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Ellwood City

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Ellwood City straddles the border of southern Lawrence and northern Beaver counties. It was developed by the Pittsburgh Company, a real estate group set up by Beaver Falls wire entrepreneur Henry Waters Hartman. In 1890, Hartman's consortium bought six hundred acres of former farmland to develop Ellwood, named after Hartman's friend and customer Isaac L. Ellwood, one of the inventors of barbed wire. The name was changed to Ellwood City to distinguish it from another Ellwood, in eastern Pennsylvania. Hartman hired civil engineer Edward Wolford to lay out a manufacturing village. Wolford complied with a grid-patterned scheme on the south side of winding Connoquenessing Creek, and a one-mile-long circular street at the eastern end of the grid named the Pittsburgh Circle. With the founding of the Ellwood Weldless Tube Company by Ralph C. Stiefel and Harry Northwood's Glass Company, the need for housing grew, and the section inside the circle became the town's finest residential area.

The town boasts a handsome, cream-colored brick Municipal Building (1936; 6th and Lawrence streets), a post office (1932, James Wetmore, supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury; 320 7th Street), and the former First Seneca Bank (c. 1920; 4th and Lawrence streets). What appears to be the courthouse from its red brick Colonial Revival facade and its prominent site at the southern end of 5th Street is, in fact, Lincoln High School. Fine examples of domestic architecture along Crescent Avenue include the Queen Anne A. C. Grove House (1892; 637 Crescent Avenue) and H. W. Hartman's Shingle Style house (1894; 329 4th Street), now an office.

Ellwood City's U.S. Steel seamless tubing plant, in operation from 1900, closed in 1974, putting 1,000 employees out of work. In the years since, the city has become a bedroom community for manufacturing sites nearby, with a four-block shopping area of two-story, brick commercial buildings along Lawrence Avenue between 4th and 7th streets. Calvin United Presbyterian Church (1914, Fulton and Butler; 615 Crescent Avenue) is one of several handsome churches. The nearly square, buff brick building has pediments on each elevation surmounted by a dome at the center, and an entrance recessed behind two Ionic columns.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.

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