Old Stone Tavern in Pittsburgh

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Mar 19, 2019
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
So, Pittsburgh magazine recently printed this story about a local grassroots effort to purchase and renovate a stone tavern that opened in Pittsburgh in the 1700's in Pittsburgh, operated for 220 years, and closed in 2008. The tavern's log of customers sits in a Pittsburgh library.

U.S. Grant apparently went to this tavern when he was POTUS.

(I learned from reading Julia Dent Grant's memoir that her own mother grew up in Pittsburgh and that her parents lived in Pittsburgh during the first part of their married life, before they moved to St. Louis. Also, Grant once visited the Pittsburgh grave of Alexander Hays, who was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness. This is what I know about the Grants' historical connection to Pittsburgh.)

Here's the thing: the grassroots group that is trying to save this tavern claims that it needs at least $2 million dollars in order to purchase the property and renovate it. According to their Go Fund Me page, they have only raised $1,720. I know that a nearby brewery has had fundraisers for this effort. I don't know the amount of the total funds raised to save this place. I am under the impression that the total is nowhere near $2 million.

I'm just trying to wrap my head around the amount of money that would be required in order to restore this place.

This place sounds interesting. Unfortunately, I have no intention on getting involved in the volunteer effort to save this tavern. The tavern is on the opposite side of Pittsburgh from where I live. Also, I live in a house that was built in 1890, and my husband and I have already put a great deal of energy into restoring and preserving our own old house.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 14, 2012
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Central Pennsylvania
Oh, they've added so many inspections, regulations, taxes on top of taxes and mandates on everything from environmental impact to requiring specific installations on things like plumbing and electricity, the total is unsurprising. Anything open to the public is a bear. Some is certainly understandable, like wheelchair accessible entrances, ramps and bathrooms, a ton seems like bandwagon jumping with a hand out. Townships, inspectors, inspectors to inspect all the previous inspectors get paid for signing off on " Yep, yep, that'll need some more inspecting ". Gets crazy.

Our barn went through something similar and that was for a new structure added to it. Project estimated originally at 100K tripled by the time all the other stuff was added up.
 
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It goes back to the days of Fort Pitt?
So, according to Wikipedia, "A datestone of 1752 is on the building. However, local architectural historians have argued it was built circa 1782,[2] shortly after the American Revolution, by Daniel Elliott, who served in the war."

Now, Fort Pitt was built between 1759 and 1761, which was at the end of the French and Indian War. In regards to the Revolutionary War, Fort Pitt "served as a headquarters for the Western theater of the war." Fort Pitt was torn down in 1797 after the U.S. Army decommissioned it.

So, the short answer is that this tavern was either built shortly before Fort Pitt was built, or else it was built while Fort Pitt was still a working fort.


Now, since you're from PA, maybe you know more about this whole thing than I do. However, both U.S. and Julia Grant had parents who lived in Pennsylvania. Grant's father Jesse lived in Greensburg (edit: I mean, Greensburg is EAST of Pittsburgh) and his mother Hannah came from a farm in Central PA. As I posted above, Julia's mother grew up in Pittsburgh and travelled by horseback to Philadelphia for boarding school. Julia's parents lived in Pittsburgh at the beginning of their married life. I wonder if any of their family visited this tavern in the late 1700's / early 1800's. I'm actually going to post in the U.S. Grant forum about Grant's connection to Pennsylvania once I get my thoughts together about this.
 

infomanpa

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Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
So, according to Wikipedia, "A datestone of 1752 is on the building. However, local architectural historians have argued it was built circa 1782,[2] shortly after the American Revolution, by Daniel Elliott, who served in the war."

Now, Fort Pitt was built between 1759 and 1761, which was at the end of the French and Indian War. In regards to the Revolutionary War, Fort Pitt "served as a headquarters for the Western theater of the war." Fort Pitt was torn down in 1797 after the U.S. Army decommissioned it.

So, the short answer is that this tavern was either built shortly before Fort Pitt was built, or else it was built while Fort Pitt was still a working fort.


Now, since you're from PA, maybe you know more about this whole thing than I do. However, both U.S. and Julia Grant had parents who lived in Pennsylvania. Grant's father Jesse lived in Greensburg (edit: I mean, Greensburg is EAST of Pittsburgh) and his mother Hannah came from a farm in Central PA. As I posted above, Julia's mother grew up in Pittsburgh and travelled by horseback to Philadelphia for boarding school. Julia's parents lived in Pittsburgh at the beginning of their married life. I wonder if any of their family visited this tavern in the late 1700's / early 1800's. I'm actually going to post in the U.S. Grant forum about Grant's connection to Pennsylvania once I get my thoughts together about this.
Thanks. Very interesting. I myself lived in Pittsburgh at the beginning of my married life!
 
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