a ferry, and kept a store in Pittsburgh.[7] He laid out the town of Sidneyville in 1812, named in his wife's honor.[8] See Ormsby Street for more about the Ormsby family.

Some sources say that Sidneyville was the same as East Birmingham, which is today the portion of the South Side between South 17th and South 27th Streets.[9][10][11] However, this appears to be an incorrect identification. According to an 1890 column in the Pittsburg Dispatch with recollections of John Gallagher, who came to Birmingham in 1816, "Sidneyville comprised ten acres running from Union alley to Seventeenth street . . . . East Birmingham extended from Sidneyville on up."[12] This puts Sidneyville east, not west, of South 17th. (Union Alley is today's Uxor Way, between South 13th and South 14th Streets.) This squares with other references to Sidneyville, such as newspaper advertisements for sheriff's sales, which describe lots in Sidneyville bounded by Centre Street (today's South 15th Street), Washington Street (today the part of Sarah Street east of South 17th Street), Liberty Street (today's South 14th Street), and Franklin Street (today's South 16th Street).[13][14][15]

In 1826 Samuel Jones wrote, "A short distance above Kensington, on the South and opposite side of the river, stand Birmingham, and Sidneyville, which may be considered the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh. These villages were laid out by Dr. Nathaniel Bedford and Mr. Isaac Gregg. The name of Sidneyville, however, has been lost in that of Birmingham, as the latter is now applied to both."[16][17] Oliver Ormsby Page also says that Sidneyville became part of Birmingham; he wrote in 1892, "Isaac Gregg . . . laid out the town of Sidneyville in the spring of 1812, on land originally patented to John Ormsby. It was named for Mrs. Gregg and was afterwards absorbed in Birmingham."[8] Hence Sidneyville could not have been the same as East Birmingham, which was invariably considered distinct from Birmingham.[18][19][1][2][4][5][20]

Gregg Street was renamed Seventh Street by an ordinance of the Birmingham borough council in 1869.[21] The "South" prefix was added by a Pittsburgh city ordinance in 1881;[22] see South First Street for more details.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 R. E. McGowin. Map of the Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny and of the Boroughs of South-Pittsburgh, Birmingham, East-Birmingham, Lawrenceville, Duquesne & Manchester etc. Schuchman & Haunlein, Pittsburgh, 1852. [view source]mcgowin-1852
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny, with Parts of Adjacent Boroughs, Pennsylvania. 1855. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0089;; 1855 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( In George W. Colton, Colton's Atlas of the World: Illustrating physical and political geography, J. H. Colton & Co., New York, 1856 ( [view source]colton
  3. R. E. McGowin. Pittsburgh: Engraved from R. E. McGowin's map for Geo. H. Thurston. Wm. Schuchman & Bro., Pittsburgh, 1856. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0091. [view source]mcgowin-1856
  4. 4.0 4.1 S. N. & F. W. Beers. Map of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Smith, Gallup & Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1862. LCCN 2012592151; 1862 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]beers
  5. 5.0 5.1 Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, pp. 104–105. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872.; 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1872
  6. E. W. Hassler. "Dr. Bedford's gift: The site of the Southside market house came from the old settler: He was prominent and wealthy: Owned much land south of the Monongahela river: His grave on Mount Oliver." Pittsburgh Post, June 18, 1893, p. 9. 87578785. Cut and pasted in [Pennsylvania county histories], vol. 3 (Allegheny County), pp. 118–121 (Internet Archive pennsylvaniacoun03unse_0), an untitled scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the State Library of Pennsylvania, call number 974.8 P38611. [view source]bedfords-gift
  7. Walter T. Kamprad. "John Ormsby, Pittsburgh's original citizen." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 23, no. 4, Dec. 1940, pp. 203–222. [view source]kamprad
  8. 8.0 8.1 Oliver Ormsby Page. A Short Account of the Family of Ormsby of Pittsburgh, p. 24. Joel Munsell's Sons, Albany, N. Y., 1892. Internet Archive ashortaccountfa00pagegoog, shortaccountoffa00page; [view source]ormsby
  9. Gilbert Love. "Pittsburgh's an accumulation of small towns." Pittsburgh Press, July 2, 1944, [p. 23]. 148040243. [view source]accumulation
  10. Stuart P. Boehmig. Pittsburgh's South Side, p. 7. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S. C., 2006, ISBN 978-0-7385-3939-3. LCCN 2005932359. [view source]boehmig
  11. Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names, p. 8. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  12. "Tales of old times: When the Southside was a small village amid the woodlands: Memoirs of early residents: The neglected grave of the founder of Birmingham borough: The first church, school and mill." Pittsburg Dispatch, Mar. 1, 1890, second part, p. 9. 76218651. [view source]tales
  13. "Sheriff's sales." Pittsburgh Morning Post, Apr. 2, 1845, [p. 2]. 88168145. [view source]sheriffs-sales-1845-04-02
  14. "Sheriff's sales." Pittsburgh Morning Post, Apr. 3, 1845, [p. 2]. 88168179. [view source]sheriffs-sales-1845-04-03
  15. "Sheriff's sales." Daily Pittsburgh Gazette, Apr. 6, 1860, [p. 2]. 86447161. [view source]sheriffs-sales-1860
  16. George T. Fleming. "Looking backwards a century: Samuel Jones' pictures of Pittsburgh in 1826; his directory of the city—plain words from an old citizen and officeholder—his topographical notes with bits of history on the side—vivid descriptions are given: Our numerous hills described—Pittsburgh's suburbs—Northern Liberties—Allegheny Town on the Reserved Tract—Lawrenceville and the Arsenal—Kensington and Birmingham—tells of many industries." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Dec. 11, 1921, fifth section, p. 2. 85844751. [view source]fleming-century
  17. Samuel Jones. Pittsburgh in the Year Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-Six: Containing sketches topographical, historical and statistical; together with a directory of the city, and a view of its various manufactures, population, improvements, &c. Johnston & Stockton, Pittsburgh, 1826, p. 9. PGH_ALLEGH1826_CDM; Historic Pittsburgh 31735056290285; Internet Archive Pgh1826. [view source]jones
  18. E. H. Heastings. Map of the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. 1850. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0090. [view source]heastings
  19. Sidney & Neff and S. McRea. Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with the Names of Property-Holders. Philadelphia, 1851. LCCN 2012592150. [view source]sidney-neff
  20. Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, p. 76. G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1876.; included in the 1872 layer at Pittsburgh Historic Maps ( [view source]hopkins-1876
  21. "Birmingham Council." Daily Post (Pittsburgh), Mar. 3, 1869, [p. 1]. 86522458. [view source]birmingham-council
  22. "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, Herald Printing Co., Pittsburgh, 1881 (Internet Archive pghmunicipalrecord1880). [view source]ordinance-1881-33