History of the Town of McCandless
The first settler in McCandless was James Duff, who had purchased 400 acres in 1796. Farming increased in the area, and in 1849, meetings were held, presided over by Daniel Vogel, for the purpose of forming a local government. The Township was originally founded in 1851 and called Taylor. The Township was incorporated in 1857 as a Second Class Township and renamed McCandless in honor of District Judge Wilson McCandless. The published population was 1,482 persons.
Allegheny County Commissioner E. V. Babcock initiated the establishment of Allegheny County’s North Park. He purchased the land and later sold it to the County at cost. North Park was founded in 1927 by Allegheny County. Approximately 1600 acres of the park, 2.5 square miles, are located in McCandless. This area represents approximately 15.2% of the Town.
Between 1930-1950, the Town more than doubled its population (from 2,653 to 6,488). By 1960, the population had redoubled (14,582) and has since doubled again. As per the 2000 Census, the number of households in the Town is 11,159.
Expanding population and traffic brought more diversified development into the area. McKnight Road was built in the mid 1950s and became the primary access into the north suburban areas. Retail and office occupy some of the McCandless segment of the McKnight corridor. Yet undeveloped property promises to be a “signature” Town center, comprised of office, retail, housing and entertainment opportunities.
Links to Historical Articles about the Town of McCandless
Links to historical maps of the Town of McCandless
- 1850 Map of Allegheny County through Historic Pittsburgh
- Warrantee atlas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1914 – Plate no. 35 – McCandless Township
- McCandless Township index map, traced by C. Pl. Stroech
- USGS Topographic map, 1908 edition, reprinted in 1944, Pennsylvania – Sewickley Quadrangle
Links to the Town of McCandless in the 1940 Real Estate Plat Map published by the G. M. Hopkins Co.
- September 3, 1911 – Digs up two quarts of old coins: Small treasure trove found by McCandless Township man while hoeing in his garden plot
- September 3, 1911 – McCandless Township Oil Property Sold
- September 2, 1916 – Say wife has too much influence of school man
- July 8, 1929 – Fire Checked after Battle of 15 Hours (see photo above)
- July 8, 1929 – Hundreds Fight Oil Fire Near Ingomar: Firemen Dig Trenches, as Flames Spread; Loss at $150,000
- July 12, 1946 – Perry Park Hotel Ever Since 1820 Historic Spot Lives Romance
- July 12, 1952 – McCandless Police Fight Going to Court: 300 Irate Citizens Back Ex-Chief; Seek to Fire Supervisors
- November 5, 1952 – Voters Reject New Cities in County: Two School District Mergers Defeated – Township Promoted
- December 3, 1953 – McKnight Shopping Center Set For Grand Opening Tomorrow
- August 18, 1954 – $2 Million High School Opens September 8 In McCandless Township
- October 27, 1959 – Passavant Gets North Hills Site
- November 12, 1978 – Baby LaRoche Grows as Others Shrink
- May 17, 1988 – CCAC Nearer Goal of North Hills Campus
- October 1, 1995 – Perry Park Hotel: Link to transcribed article, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- September 5, 2001 – Town Marks 150 Years of Growth From Boom Town to Thriving Suburb