Mt. Oliver Borough prepares to celebrate 125th anniversary


This year marks the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of The Borough of Mount Oliver. Throu gh the years this community has remained autonomous, despite several attempts to make us part of the great City of Pittsburgh.

We are unique because we are an independent borough smack dab in the middle of the city. Matt Mutschler, a now deceased former council president, whom many will remember, once referred to Pittsburgh as a suburb of Mount Oliver.

Our history is rich with prominent names, including William Penn, and many of our streets are named for original settlers and prominent families. Throughout the upcoming months I will share with you a taste of that history, look at where we are today, and offer glimpses of the future.

In addition, check out the “You Know You’re From Mt. Oliver” page on Facebook, and watch the borough web site and of course The South Pittsburgh Reporter for more details on special events.

I grew up in this community and have lived here most of my almost 69 years. My roots are deep, my memories are happy, and my outlook for the days ahead is positive. I retired from teaching a few years back and became a Borough Council member. I am not a politician, just a concerned resident proud to serve my community.

There have been many changes over the years, some good, some not so good. Like many areas around the country, we watched the decline of a once thriving business district, as “The Mall” became the place to shop. We have numerous vacant storefronts, and some deteriorated homes, but we also have the means to turn things around, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson, along with the aid of Gateway Engineers, Hilltop Economic Development South, Grass Roots Solutions and a hardworking Borough Council.

Revitalization will not happen overnight. It continues to be a long process with many bumps in the road. Looking back we remember a thriving community with GC Murphy, Woolworths, Sears, Auen Brothers, Rosalia Shop, Harvard’s Men’s Store, The A&P Supermarket, Sun Drug, Yetter’s, Kuhlman’s, Kehren’s, Kramer’s Drug Store, Mike’s Lunch, Keener Brothers Barber Shop, Hernon Jewelers, Isaly’s, Hahn Furniture, Coury Furniture, the Mt. Oliver Harris, the Capital Theater, The Moose Lodge, the VFW, and many more. Only a few of the originals remain; Beckman Motors, Miller Hardware and the Hofbrau. (If I have forgotten anyone, please remind me later.)

Trinity Lutheran, Temple Baptist, Pittsburgh Christian Fellowship, and the former St. Joseph’s Church and School will also be highlighted in future articles. The Borough plans to recognize our businesses and also former members of local government.

The changes are already happening in several new business and community service ventures which will also be topics for upcoming articles. There are so many good things happening and “in the works.” We are looking for entrepreneurs and fresh ideas to move into the Brownsville Road corridor. As residents we need to stay positive and focus on what is ahead. We need to continue appreciating a very hard working Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department, and local government throughout the process.

Take pride in your home and your community. Come to council meetings the third Monday each month and share your concerns. Call 911 when you see suspicious or dangerous activity. Whether your roots are deep, or you are just a sapling, come grow with us as we Remember, Reimagine, and Revitalize. Stay tuned for more...........

(If anyone would like to share photos, memorabilia, or information for future articles, email me at

Submitted by Barbara Keener


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