Wood Street

From Pittsburgh Streets
Wood Street
Neighborhood Central Business District
Origin of name George Woods

Sources universally say that Wood Street is named for George Woods, a surveyor hired in 1784 by the Penns to lay out the original plan of streets and lots in Pittsburgh.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]:58,75[13][14][15][16] Given this origin, it is not entirely clear why the name is Wood Street instead of Woods Street.[11] Some sources name the surveyor Wood rather than Woods,[3][17][7] but the name is spelled Woods in his original plat map.[18] George T. Fleming explained that the final S of Woods merged into the S of street,[5] but again the street is clearly named Wood Street in Woods' original map.[18]

Bob Regan, in addition to giving the George Woods origin, seems also to imply that Wood Street is named for Adam Wood, the inventor of a brewer's cooler patented in 1857: "For example, many Pittsburghers who developed patents are honored by having streets named after them. These include . . . Wood (brewer's cooler)."[12]:55[19] But, as Wood Street was already part of the original town plat of 1784,[18][20] more than 70 years before the brewer's patent, the connection to Adam Wood is almost certainly erroneous. (Compare Aiken Avenue, Dithridge Street, Oliver Avenue, and Ward Street, which Regan also claims were named after inventors.)


  1. Joe Browne. "Streets are index of local history." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 28, 1983, p. 37. Newspapers.com 89790718. [view source]browne-streets
  2. Margaret Carlin. "How our streets got their names." Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 6, 1966, Pittsburgh's Family Magazine, p. 10. Newspapers.com 149098376. [view source]carlin
  3. 3.0 3.1 T. J. Chapman. Old Pittsburgh Days, p. 135. J. R. Weldin & Co., Pittsburgh, 1900. HathiTrust 100551464; Historic Pittsburgh 00hc03930m. [view source]chapman
  4. "Early streets." A Fact a Day About Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 9, 1927, p. 6. Newspapers.com 89853112. [view source]fact-a-day
  5. 5.0 5.1 George T. Fleming. "Wood's plan of Pittsburgh: Thomas Vickroy's account of the survey of 1784 and parts taken in city's early life by Craig and Bayard." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Dec. 13, 1914, second section, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85908612. [view source]fleming-woods
  6. Julia Morgan Harding. "Names of Pittsburgh streets: Their historical significance." Pittsburgh Bulletin, Feb. 15, 1893. Reprinted in Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt: Early names of Pittsburgh streets, 13th ed., pp. 52–60, Fort Pitt Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1958 (HathiTrust 007074456). [view source]harding
  7. 7.0 7.1 History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Including its early settlement and progress to the present time; a description of its historic and interesting localities; its cities, towns and villages; religious, educational, social and military history; mining, manufacturing and commercial interests; improvements, resources, statistics, etc.: Also portraits of some of its prominent men, and biographies of many of its representative citizens, part I, pp. 481–488. A. Warner & Co., Chicago, 1889. Google Books DwzYAAAAMAAJ; Internet Archive historyofalleghe1889cush. [view source]history-of-allegheny-county
  8. Gilbert Love. "How names came." Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 11, 1952, p. 11. Newspapers.com 141584890. [view source]love
  9. Gilbert Love. "What's in a name? A lot!: Titles of city streets recall persons famed in U. S. history: From Golden Triangle eastward, thoroughfares list great and near great of colonial and revolutionary days." Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 12, 1944, p. 9. Newspapers.com 147946752. [view source]love-titles
  10. 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. 28. Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924. Historic Pittsburgh 00awn8211m; Internet Archive earlylandmarksna00mill. [view source]miller
  11. 11.0 11.1 Torsten Ove. "Site names here are out of sight: From Swamp Poodle Road to Grant Street, locales in the region bear names that are little understood or largely forgotten." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8, 1998, pp. A-1, A-6. Newspapers.com 94754709, 94754864. [view source]ove
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bob Regan. The Names of Pittsburgh: How the city, neighborhoods, streets, parks and more got their names. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9770429-7-5. [view source]regan
  13. William M. Rimmel. "Street names tell stories." Out of the Past. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 28, 1976, Daily Magazine, [p. 17]. Newspapers.com 90063484. [view source]rimmel-street-names
  14. William M. Rimmel. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 14, 1987, p. 21. Newspapers.com 89379012. [view source]rimmel-1997
  15. "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
  16. "Town days of Pittsburgh recalled: Grandson of Thomas Vickroy, first surveyor, is visiting here: Has rare old letter." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 7, 1918, sixth section, p. 1. Newspapers.com 85935368. [view source]town-days
  17. George T. Fleming. "Old highway is now great avenue: Historic Fourth Street road plays prominent part in story of early Pittsburgh: Opened years ago." Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Jan. 9, 1916, fifth section, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85762432. [view source]fleming-highway
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 George Woods. A Draught of the Town Plat of Pittsburgh, Surveyed for John Penn, Jr., and John Penn, by George Woods, May 31st 1784. 1784. Reproduced as "Original plan of Pittsburgh" in plate 19 of Atlas of the Cities of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and the Adjoining Boroughs, G. M. Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, 1872 (Historic Pittsburgh 1872p019). [view source]woods-plat
  19. Adam Wood. "Brewer's cooler." U. S. patent 18,220, Sept. 15, 1857. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?Docid=00018220, https://patents.google.com/patent/US18220A. [view source]wood
  20. John Hills. Plan of the Lots Laid Out at Pittsburg and the Coal Hill. Philadelphia, 1787. Historic Pittsburgh DARMAP0464; LCCN 74692580. Reproduced in John W. Reps, The Making of Urban America: A history of city planning in the United States, p. 205, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1965 (LCCN 63023414); in Stefan Lorant, Pittsburgh: The story of an American city, 5th (Millennium) ed., p. 53, Esselmont Books, Pittsburgh, 1999, ISBN 0-967-41030-4 (LCCN 99-066641); and in Emily M. Weaver, The Fort Pitt Block House, p. 40, History Press, Charleston, S. C., 2013, ISBN 978-1-60949-933-4. [view source]hills