Bordering Jacobs Creek and spreading over low hills to the northwest, the borough, originally called Fountain Mills, was first laid out in 1873 on the adjoining farms of Jacob and Peter Loucks, German Mennonites and cousins of Henry Clay Frick. The town's strategic location in the emerging coal and coke region between Connellsville and Uniontown to the south and Greensburg to the north, and the building of the Pennsylvania Railroad, prompted its incorporation as a borough in 1874, and a name change to Scottdale, after Thomas A. Scott, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Henry Clay Frick Coal and Coke Company, Scottdale Iron and Steel, and other coal companies and industries located in or near the borough.
Broadway and Pittsburgh streets intersect as the primary commercial district, with the former Frick office, a four-story rectilinear brick building (1906; 100–300 S. Broadway), one of the few remaining Frick-related buildings in the commercial district. The large buff brick former Scottdale High School on S. Chestnut Street (c. 1910, Allison and Allison, Architects) overlooks its playing field below. Handsome late-nineteenth-century Queen Anne and Colonial Revival housing built for the owners and managers of local industries line Loucks, Arthur, and N. Chestnut streets. The A. K. Stauffer House (c. 1880; 701 Loucks Avenue) represents the wealth and sophistication achieved by Scottdale's industrial owners and managers in that era. Local builder Samuel J. Zearly designed and constructed Stauffer's Queen Anne house with a wraparound porch, two turrets, and a similarly styled carriage house.
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