Steamboat Building   in Elizabeth, PA

A Journal of daily activities at the Elizabeth Marine Ways 1898 to 1925 

West Elizabeth

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To view a larger image click on that particular image, for a brief description of the image place your cursor on the image.


West Elizabeth River Related Views



From the Rumsey Collection,  The Illustrated Atlas of the Upper Ohio Valley    

The Coal Works of O'Neil & Company located in West Elizabeth, circa 1870.  Note the boats shown which include the Ferry SAM ROBERTS on the left side of the lithograph.  Also shown are the Steamers ENTERPRISE, FRED WILSON No.2, BOB CONNELL, and BELLE McGOWAN


West Elizabeth Boat Yard

This photo is dated 1912 and is written that West Elizabeth is in the background  


From collection of Robert Eberhart  

The photo above is dated 1919 by the photographer, Robert Eberhart,  and was taken at the West Elizabeth Boat Yard which was / is located slightly up river and on the opposite side from the Elizabeth Marine Ways.  The EMW is visible below the bridge.

The boats seen include the T J WOOD, BERTHA and the JIM BROWN.   JW does not mention in his journal that these three boats were at the EMW at the same time.

A postcard dated 1914 showing the West Elizabeth Boatyard with the Elizabeth Bridge in the background  


West Elizabeth up river   West Elizabeth from the bridge

West Elizabeth under the bridge    West Elizabeth down river from the bridge

A panoramic view of West Elizabeth, with the barges at the Boat Yard the subject of the photographer.  Note the hillside, a sign advertising Ice Cream to the right of the bridge and what appears to be a coal chute starting at the top of the hill, to the left of the bridge. These photos were taken circa 1920s/1930s and are from the collection of the Elizabeth Marine Ways.


The photos below are from the collection of Robert Eberhart and are dated 1920.  The view is similar to the photos above, i.e. barges with West Elizabeth homes in the background, including hanging wash left out to dry.




The three photos above, from the collection of Robert Eberhart, are each labeled as West Elizabeth. The two on the left are dated as July 1914 and being photos of "X" Boat Bottoms with each photo showing a different Boat Bottom number. I do not know if the  photo on the right might be showing the two "X" Boat Bottoms in their next phase of construction as it is not labeled with any info other than West Elizabeth, the town of Elizabeth appears in the background across the river.




The Elizabeth / West Elizabeth Bridge


The Bridge was built during 1893, opening on November 14, 1893.  It was a toll bridge from its opening until December 6, 1913 when it was taken over by Allegheny County.  A detailed early history of the bridge is available in R. T. Wiley's book "Elizabeth and Her Neighbors" pages 189 to 197. The bridge  remained in service into 1951  when it was replaced by the four lane bridge that is part of Rt. 51.

During the bridge's twenty years as a Toll Bridge their were a total of twelve different tokens that were used which are described in the information below, click on the image to show full size. The photos below show several of these tokens.

Information provided by Yosef Sa'ar, a collector of transportation tokens.  

   Bridge token used to pay toll to cross bridge from Elizabeth to West Elizabeth for those walking.  Different tokens were used for wagons and carts.     Front of token used for "One Horse or Mule" Back of token used for "One Horse or Mule"

From collection of Jeremy Stiehl, might be of different medal than others shown     From collection of Jeremy Stieh, Front of "Tug Aid" token  From collection of Jeremy Stieh, Back of "Tug Aid" token    added 6/27/16

The Tug AID was docked at West Elizabeth for approximately two years,1912 to 1914, and an assumption is that the tokens with the name of the Tug AID on the back were used by the employees of this boats company when crossing the bridge.

If you have additional information or photos of the tokens used on the bridge please contact me at jwmohney"at" comcast "dot" net.  This is not a clickable address so please change the quoted words to the appropriate symbols.

The Toll Booth, shown below, was located on the Elizabeth side of the bridge with the first Superintendent / Toll Taker being Joseph S. Taylor.  After tolls stopped being required Taylor continued working for Allegheny County on the bridge until he passed away in 1928.  JW Lynch writes in his journal that he began working part time on the bridge during 1927 and then full time in 1928.  Another name I found in the June 1978 issue of S&D Reflector who worked on the bridge as a toll taker was William Hughes.

 Elizabeth Bridge Early 1900s  From collection of John Dizama, scene similar to previous but taken further back from bridge  Bridge Toll Booth in later years from collection of John Dziama

The date of the photo below and the man shown is unknown but it might be during the 1920s and the man walking in front of the now installed railroad gate might be Joseph Taylor.

From collection of Historic Elizabeth   added 5/14/16



This 1893 drawing of the bridge is part of the drawing of the towns of Elizabeth and West Elizabeth.  This would show the bridge as a new addiiton to the towns skylines.  Note the fact that the West Elizabeth side of the bridge is elevated overtop two town blocks before decending to Second Street.  

View additional pictures of this bridge at Elizabeth Town Scapes


West Elizabeth Town Views


Post Card dated 1912

This photo of the West Elizabeth Bank is dated 1908

West Elizabeth Bank from a slightly different angle than previous photo.


West Elizabeth Methodist Church postcard dated 1910 added 12/10/15

   This postcard of the West Elizabeth Prebysterian Church is dated 1912

Photo of West Elizabeth is dated 1916


Postcard showing Blair residence on left and Sprague Pharmacy next on its right

Postcard dated 1910



Post Card showing W Eliz residence, Pierce     

These photos show the brick house built in 1900 for West Elizabeth resident Doctor Pierce.  I have arranged them chronologically from left to right based upon the growth of trees and bushes.  It would seem that the horse and carriage photo should come before the automobile photo but the size of the tree does not support this.  Dr. Pierce also owned a brickyard in West Elizabeth, thus a brick house.



Blacksmith James Byers talks with woman in front of shop, circa 1900. From the collection of Karen Laufer. Samuel Byers, James Byers and Ted Byers.    From the collection of Karen Laufer

J.E.Byers & Son Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith shop located on Second Street between Wayne Street and Locust Avenue was owned by James Byers and his son Samuel Byers.

From the collection of Karen Laufer

Home of Arthur and Gertrude Byers located on 4th Street with Gertrude and infant daughter Sara Byers Williams in 1915.

From the collection of Karen Laufer

Jones School Room No. 2  circa 1889.

This school was located between West Elizabeth and Elrama. The student holding the slate is Arthur Byers.    




  The March 1936 Flood


Four Photos of the 1936 Flood in West Elizabeth  West Elizabeth 1936 Flood.  West Elizabeth 1936 Flood West Elizabeth Flood 1936

Jester's Restaurant from collection of Historic Elizabeth  This photo is from the October 1937 flood which shows a similar scene as the previous photo, Jesters Restaurant.  It appears that Jester's moved next door, to the left, since the 1936 flood.     From collection of Historic Elizabeth  From collection of Historic Elizabeth  

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