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Brownsville Road

Brownsville Road is a road in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has had several names over its history, and was also known at the Red Stone Road and the Brownsville Plank Road, or Southern Avenue.

Pre-history to the 19th century

The road follows the route of ancient trails and footpaths connecting Redstone Old Fort with the "forks of the Ohio", a distance of 26 miles (42 km).[1] It later became the road connecting Pittsburgh with Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and from there via Nemacolin's Path to Virginia and points further east. It was a major route for travel by stagecoach and Conestoga Wagon.[2] The road was significant during the Whiskey Rebellion, particularly its southern half.

19th century

It was likely to be part of the route traveled by Meriwether Lewis from Harper's Ferry to Pittsburgh in 1803.[3] and was the route along which telegraph lines first entered Pittsburgh. There are relatively few roads connecting the floodplain of the Monongahela River with the higher elevations to the south and west of the river. Originally, Brownsville road connected with the floodplain by the road now known as Arlington Avenue. In 1851 a turnpike company was chartered by the State of Pennsylvania to pave the Pittsburgh end of the road, and to connect it with South Eighteenth Street.[4] Aften this construction, the northern end of Brownsville Road connected to S. Eighteenth Street, just south of the Pittsburgh, Virginia and Charleston Railway.[5] Many cemeteries were sited along the road as part of the Rural Cemetery Movement. In the 1880s, an "electric road" was built from Mount Oliver to the Concord Presbyterian Church, an area of Carrick also known as Crailo or Spiketown. Brownsville Road became a route out of the city for amusement and entertainment, including prize fighting.[6]

20th century

Streetcar tracks formerly ran down the road, ending just past the border of Pittsburgh at the "Brentwood Loop" It was part of the route of the '53 Carrick' and the 'Flying Fraction', or 77/54 streetcar runs.


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