South Side History
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203
A Series of South Side History
By Ed Vidunas and pittsburghbrewers.com
June 20, 2020


I write about the history of Pittsburgh’s South Side because I have lived here since my birth in 1953. Other than living in Cincinnati, Ohio and Harrisburg, Pa. briefly for work, I never sold my house here; one of only two I have lived in. I grew up living at 1813 Merriman Way; the old location before the redevelopment. Between homes I did live above an A & P store in the 1900 block of East Carson St. I now live on South 11th Street.

My first historical page is on the Boroughs of the South Side. We all know of Birmingham and East Birmingham but lesser known is the old borough of Ormsby and few people probably don’t know of two other boroughs, South Pittsburg and West Pittsburgh. We all seem to know that Birmingham was founded by Nathaniel Bedford, but who was Bedford and what is his connection to the southside? We take a look at that here. It is common knowledge that several of the streets in the south side are named after the Ormsby sisters. This is true, but not for Birmingham but for East Birmingham, which came at a later date. Most of the original street names have changed over the years and we take a look at those as well in another document on the south side streets.

The person most well-known in the creation of what we now call the southside was John Ormsby. He had a very interesting life and thanks to King George of England prior to the war of Independence it was King George who placed Ormsby in our little patch of land.

The Carson family has almost nothing to do with the southside yet our main Street, Carson Street, it’s named after one of the Carson family members. Folklore identifies who that person was but I have evidence that’s suggest it may not be that person. We take a look at the Carson family in the Carson family document within this work. The Carson family came from Philadelphia through the marriage of James O’Hara. He was a British Army officer who fought in the war of Independence on the side of America. He became one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent citizens and new the Ormsby’s and Carson’s very well. He married Mary Carson, whose granddaughter Mary Edward Shenley. And we all know the story Love Mary Schenley.

This is not the great American novel but merely in an enhanced version of my notes that I used in researching the Boroughs. One thing led to another and I have the other pages that you see you on my list. Hopefully others doing research or some of the families who live tear can’t get value from this work.

Cheers,
Ed Vidunas