History

  • Looking down Midway, 1977
    Looking down Midway, 1977
  • Reel Cabin from Columbia
    View of Highland Avenue looking down from Columbia Ave (Casper Reel's log cabin is visible), 1910
  • Abandoned West View Park
    abandoned West View Park, 1979
  • West View High Field
    Cars parked near West View High Field, 1942
  • No. 3 Fire Company
    No. 3 Fire Company
  • a trolley car on Center Avenue
    a trolley car at the intersection of Center Avenue and Perry Highway
  • West View Park sign
    West View Park sign
  • Reel Cabin from Columbia
    View of Highland Avenue looking down from Columbia Ave (Casper Reel's log cabin is visible), 1910
  • Danceland
    Danceland
  • Center Avenue and St. Luke's
    Center Avenue near St. Luke's Church, exact date unknown

THE HISTORY OF WEST VIEW

The Borough of West View has a rich history. This page serves to provide a summary of the history of our community, from its earliest Native American inhabitants to West View Park. To discover and share more of our history, check out the West View Historical Society page on Facebook! 

Facebook
West View Historical Society

Our summary of West View's history would not have been possible without the help of several external sources for research and images. Click here for a list of sources that may be useful for additional research. Many of these pages are still being added to and new pages are still being created. Stay tuned for future history pages! If you notice any errors or have questions, you can contact Andrew Bensch.

Native Americans

Southwestern Pennsylvania has had numerous Native American inhabitants throughout its history. The Adena people inhabited the area from 1000 to 200 BC, followed by the Hopewell people from 200 BC to 500 AD. The Monongahela tribe then lived in the area from 1050 AD until the early 17th century, when they disappeared, likely from disease or merging with another tribe. Starting in the 18th century, several Native American groups who were forced off their land started heading west towards the Pittsburgh area. Delaware, Erie, Seneca, Shawnee, and Wyandot Native Americans all traveled through the area.

Origins of the West View/Ross Area

This all changed in October 1784, when the “Last Purchases” were made at Fort Stanwix. Prior to the treaty, all the land west of the Allegheny and north of the Ohio was considered “Indian country.” The Treaty of Fort Stanwix designated the West View/Ross area as the “Depreciation Tract.” To help fund the revolution, the Continental Congress issued paper money known as “Continental Currency.” This money depreciated very quickly, to the point that it was basically worthless by the time the war ended. The depreciation lands were specifically set aside by the state government in order to redeem the Continental money that had been accepted by the soldiers during the war and was to be given to Pennsylvanians who had enlisted in the Continental Army. The area was particularly attractive to settlers because a road, the Venango Trail, ran through the area. The path, used by Cornplanter Native Americans, started in Pittsburgh and went north through West View and continued north to Presque Isle.

Creation of West View

The name “West View” came from pioneers, traveling north from Pittsburgh, who enjoyed the view to the west as they traveled the Venango Trail. However, the name “West View” was actually used to describe three different places along the trail at one point in time. In the early 1900s, the Allegheny-Bellevue Land Company began purchasing lands that had once belonged to people such as Casper Reel and Barnabas Hilands. The purchase price for the 1.3 square mile which became West View was $276,500. The Land Company started on six housing projects between 1903 and 1914.