History

NEW LEADERSHIP DELIVERING RESULTS FOR OUR COMMUNITY

    Springdale borough resides in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 18 miles (29 km) northeast of Pittsburgh along the Allegheny River. The population was 3,405 at the 2010 census. Located in the heart of southwestern Pennsylvania, Springdale has a small town environment with a welcoming atmosphere.

 

    Springdale lies on what geographers call a 'Dendritic' plateau. This is a land formation that has resulted from the action of water on a series of horizontal strata. Because there was no tilt to the land or any resistant rock, which would have directed the flow, water moved where it found the easiest path and, relatively quickly, wore down deep valleys, which may be as much as 500 feet below the original level of land.

 

    Originally, the river that was to bring even the earliest people to the area was five times its present width and flowed at a much higher level, thus carrying a vast volume of water. At that time, the north bank was 1600 feet north of Springdale and in the vicinity of Nixon Road in Harmar Township. In the area of Deer Creek the waters swirled into a great embayment, eddying north beyond the present Indiana Township boundary.

 

    Subsequently, as the bed sank and the river moved toward its present course, the bank was near Sherman Street in Cheswick and Marion Avenue in Springdale and ran westerly more or less parallel to the present river.

 

    Eventually, the volume of water diminished and the river moved to its present location, again leaving a flood plain, the broad strip of level land lying below the 800-foot contour line. At this time the area was a steaming, humid, jungle and swampy marsh inhabited by prehistoric animals, alligators and insects, such as dragonflies with two-foot wingspans.

    Today the area has a great diversity of features. On the east, land rises to over 1100 feet and on the west to over 1200. In both places there are precipitous bluffs rising 350 to 400 feet above the river. These highlands are deeply penetrated by numerous streams, which form deep gullies with steeply sloping banks, leaving relatively little of the original plateau or flat land on top. Parallel to the river, is the flat flood plain some 1500 feet wide. Beyond this, the ground rises sharply to the 900 foot contour where it again flattens out on the former flood plain, most of which lies within Harmar and Springdale Townships. Beyond this are the steep slopes of the upper levels, which almost completely encircle the area. The one exception is the broad, low valley of Deer Creek running to the Expressway before coming down the hill to Creighton. The river originally flowed north towards the Great Lakes but its path was blocked during one of the Ice Ages, so it turned south.

 

    Centuries after the river finally settled into its present location, the first Native American settlers moved into the area. The Allegewi or Alleghen Indians were probably the first. It was for them the Allegheny River and Allegheny County were named.

 

    The Indian town in Sprindale was called Sewickley Old Town by the first white people, and must have been an important one as it is shown on a map made for William Penn in 1774 as having seven tents. A 'tent' on a map represented a certain number of people. The river makes a great bend at Sprindale and the Native American settlement of Sewickley Old Town sat on what is now the present site of the Allegheny Power plant where the best ford in the Allegheny River was located.

 

    The west side of the Allegheny, the Springdale side, was considered Indian Territory until after the Revolutionary War, and not for settlement.

Rachel Carson

Born: May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania  Died: April 14, 1964 in Silver Spring, Maryland

Springdale Borough is Proud to be home to the Historic site of the Rachel Carson Homestead

    The Rachel Carson Homestead Association is charged with the preservation of the birthplace and childhood home of Rachel Carson. She was born on May 27, 1907 in this small, five room farmhouse in the newly formed borough of Springdale. The clapboard house originally stood on approximately 65 acres of land overlooking the Allegheny River. The Carson family lived in Springdale until around 1930 and the homestead passed through several owners until it was stewarded by the Association in 1975.

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