1768 a treaty with the Iroquois Indians relinquished their claim to the lands surrounding Pittsburgh and stimulated interest in land grants from the state.
1786 the first settlers to arrive in this region were the Strawbridge, Rutherford, Roberts, McCully and Beltzhoover families. Land grants sold to the settlers by the state were purchased for as little as 22 cents an acre. The early settlers found this area was ideal for farming, with beautiful streams and numerous springs, plenty of fish and game, and heavily supplied timber.
1871, a narrow-gauge railroad was built to Castle Shannon from Pittsburgh. It stretched along the valley as far as Fair Haven, now Overbrook. Farmers from the district donated the use of their wagons and other vehicles to transport prospective buyers to the new town site. To each person building a home, a free two-year pass was given by the railroad. There was no charge for the hauling of lumber.
1872 two amusement groves were located at what is now Castle Shannon. The first was the Grove Station and was opened to public on Memorial Day in 1872. Another grove was the Zoological Gardens, located in the vicinity of Arch Street and Poplar Avenue.
1877, a second narrow-guage railroad, the Pittsburgh and Southern, was built from Finleyville through Castle Shannon to the West End of Pittsburgh.
1894, Saint Anne Parish opened its first school in the church sacristy.
1909, Pittsburgh Railroad bought the right-of-way through the valley. This line extended from Pittsburgh through the valley and started the electric trolley line. This line extended from Pittsburgh through the Pittsburgh Railways Tunnel and through Castle Shannon to Washington and Charleroi. Before this time, other trolleys had been routed through Beechview, Brookline, Dormont and Mt. Lebanon. Castle Shannon became a center of mining and with the mines came the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad. This railroad still operates and carries heavy freight loads. One time, coal cars were on these tracks day and night.
1919 Castle Shannon was incorporated as a borough, formed from parts of Baldwin, Mt. Lebanon and Bethel Township. The first officers of the borough of Castle Shannon government were: Mayor Elmer E. Smith; Councilmen E.B. Laughlin, R.L. Newell, John Mahoney, William Kestner, J. Louis Kostyal, Gustave A. Zirckel: President of Council John W. Watermen and Borough Secretary George H. Beltzhoover.
January 1920 was the date of the first council meeting. Meetings were held on the first Tuesday of every month thereafter. Pittsburgh Railroad filed an appeal in Superior Court, to object to the incorporation of the borough. November 8, 1920, the Superior Court dismissed this appeal.
February 1920, the council meeting's order of business was to appoint the first solicitor, George W. Allen: the first engineers, Douglas and McNight: the first treasurer, William Waterman and the first official newspaper for the borough advertisement, the Hill Top Record.
November 1920, Ordinance # 4, enacted into law, set a 10 mill tax on each dollar value of the property. The assessed valuation of the property at that time was $1,457,190 and the first budget total was $12,275.90.
January 1921 was the first protest by residents against the 10 mill property tax. Although council did not lower taxes the protest did lead to the election of one of the protesters, Meuschke, to borough council.
February 1921 Council hired the first person to keep open the ditches along macadam roads. Harry Drugh was paid 50 cents an hour for this task. At this time Castle Shannon had 63 gas lamps in the borough served by the Welsbach Street Lighting Company but they were expensive to maintain. The gas bills for March 1920 was $97.13. Council later approved Duquesne Light to serve the borough.
April 1921, Council enacted Ordinance #7, allowing Castle Shannon to enter into a contract with Duquesne Light Company to furnish street and highway lights. Council also enacted Ordinance #8 which adopted the rules and regulations for the Board of Health for the borough.
June 1921, The Board of Trade asked council to secure fire protection for the borough. Ordinance #9, enacted Castle Shannon entered into a contract with the Bell Telephone Company to construct a telephone system for the borough with a free phone to be put into a borough building at a later time.
October 18, 1921, Council authorized the hiring of the first road foreman and laborer. The foreman was paid $5 per day and the laborer was paid 40 cents and hour.
January 1922. Borough council by Ordinance #10 reduced the 10 mill tax levied to 7 mills but in 1922 raised it to 8 mills. The Board of Health of Castle Shannon reported four cases each of diphtheria, chicken pox and measles, one case each of whooping cough and scarlet fever and two cases of erysipelas, a skin infection.
March 1922, Council passed Ordinance #133, the first regulating enforcement of drunkenness, vagrancy, disorderly conduct, displaying or discharging firearms, malicious behavior and obstructing streets and sidewalks. Depending on the offense, council also imposed a fine of $1 to $25 or not to exceed 30 days in jail.
April 1922, Ordinance #17, the borough recognized the Volunteer Fire Department of Castle Shannon, which had been organized by the citizens. The borough engineer established grade and curb lines. The grading and curb line ordinances required abutting property owners to be assessed two-thirds of all costs.
May 1922, Ordinance #18 allowed the borough to regulate amusements, concerts, dances, bowling alleys and poolrooms. The fee for the permits was $1 per year.
June 1922, Congressman Guy E. Campbell donated a World War I cannon to the borough. The cannon was installed in front of the first borough building on Washington Road. Washington Road's name was changed to Castle Shannon Boulevard in 1928.
August 1922, South Pittsburgh Water Company was authorized to install and maintain fire hydrants and water lines in the borough
September 1922, the borough adopted Ordinance #33 providing a public sewer system for part of the borough.
November 1922, Bids were accepted to build the first borough building owned by Castle Shannon. The low bid was $1,291 and the high bid was $1,435.
August 1923, Ordinance #33 authorized the application to the State Department of Health to construct a sewage system and to make temporary connections into Saw Mill Run. The ordinance contained a section which stated the sanitary sewer lines had to be used exclusively for sewage and that it was unlawful to connect roof, storm water or surface water into the sanitary sewer. Anyone caught doing so would be fined $25.
December 1923, Bills presented for a one-month period amounted to $1,099.67. In 1993 this amount would be around $100,000.
June 1924, Library Road, known as State Highway 247, was approved for widening from Bethel Park to the Baldwin Township line. The width was to be 25 feet on each side of the center line, for a total width of 50 feet. The borough's share for the widening was $25,000. Ordinance #67 was adopted for the indebtedness of the borough of $85,000. This was a lot of money since the weekly pay of the residents was between $20 and $30.
January 1925, The Board of Health of Castle Shannon released the report of the number of communicable diseases in the borough: 19 cases of diphtheria, three cases of scarlet fever and one case each of typhoid fever and whooping cough.
February 1925, a resolution was sent to the State Board of Health demanding relief from conditions brought about by the overflow from the Mt. Lebanon Sewage Disposal Plant.
March 10,1925, council agreed to the erection of a tower by the fire department for the company's siren.
June 1925, the corner of Castle Shannon Boulevard (then Washington Road) and Library Road was improved by moving a home, at a cost to the borough of $4,530.
September 1925, the building inspector reported $55,150 in improvements for the month.
October 1925, Ordinance enacted stating that it would be unlawful to permit any horses, mules, cattle, hogs or domestic fowl to run at large within the borough, with fines set at not less than $1 nor more than $10.
November 1925, Council approved the hiring of motorcycle patrolman Elmer Zeiler at a salary of $160 per month with no other allowances. The officer was to furnish full coverage insurance to protect the borough from liability for accidents.
December 1925, the contract for the Saw Mill Run Trunk Sanitary Sewer #2 from Overbrook line to Bethel Township, now Bethel Park, line was awarded at a cost of $64,749.20. Lock joint concrete pipe was used throughout the construction.
February 1926, the street committee reported that due to snow drifting on McRoberts Road it would be closed.
March 1926, Council passed Ordinance #80 increasing the tax millage from 9 to 12 mills.
April 1926 Council approved the purchase of property at Washington Road, now Castle Shannon Boulevard, and Poplar Avenue at a cost of $1,200. Also at this meeting, council approved a request by the school district to permit the motorcycle officer to act as truant officer.
August 1926, Ordinance #92 contract Duquesne Light Company to furnish electric lights for the streets and highways of the borough for five years. The cost of each streetlight was $38 per year.
September 1926 Ordinance #121 changed the name of Washington Avenue to Castle Shannon Boulevard. Council approved hiring a police officer, as the chief of police, at a salary of $160 per month. Council also amended an ordinance, which deals with the license fee for transient vendors, who travel from street to street selling their goods. The fee for conveying by hand or pushcart, $1 per day; conveying by truck, $1 per day: and conveying by truck per year, $18.
June 1927, The Castle Shannon Board of Health reported the lack of water at Mine No. 2 Barracks. The matter had been taken up with the State Bureau of Health. By motion of council, members requested the governor to aid in protecting the health and life of area residents. Council also sent letters to the South Pittsburgh Water Company requesting water relief to be offered through use of the fire hydrant. The water company did supply water to this area on July 7, 1927.
December 1927, Police Chief Elmer Zeiler reported that the state automobile code required speed signs on Library Road and Castle Shannon Boulevard. He also reported that his arrest by the Coal and Iron police was dismissed by the grand jury. The Coal and Iron police were hired by the mine's owner, as company police. At this time, the mineworkers were on strike and were being evicted from the mine company owned homes. The miner's union built temporary barracks for the miners.
January 1928, through a meeting with the coal company, council was promised no evictions would be made during extremely cold weather or in case of sickness.
March 1928, council was informed that Police Chief Elmer Zeiler was ill and unable to attend to his duties. Council appointed Constable John Massung to substitute for the chief during his illness at a salary of $5 per day.
August 1928, Police Chief Elmer Zeiler reported on the condition of the striking miner's barracks. Council instructed the building inspector to give notice that the permits for the temporary barracks will expire January 1, 1929, and will not be renewed. On December 11, 1928, a delegation of striking miners asked council to extend the permit for one year. Council extended the permits to May 1929.
April 1929, the health officer reported seven cases of scarlet fever and one case of diphtheria.
May 1929, residents of the miners' barracks moved and the barracks were being torn down.
July 1929, the State Highway Department installed the first stop signs at the corner of Grove Road and Library Road.
August 1929, the police chief requested council to install a phone in his home due to the number of complaints he has received from residents not able to contact him. Also at this meeting, the motorcycle maintenance expense had been mounting for the police chief, so council approved maintenance reimbursement to him for the upkeep of his motorcycle.
November 1929, Castle Shannon Fire Department requested special police officers to afford protection to the firemen at fires or other emergencies. Ten officers were given police powers to be used during fires. Since council purchased the police badges, they could be taken back if the occasion arose.
December 1929, council requested that a streetcar stop be installed at Poplar Street and Castle Shannon Boulevard. The Railway Company turned down the request. Council cautioned the Railway Company regarding the speed their cars were going at this crossing. February 1930 the Railway Company agreed to put a stop at the crossing.
January 1932, Daniel Mozley stated he would reduce his price for garbage collection from 75 cents to 50 cents per household per month. The salary for the police chief was fixed at $150 per month, plus fuel allowance for his motorcycle. The previous allowance for Chief Zeiler's home telephone was discontinued after a $176 telephone bill for two months. The street commissioner's salary was set at $130 per month.
April 1933, C.E. Bowman became the new police chief at a monthly salary of $100 per month. Council approved the purchased of a new Harley Davidson motorcycle at a cost of $332.
September 1933, American Legion Post 490 asked permission to erect two German field guns adjacent to the present gun on borough property.
January 1934, the building inspector issued a permit to the coal company to build 75 outside toilets along Route 88. These were issued for homes built across from what is now Skip's Auto Body and Homecraft Hardware. There were three grocery stores on Willow from Poplar to Park Avenues, they were the A & P, the Butler and Nassau. The borough also had the Pearle Theater.
February 1935, council was asked for the use of the borough meeting place for the purpose of organizing a Parent-Teacher Association for the Myrtle Avenue and Hamilton Schools.
May 1935, Allegheny County Commissioners agreed to loan the borough a steam roller for the improvement of borough roads.
June 1935 Castle Shannon's W.W. Riehl Soccer Team won the National Amateur Soccer Championship of the United States for the 1934-35 season as well as the championship of the Central District Soccer League. Operators of the Pearle Theater request council to have Allegheny County place on the primary ballots the question of voting yes or no to having motion pictures shown on Sundays in the borough.
May 1936, Mr. Vitte put 93 feet of sidewalk in front of his place of business on Willow Avenue at a total cost of $62. Council officially recognized the merits of the Castle Shannon Coal Soccer Club and the Castle Shannon Owl Soccer Club for their showing in competition that season. Council commended Elizabeth McColligan for tennis and John Zywan as a soccer star. Mr. Zywan was at the Olympics in Berlin. The borough purchased a new Harley Davidson motorcycle at a cost of $360 and a sidecar for $35.
October 1936, council approved a speed trap in Castle Shannon, due to complaints of reckless driving. John Letzkus was appointed the second police officer for the borough.
January 1937, W.M. Fisher is appointed as the borough's first dogcatcher. Mr. Fisher was paid $5 per month plus $2 per dog and 50 cents per day if the dog was to be boarded for more than one day.
November 1937, Castle Shannon, Baldwin and Brentwood joined in an agreement for a fee system for a joint plumbing inspector. Ordinance #178 was passed in December 1937 and Edward Reilly was hired as plumbing inspector for all three municipalities. His earnings would be 50 percent of all fee received by the municipalities for all plumbing permits. Former councilman George C. Dietrich presented the council president with a gavel and block, which he announced he personally made from a bed in which former president Abraham Lincoln slept in at the old Monongahela House in Pittsburgh. Council passed ordinance #180 which fixed the tax rate for 1938 at 11 mills. Street Commissioner Boeving was given a salary of $112.25 per month with the understanding he was to have a telephone installed at his house. The White House Bar on lower Willow Avenue received a dance permit allowing dancing until 11:45 p.m.
February 1938, Ed Reilly appeared before council asking to be given a salary of $180 per month for working as a building inspector for the three municipalities. Council fired Mr. Reilly and contacted Mt. Lebanon Township about having their plumbing inspector take over the inspections for Castle Shannon. Council approved a request from the South Hills Motorcycle Club to play motorcycle polo with the understanding that there be “no dust.” The borough had problems with dusty roads because of unpaved streets. Council authorized the purchase of 10,000 gallons of road oil at 5 ½ cents per gallon for spreading on the various roads. July 1938, Council received a request from the Castle Shannon Fire Department Relief Association, asking the borough deed back its property to the fire department. This property was deeded to the borough so the borough could have the Work Progress Administration construct a firehouse and a municipal building on it and then return the property, plus the newly constructed building to the fire department.
August 1939, the solicitor stated that the proposed municipal building and firehouse could not be considered as a legal procedure and council was to inform the fire department that it was forced to withdraw from this proposal. The state Highway Department informed council that it turned down the borough's request for sidewalks along Library Road.
September 1940, council conducts its first meeting at the new borough hall on Castle Shannon Boulevard. Bids are opened for a new police car, the four bids ranged from $657 for a 1941 2 door Ford sedan to $715 for a 1941 2 door Hudson sedan. The bid was awarded to Haller's Ford of Mt. Lebanon. Council also authorized the purchase of theft insurance for the new police car.
November 1940, Council agreed to allow the American Legion Post 490 to use the new borough building. Post 490 stated they would install new Venetian blinds in all the windows.
January 1941, council created the position of vice president of council.
October 1941, Tom Laird and the Old Fellow Lodge requested an alley behind their building be paved at a total cost of $99. Council agreed to pave the alley provided Mr. Laird and the Old Fellow Lodge each pay one-third and the borough would pay one-third, not to exceed the borough's portion of $33. Police Chief Letzkus became ill and John Popp Jr. offered to donate his services as a police officer for the borough. Council accepts and authorizes the expense of $15.65 to purchase a police hat, shirt and other necessary equipment for Mr. Popp.
November 1941, Police Chief Letzkus dies and council decides to pay Mr. Popp for his service even though he said he was willing to donate his time.
January 1942, Residents inquiring about the fire hydrants on their streets are advised that the borough requires a value of at least $25,000 for property and home, on any street, before any fire hydrant is installed. A resolution was read dealing with the defense and protection of life and property in the borough by reason of the declaration of war by the United States of America. Burgess Riehl was named to be the chairman of this Civilian Defense Council.
March 1942, Road & Sewer Commissioner, Adolph Boeving, discussed putting ashes on all roads. Building Inspector, Jacob Dietrich: one building permit and one plumbing permit issued. Special Officer William C. Fisher: picked up and disposed of 46 dogs during the months of December and January. As dogcatcher, he had to produce the ears of each disposed dog in order to get paid. Council authorized the purchase of four air horns at a cost of $97.15 each to be used for air raid warnings, which was required through the Council of Civil Defense. Also a telephone with an extra loud bell was purchased at a cost of $4 for installation and a $2.50 per month fee.
April 1942, compensation insurance for the volunteer firemen was discussed. The borough solicitor advised that the insurance company stated that no other municipality in the state had ever raised the question. Council had to advertise all purchases over $500.
October 1942, council was advised that a tire was needed for the grader. Permission was given to John Creehan to apply to the Rationing Board for the needed tire. H.B. Seemiller, section warden of Zone 28 of the Civilian Defense Council, asked council for funds for civil defense purposes. Mr. Dalzell, also from the Civilian Defense Council, asked permission to hold a meeting of the Junior Cammandos in the borough building.
March 1942, council approved the state of Pennsylvania's request to take over Castle Shannon Boulevard as a state highway. The borough's insurance policy for public liability and property damage for $5,000 and $10,000 for the 1943 year cost $104. This being the war years, council had to get permission from the War Production Board to have streetlights turned on and to get materials necessary for resurfacing of borough roads. There was also a Federal Work Administration approval needed to receive materials for road work, such as road tar. The borough passed a victory tax of 5 percent during the war.
October 1943, council passed Ordinance #203 regarding a curfew requiring every person under the age of 18 off the streets by 11:30 p.m. Two wooden bins10 feet by 10 feet by 8 feet high were built to collect tin cans to raise money for the Civil Defense Fund. One bin was placed at the intersection of Willow and Poplar Avenues and the other at the intersection of Sixth Street and Home Avenue.
December 1944, council passed a resolution regarding worker's compensation coverage for firemen.
January 1945, at this council meeting, James L. Slater, owner of Slater's Drug Store, presented council with a letter requesting a permit to collect and distribute urine at his place of business. He explained that they gather urine in gallon bottles, emptied them into barrels and they would not be in storage for more than a day. Council granted the permit. Applications for an equipment operator were being accepted at a salary of $175 per month. A special meeting was held after notice was received from Michael Brothers, the garbage haulers, that the collection would stop until spring due to the weather conditions. Collection of garbage cost $1 per month per house.
June 1945, Lt. Cooper of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department asked council to consider the installation of a two-way radio system for the borough police car. He advised council that they were installing a broadcast station to serve the South Hills District.
August 1945, council agrees that all borough employees will receive a two week vacation with pay.