Historical marker to be dedicated at site of John Phillips' house


October 27, 2009

On October 31, at 1 p.m., just after the Carrick Halloween Parade, there will be a program installing the first Pennsylvania historic roadside marker in South Pittsburgh at 2236 Brownsville Road.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) together with the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society will dedicate the marker for former Carrick resident John M. Phillips at the site of his former home and current location of St. Pius X Catholic Church. The marker application was sponsored by the Overbrook Community Council and supporting documentation for the application was compiled by the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society.

The PHMC will be represented by State Senator Jim Ferlo. Included in the dedication ceremony will be many area elected representatives and other officials including the original Boy Scouts of America Troop 1, former Silver Tip District. For more information contact carrickhistory@ gmail.com and for historical information check the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society's web site http://wiki.carrick-overbrook.org/Current_events. (

Before the marker dedication the Carrick Overbrook area will hold its annual Halloween Parade starting at 10 a.m. at the parking lot at Sankey Avenue and Brownsville Road. The participants' costumes will be judged at 11 a.m. on the front lawn of Pittsburgh Concord Elementary School located at Biscayne Avenue and Brownsville Road. The parade will continue to the Carrick Foodland for all participants. Everyone is encouraged and welcome to participate. Register by calling 412-881-7965.

Born in 1863, Carrick resident John M. Phillips was a conservationist, industrialist, and engineer. He was president of Phillips Mining and Manufacturing Company on the South Side and held many patents. Chief Silver Tip, as he was called by the Indians during his many travels, was among the first to introduce Boy Scouting in Pennsylvania, starting Troop 1 in Pittsburgh.

To promote birding and conservation, his home was a distribution point for thousands of Russian Mulberry and Cherry tree seedlings and bird houses given away to the children in the neighborhoods. He also was the creator of the State Game Lands which were models for the nation. Mr. Phillips was one of the founders of Pymatuning State Park and fought to retain family oriented boating on the lake.

In Carrick he was well regarded and instrumental in the preservation of Phillips Park, which is named after him, and in the formation of Carrick as a borough. He later urged annexation by the City of Pittsburgh in 1927 to better education and to reduce taxes. He was a city councilman in 1933, a director of South Side Hospital and Phillips Elementary School on the South Side is named after him and his wife Harriet Duff Phillips.


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