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Leetsdale Borough

Leetsdale Borough was incorporated in 1904, as was Edgeworth, from part of Leet Township. Occupying 1.1 square miles, it had a population of 1,162 in 2020 and borders Ambridge in Beaver County, Leet Township, Edgeworth and the Ohio River.

The area was surveyed in 1785 by Major Daniel Leet, who later purchased the land for development by his family. By about 1799 the stone tavern, the Half Way House, which is still standing and is known today as Lark Inn, was built along the Beaver Road. In the early nineteenth century, the Economites purchased the area north of the present Leetsdale Industrial Park from the Leet family for use as a brick works, and the clay deposit on the Ohio River floodplain brought several brickworks to Leetsdale including, by 1888, the Harmony Brickworks. In 1901, the Riter-Conley Company of Pittsburgh bought 63 acres of Economite land for a large industrial plant, which built blast furnaces and specialized in heavy sheet ironwork. In 1917, Riter-Conley became part of McClintic-Marshall Construction Company, which was sold to Bethlehem Steel and built LST boats used in World War II.

The 12-acre Leetsdale Archaeological Site, under the direction of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, worked from 1999 to 2003 in the vicinity of the old Harmony Brickworks, where evidence of human occupation dating back 8,000 years was found, as well as information about the Middle Archaic Period (6,000 BC-1,100 BC) and the Early Woodland Period (1,100 BC- 200 AD). While most previous such findings were focused on ceremonial mounds, the Leetsdale site focused, significantly, on the daily activities of people. It is the only such site excavated under controlled conditions along the upper Ohio River in Pennsylvania. The site was refilled and returned to the Leetsdale Industrial Park when the excavation was completed.


Leetsdale is the home of the Quaker Valley School District offices, Quaker Valley High School

(formerly the Leetsdale High School) and Henle Park. Leetsdale’s industrial landscape today includes the Buncher Company Industrial Park, the Leetsdale Industrial Park and Hussey Copper. On the hillside above Beaver Road is the John Gardiner Coffin House, Elmridge, built about 1869. Elmridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Leetsdale Centennial, 1904-2004, compiled by Susan Kretzler-Falcone, with the assistance of the

Leetsdale Centennial Committee, 2004.


Pictures:

Lark Inn

Elmridge


Hay Walker's summer residence, 1904

This stucco summer home, done in the Colonial Revival style, stood on what is now Myrtle Hill Drive, on the property now owned by John T. Beals. The stone wall behind the house is still standing, but the interesting balustrade, like the house itself, is no longer there. About the turn of the century, the Camp Meeting Road area had quite a few large houses such as this ... "Leetsdale" was the official address, but the area was also known as "Mount Sewickley." Palmer's Pictorial Pittsburgh, 1905; Robinson Collection, Sewickley Public Library


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