912 Galveston Avenue, originally known as 140 Grant Avenue, is a two-story brick house occupying a 55′ wide by 35′ deep lot located in the Allegheny West section of Pittsburgh’s Northside.
Josephine Noe Dale, a physician’s widow and a descendant of John Alden, commissioned construction of 912 Galveston Avenue between May 1873 and March 1874. The house was probably built by Reed & Craig, a contracting firm whose shop was located on Beech Avenue near Brighton Road.
Josephine Noe Dale and her daughter Mary Maitland, a school teacher, lived at 912 Galveston Avenue for about 25 years, sharing the house with a number of boarders. After Josephine Noe Dale died in 1898, her descendants owned 912 Galveston Avenue until 1942, maintaining the house as an apartment building.
Detailed information on the ownership history, age, and first owner of 912 Galveston Avenue follows.
- May 3, 1873
- June 24, 1929
- March 20, 1942
- June 25, 1942
- October 29, 1942
- May 2, 1977
- February 22, 1980
- May 30, 1980
- May 8, 1981
- March 23, 1993
Robert M. and R.B. Dickey of Allegheny City to Mrs. Josephine N. Dale of Allegheny City, $3,000. This deed and subsequent deeds conveyed a 55′ wide by 35′ deep lot located at the northeastern corner of Grant Avenue (now Galveston Avenue) and Pasture Alley (now Dounton Way). The lot was part of a larger tract of land that Robert Dickey had purchased from Mrs. Elizabeth F. Denny on August 16, 1866, recorded in Deed Book Volume 207, Page 221.
(Deed Book Volume 312, Page 73)
Josephine A. Bakewell, widow, of Riverside, California, to Mary M. Bakewell of Riverside, California, $10. Josephine N. Dale had died on August 22, 1898, and in her will, dated December 10, 1896 and recorded in Will Book Volume 57, Page 17, left the property to her daughter Mary Maitland, who died on July 11, 1928 at Riverside, California, intestate, unmarried and without issue, and survived by Josephine A. Bakewell, a niece, as her only heir at law.
(DBV 2399 P 178)
Thomas Bakewell, unmarried, individually and as trustee under the will of Mary M. Bakewell, deceased, of Riverside, California, and Charles M. Bakewell of New Haven, Connecticut, to Michael Lucas of the city of Pittsburgh, $2,750. Mary M. Bakewell had died on March 3, 1937 in Riverside, California and left the property to her brother Thomas Bakewell in trust to pay the income to himself for life with the power to sell the property with the approval of Charles M. Bakewell. Charles M. Bakewell joined in this conveyance to show his consent to and approval of the sale.
(DBV 2729 P 410)
Michael and Virginia Lucas of the city of Pittsburgh to Ruth J. Burdman of the city of Pittsburgh, $1 and other valuable considerations.
(DBV 2732 P 602)
Ruth J. and Louis P. Burdman of the city of Pittsburgh to James L. Caine of the city of Pittsburgh, $1 and other valuable considerations.
(DBV 2743 P 296)
James L. and Antoinette Caine of the city of Pittsburgh to Eric Vaughn Shearer of the city of Pittsburgh, $5,000.
(DBV 5772 P 207)
Eric Vaughn Shearer of the city of Pittsburgh to Mark W. Shearer of the city of Pittsburgh, $5,000.
(DBV 6259 P 820)
Mark W. Shearer of the city of Pittsburgh to Louis John DePellegrini of the city of Pittsburgh, $24,000.
(DBV 6259 P 816)
Louis John DePellegrini of the city of Pittsburgh to Miles Leroy Bausch of Washington, Washington County and Douglas Michael Lucas of the city of Pittsburgh, $34,000.
(DBV 6367 P 728)
Miles L. Bausch and Douglas M. Lucas to Carolyn Anne Maue, $60,000.
(DBV 8929 P 559)
Age of the House
An 1872 plat map of the Allegheny West area shows that 912 Galveston Avenue had not yet been built. The land on which the house now stands was still part of a lot occupied by a home at the southeastern corner of Beech and Grant (now Galveston) Avenues, with a carriage house occupying the present site of 912 Galveston Avenue.
Josephine N. Dale’s May 3, 1873 purchase of the 55′ wide by 35′ deep lot on which 912 Galveston Avenue now stands for $3,000, at $1.55 per square foot, was slightly higher than costs per square foot for nearby undeveloped properties and indicates that 912 Galveston Avenue had not yet been built. The slightly higher cost may have reflected the value of the carriage house on the lot or the 55′ front footage, wider than most Allegheny West lots.
Allegheny County mortgage records show that on March 18, 1874 (Mortgage Book Volume 182, Page 91), Josephine N. Dale borrowed $1,400 against the lot she owned at Grant Avenue and Pasture Alley from William Reed and John Craig of Allegheny City, partners in the firm of Reed & Craig. The mortgage stated that the lot contained a two-story brick dwelling.
It is likely that Josephine N. Dale hired Reed & Craig to build her new home on Grant Avenue. The $1,400 that Josephine N. Dale borrowed from Reed & Craig, while much lower than the probable construction cost of 912 Galveston Avenue, may have been the unpaid balance of of the construction cost of 912 Galveston Avenue.
912 Galveston Avenue was originally known as 140 Grant Avenue. Most older Northaide neighborhoods received their current street numbers in 1899 and 1900. Grant Avenue became Galveston Avenue after the 1907 annexation of Allegheny City by the city of Pittsburgh, when many street names were changes to avoid duplication.
Through the Years
U.S. census records, Pittsburgh city directories, and biographical materials provide information on Josephine Dale, the first owner of 912 Galveston Avenue, and members of her family.
Occupants in 1900
Hugh McCarroll, 32, was a student who had been unemployed during most of the previous year. He had been born in Michigan to parents born in Ireland and Scotland.
He and his wife Ada F., 34, had been married two years and had no children. Ada F. McCarroll had been born in Iowa to parents who were natives of Pennsylvania.
Aldus Fay, a 27-year-old clerk, and his wife Charlotte, 33, had two daughters: Helen E., three, and Marian R., two months. All family members had been born in Pennsylvania.
Occupants in 1910
Lewis B. West, 46, a native of Maryland, was a flower salesman. He and his wife Fanny, 46, born in Louisiana, had had three children, two of whom were alive at the time of the census: Florence, 18, and Martha A., 13. The Wests were the only couple with children living at 912 Galveston Avenue.
Arthur Aust, 33, a native of Ohio, worked as an engineer for a construction company. His wife Anna M. , 23, had been born in Austria and immigrated in 1902.
Alonzo Curren, 30, was a machinist who was unemployed at the time of the census and had been unemployed during all of 1909. He and his wife Mamie, 22, were natives of Pennsylvania.
Joseph Ostrow, 23, was a ladies clothing salesman who had been born in Pennsylvania to Russian immigrant parents. His wife Lucy, 18, had been born in Massachuetts. The cojiple had been married one year.
Harry Husser, 34, a hotel chef, had been born in Germany and immigrated in 1900. Rose, 32, his wife of less than one year, had been born in Germany and immigrated in 1904.
The 21st Century
After enjoying life in Europe for 37 years as Department of Defense Overseas School (DoDDS) teachers, Carole and John Robert purchased the house in 2006. Extensive renovations occurred during their first year in their new home. Wooden floors were laid to replace the carpeting on the first two floors, new windows were installed, and the kitchen was remodeled. John and Carole refer to 912 Galveston as “their European cottage” because nearly all the furnishings in the house were purchased during their many years living overseas.
912 Galveston Avenue was built several years after the area around Galveston and Beech Avenues began to develop as a desirable alternative to older sections of Allegheny City like the East and South Commons and lower Federal Street, which contained residential, commercial and industrial land uses.
The following materials accompany this report:
- a copy of an 1852 map of Allegheny City and adjacent areas
- a copy of an 1872 plat map of part of Allegheny West, including Galveston Avenue
- a copy of a 1910 plat map of part of Allegheny West, including Galveston Avenue
- information on Josephine N. Dale, from The Social Mirror (1888), a book about prominent Pittsburgh area women
- the obituary of Josephine N. Dale, from the Pittsburgh Bulletin, a society magazine, August 27, 1898
A Researched History
By: Carol J. Peterson
all photos by Chris Siewers, unless otherwise notedTags: galveston avenue