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709 Brighton Road

709 Brighton Road

Introduction

709 Brighton Road is a three story red brick house occupying a 135’11” wide by 198′ deep lot located in the Allegheny West section of the city of Pittsburgh.

Harry Darlington, a millionaire industrialist who lived nearby at 721 Brighton Road, had 709 Brighton Road built in 1908 for his son, Harry Darlington Jr. The house was designed by George Orth and cost $60,000 to construct.

Darlington apparently demolished three older homes on the site that were owned by his mother-in-law, Rebecca T. McCullough, in order to construct 709 Brighton Road.

Detailed information on the ownership history, age, and owners of 709 Brighton Road is as follows:

Ownership

  • September 11, 1877
  • June 24, 1879
  • June 16, 1898
  • July 14, 1902
  • May 6, 1913
  • April 1, 1919
  • November 6, 1940
  • July 2, 1942
  • November 23, 1982

James L. and Margaret Graham of the city of Allegheny to Mrs. Rebecca T. McCullough of the city of Allegheny, $38,000.

This deed conveyed a lot of ground located on Irwin Avenue (now Brighton Road), 115′ north of the corner of Irwin Avenue and Ridge Street (now Ridge Avenue). The lot measured 58’5″ wide by 198′ deep, and contained “a large two story brick dwelling with mansard roof.” The lot was part of lots conveyed to James L. Graham by John Irwin and his wife on August 8, 1861, recorded in Deed Book Volume 150, Page 492, and by David Campbell and his wife on June 6,
1862, recorded in Deed Book Volume 156, Page 366.

(Deed Book Volume 369, Page 650)

Edith A. and Henry W. Oliver Jr. of the city of Allegheny to Rebecca McCullough of the city of Allegheny, wife of J.N. McCullough, $20,000.

This deed conveyed a 40′ wide by 198′ deep lot on Irwin Avenue, 70′ north of the corner of Irwin Avenue and Ridge Street. James L. and Margaret Graham had conveyed the lot to Henry W. Oliver Jr. as two parcels in two deeds dated April 26, 1876 and 1877 (date not given).

(DBV 395 P 154)

John L. and Louise T. McCutcheon of the city of Pittsburgh, James H. and Elizabeth C. McCutcheon of the city of Pittsburgh, Thomas G. and Annie S. McCutcheon of the city of Allegheny, and Eleanor M. and T. DeWitt Talmage of Washington, D.C., all the heirs of James McCutcheon, late of the city of Allegheny, deceased, to Rebecca T. McCullough, $50,000.

This deed conveyed a 37’6″ wide by 198′ deep lot located on the “west commons,” 173’5″ north of Ridge Street. The lot was known as Lot 8 and the northerly half of Lot 7 in the Plan of Lots of John Irwin, recorded in Plan Book Volume 2, Page 173. The lothad been conveyed by James L. Graham to James McCutcheon (date not given).

(DBV 1002 P 72)

Harry Darlington, trustee of the estate of Harry Darlington Jr., under the will of Rebecca T. McCullough, late of Allegheny County, and Rebecca McCullough Darlington, both of the city of Allegheny, to Mary E. McC. Darlington of the city of Allegheny, $1 and other good and valuable considerations.

This deed conveyed a 135’11” wide by 198′ deep lot located on Irwin Avenue, 75′ north of Ridge Avenue. The lot conveyed consisted of three lots acquired by Rebecca T. McCullough, mother-in-law of Harry Darlington, on September 11, 1877, June 24, 1879, and June 16, 1898, described above. Rebecca T. McCullough had died on June 4, 1902, and in her will, recorded in Will Book Volume 70, Page 429, left half her estate to her daughter Mary E. McC. Darlington.

(DBV 1200 P 72)

Harry and Mary E. McC. Darlington of the city of Pittsburgh to Harry Darlington Jr. of the city of Pittsburgh, $10 and natural love and affection.

(DBV 1772 P 425)

Harry Darlington Jr. and Ethel Shields Darlington, his wife, of the city of Pittsburgh, to Marguerite S. Milligan of the city of Pittsburgh, wife of Robert Milligan, $10.

(DBV 1947 P 330)

Robert Milligan, widower, and Robert Milligan and Gordon Fisher, trustees under the will of Marguerite Singer Milligan, deceased, to Carl E. and Grace S. Traubert of the city of Pittsburgh, $18,000. Marguerite Singer Milligan had died on June 13, 1939.

(DBV 2666 P 567)

Carl E. and Grace S. Traubert of the city of Pittsburgh to the Catholic Knights of Saint George, $20,400.

(DBV 2736 P 391)

The Catholic Knights of Saint George, a non-profit corporation, to the William Penn Association, a non-profit corporation, $350,000.

(DBV 6570 P 35)

Age of the House

All available information indicates that Harry Darlington had 709 Brighton Road built in 1908. City of Pittsburgh building permit dockets show that on October 20, 1908, Harry Darlington received a permit to erect one two story plus attic brick house on Irwin Avenue. The house was to measure 96′ wide by 72′ deep, contain 31 rooms, and have a slate roof.

Darlington hired W.F. Trimble & Sons to build the house, which had a construction cost of $60,000. City directories of the early 1900’s show that W.F. Trimble & Sons was located at 1717 Greenwood Street on the North Side near the current location of the Port Authority of Allegheny County headquarters. Directories also show that W.F. Trimble lived in Bellevue.
According to an advertisement in the Pittsburgh Architectural Club’s 1912 Yearbook, Marshall Brothers manufactured the house’s elevator. Marshall Brothers was located at 21st and Mary Streets on the South Side.

City of Pittsburgh building permit dockets also show that on June 24, 1909, Harry Darlington received a permit to erect one two story brick garage on Irwin Avenue near Ridge Avenue. The garage was to measure 50′ wide by 30′ deep, have a slate roof, and cost $9000 to construct. Darlington hired W.F. Trimble & Sons to build the garage.

The Architect

George S. Orth, a prominent Pittsburgh architect, designed 709 Brighton Road. Orth, who lived in Bridgeville during the early 1900’s, was a partner with his brother Alex B. Orth in George S. Orth & Brother, located at 341 Sixth Avenue, Downtown. Alex Orth lived at 1411 Federal Street, North Side. During the 1890’s the Orth brothers had lived at 404-406 South Highland Avenue in Shadyside.

George S. Orth also designed the William Penn Snyder house at Ridge and Galveston Avenues (1911), “Wilpen Hall,” William Penn Snyder’s summer home on Waterworks Road in Sewickley Heights (1897-1900),
the Spencer house at 719 Amberson Avenue, Shadyside, described in The Spencers of Amberson Avenue (1886), 5141 and 5205 Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside, and 10 adjacent homes on Colonial Place (1898), and the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Bayard Street and North Bellefield Avenue, Oakland (1893-94) .

Residents

The Darlingtons

Pittsburgh city directories, U.S. census records, and biographical materials provide information on Harry Darlington Jr.

Learn More

The Milligans

Pittsburgh city directories, U.S. census records, and biographical materials also provide information on Robert Milligan, a physician.

Learn More

Conversion to Rooming House

Carl E. and Grace S. Traubert, who owned 709 Brighton Road from 1940 to 1942, apparently converted the house to a furnished rooming house upon purchase.

Pittsburgh city directories show that the Trauberts lived nearby at 838 Ridge Avenue during the time they owned 709 Brighton Road. Directories published in 1941 and 1942 show that Grace S. Traubert operated a furnished rooming house at 709 Brighton Road and Carl E. Traubert worked as an assistant chemist for the United States Bureau of Mines.

The 1941 city directory indicated that Frederick L. Beach Jr., a laborer employed by Williams & Company, and his wife Mary were tenants at 709 Brighton Road, and that Frederick L. Beach, a freight terminal manager, and his wife Edith were tenants at 709 Rear Brighton Road.
As city directories listed tenants in apartments, but not tenants in rooming houses, it is likely that many additional families or persons lived at 709 Brighton Road during the brief period that the Trauberts owned the house.

The 1942 city directory showed that the Catholic Knights of Saint George occupied 709 Brighton Road, and that 709 Rear Brighton Road was vacant.

Supplementary Materials

The following materials accompany this report:

  • a copy of an 1852 plat map of the city of Allegheny, including Irwin Avenue (now N Lincoln Avenue)
  • a copy of an 1872 plat map of part of Allegheny, including Lincoln Avenue
  • a listing for Harry Darlington Jr. from the 1904 Social Directory of Greater Pittsburgh
  • biographical information on Robert Milligan
  • a copy of an advertisement for Marshall Brothers, manufacturer of 709 Brighton Road’s elevator, included in the Pittsburgh Architectural Club 1912 yearbook

A Researched History
By: Carol J. Peterson

all photos by Chris Siewers, unless otherwise noted

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