Buena Vista had its birth in the land speculation that seized the Valley between 1888 and 1893. The name came from a nearby iron forge named for a famous battle in the Mexican-American War. In 1889, what had been an area of farms was suddenly laid off with broad streets and industrial and residential sites. Promoted as an industrial mecca that would soon rival Pittsburgh, Buena Vista's boom fever was typical, with the price of lots rising as much as a hundred dollars a day and the lots changing hands three or four times before a deed could be recorded. Within three years, some six hundred structures were erected along streets that proudly boasted electric lights. The “bust” came in 1893, with a depression that bankrupted the developers. Buena Vista continued to grow, but at a much slower rate. While never a Pittsburgh, it has become an important, small industrial town.
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