History, The Slaw Podcast

Ep. 37 Historian Charles Succop brings Pittsburgh history to Instagram

He’s sharing lots of Pittsburgh history via three Instagram accounts

Historian Charles Succop

Meet Charles Succop, a local historian who features lots of Pittsburgh history on his three Instagram accounts: @pghthenandnow, @pittsburghistory (the H is deliberately missing) and @hiddenhousespgh.

An intern at the city archives, Succop shares what document is the oldest in the collection and he reveals some parallels between the arguments presented in city council today and the council records from Pittsburgh’s past. Our curiosity was piqued by the idea of a hidden house, which Succop explains is a house that has been modified to a commercial space (see: the Daily Bread at the corner of Roup and Penn Avenue in Garfield).

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Looking East across Roup Avenue to the corner of Roup and Penn Avenue in 2019. This HiddenHouse was built around the turn of the century on the former property of Captain Charles W. Batchelor, who died in 1896. Captain Bachelor was born in 1823 in Steubenville, Ohio. He held numerous positions in his life including serving as the surveyor of the port and United States depositary of the port of Pittsburgh under during the Lincoln administration, before a disagreement between himself and President Johnson led to his removal. I highly recommend reading his entire obituary which can be found in the Pittsburgh Daily Post published on Tuesday, June 30, 1896. / On the 1923 Hopkins Map you will notice two red arrows, one directs your attention to the HiddenHouse and the other to the old Forsythe cabin. This cabin originally the home of Hugh, Mary and their daughter Margaret Forsythe, is believed to have been built sometime in the 1820s. After Margaret died Mrs. J. V. Murdoch who had been good friends with Margaret moved the cabin west of the intersection of Penn and Negley in 1917. There was a dedication in which the astronomer John A. Brashest attended. This is an excellent segue into my next post for @pittsburghistory which will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned! The true experts and source of my information is the East Liberty Valley Historic Society. Their website and Facebook page are filled with incredible resources of the history of the East Liberty Valley. I also highly recommend attending one of their lectures, which a schedule can be found are posted on their Facebook page and website. / / / Sources: 1882, 1904, 1923 G. M. Hopkins Maps Google Maps East Liberty Valley Historical Society / / #pittsburgh #pittsburghpa #historicpittsburgh #pittsburghistory #pittsburghhistory #archilovers #412pics #bestinpgh #412project #cpreaderart #igerspgh #hiddenhousespgh #pghthenandnow #pittsburgharchitecture #steelcitygrammers #theburgh #pittsburghinpictures #brickstory #explorepittsburgh #discoverpgh #pittsburghgraffiti #archi_ologie #pittsburghbeautiful

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Also in this Episode:

Succop shares the story of how Thomas Edison and Henry Ford came to Pittsburgh and subsequently played games with some local Boy Scouts for a few hours. Swipe through this IG carousel for the full story.

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In the fall of 1913, Halbert Kellogg Hitchcock, an engineer for PPG, purchased this house for $35,000. Three years later, he married Grace Miller, after his wife, Lucius died. Grace was the daughter of Lewis Miller, co-founder of the Chautauqua Inst., NY. She attended Miss Porter’s School and Wellesley College. Her sister, Mina, married the inventor Thomas Edison. According to Edison, he taught Mina Morse code, which they used to communicate when they held hands in public. He proposed by tapping, “will you marry me” in Morse, and she responded, “yes.” Over a nine-year period, the “Four Vagabonds,” which included Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs, took road trips, “camping” along the way. They brought a staff along with all the comforts of home. In 1918, the group met at the Fort Pitt Hotel before traveling through the Great Smokey Mountains. In November 1930, Mr. Hitchcock died. On December 3, Mina, and her husband Edison, accompanied by Henry Ford and his wife, visited Grace on Bartlett. Their visit was kept secret and was only discovered when Ford’s private train car, the “Fair Lane” was spotted pulling into the station. They were then taken to house via two limousines. Reporters lined the streets in vain in hopes of an interview. Eventually, someone informed them, “Mr. Ford had enjoyed an afternoon’s nap.” Meanwhile, inside the house, the group was playing games thanks to a trio of Boy Scouts, Warren Marks, Richard Frankel, and Myron Marks. The scouts asked the maid if they could come inside. A few moments later, Edison and Ford greeted them and invited them inside. Over the course of two hours, they played games, which included a jumping contest, which Ford won, and Edison taught them a “special trick.” The trick was Edison patting his forehead while moving his hand across his stomach, which he said was to test “nerve coordination.” Edison spent most of the time in a chair, while Mina, engaged in competition with the boys and Ford. “Mrs. Edison frequently talked to her husband in Morse code. She persuaded him to tell us some of the experiences he had as a boy.” The party then departed that evening, bound for Detroit.

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Follow one or all of these IG accounts for Pittsburgh history

Local houses “hidden” by commercial storefronts: @hiddenhousespgh 

An in-depth look at a single spot as it transformed over time: @pghthenandnow

Pittsburgh history: @pittsburghistory

And don’t forget, the Pittsburgh City Archives has a Twitter account

Adda Bazaar is coming to Garfield

Rise and shine coffee lovers: Wipe the sleep from your eyes and remember that Adda Coffee & Tea offers online ordering so pickup is easy at either the Shadyside or Northside cafes.

Their third location, the former site of Gluten Free Goat in Garfield, is coming soon to Penn Avenue. Adda Bazaar will be a physical extension of their online community shops featuring local artisans, so you can browse while you wait for your brew.

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And introducing… ADDA 3!⁠ ⁠ We are SO excited to announce the development of our third Pittsburgh location on Penn Avenue in Garfield! ⁠ ⁠ If you've been keeping up with all of our exciting announcements the past few months, you've seen how hard at work we were revamping our website and developing our virtual Adda Bazaar, complete with our community shop featuring local artisans. With this new location, we are bringing Adda Bazaar to streets of Pittsburgh. While we will be serving up all of your favorite coffee and tea beverages, you'll have the opportunity to browse our product showroom full of Adda brand goodies and locally-crafted items from our artisan partners!⁠ ⁠ We hope you're as excited as we are for this new space! Keep an eye out for all the updates as we get the ball rolling on the new Adda Bazaar! Thank you @sheltonpgh for this beautiful rendering and for taking the lead on bringing this space to life!

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Shrub – It isn’t just that plant on the side of your house

In sticking with the drinks theme for these segments, here’s a reminder that local specialty olive oil and vinegar company Olive & Marlowe’s flavored vinegars are an easy way to make shrub. What’s shrub? It’s a drink made with fruit-flavored vinegar syrup (the word shrub is derived from an Arabic word that means to drink) and soda water. Shrubs were popular during colonial times and saw a resurgence a few years back.

Olive & Marlowe sells a wide range of flavored vinegars, and at the time of recording they were offering free local delivery of your order, too.

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This episode was hosted by Lindsay Patross, recorded remotely, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios

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