Monday, March 17, 2008

Local road history.

Noblestown Road. Pittsburgh cyclists know this road. It runs from the city, essentially to West Virginny. It is a weird road, it winds and rolls and gives the illusion of being in the country despite skirting some heavily populated areas. Each time I ride past the "walkers mill" hill with Chew, he declares it "STUBNA COUNTRY" due to the heavy Stubna population at the top of the hill.

As you head out, you go through two major switchbacks that seem to just cling to the hillside, you arent climbing, just rolling, but there are two giant curves. You pass settlers cabin park, and cruise into Oakdale, of "sills bakery ride" fame (3 hours out and back, nice pleasant cruise). Paralleling the road out of Walkers mill is the Panhandle trail, which runs all the way to West Virgininny alongside Noblestown.

Out of Oakdale, you climb over a bump in the road (when they could have easily built the road flat along the creek), and there is an old church on top with a cemetery and all that jazz. You cruise down into "Noblestown," which barley exists as far as I can tell, but apparently used to thrive.

Here is what I found, from the city paper, which referenced "the 1889 History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania."
Noblestown Rd was an Indian thoroughfare named "Mingo trail" which followed the creek. Noblestown was named after Col. Henry Noble, whose family bought the land in the 1770s. They operated a flour mill that shipped stuff down to the Ohio and all points south.
The first person to take such a shipment was a guy named "Fink." Yes you well versed cyclists know Finks Run Rd as the connector between Kelso Road and Noblestown, so you can avoid the Orange belt coming into Oakdale from the West. It is a nice climb, and it is named after the stream near it, "Finks Run"

So the next time you thrash Lifson at the sprint for the town sign of Noblestown, and wonder where the town went, it is more of a place mark than a real town.


dpetrou said...

try Google Book Search to see references to Noblestown Road. E.g.:


David Petrou

Mike said...

There used to be a candy store at the bottom of the hill, so I got a lot of practice riding up and down it on my singlespeed bmx bike.

Anonymous said...

Though a BMX bike is a single speed a true BMXer would just call it a BMX bike.

Lenore said...

i don't get it. why is it stubna country? maybe dr. stubna or johnturn can explain this.