Established in 1815
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HISTORY OF PINE CREEK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH


1784
   In 1784, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the land between the Allegheny River to Lake Erie from the Iroquois Indians.  However, the Indians remained in the rolling hills around the Fox Chapel Area. The Fox Chapel Area was one of the last Indian strongholds in the Pittsburgh area.

1790   In the 1790's, there continued to be documented accounts of families being killed by the Indians in the Fox Chapel Area.  In the early 1800's, settlers finally established farms and began to build communities in this location.  As the community grew, so did the need for a local school, cemetery and church.

1809   William Hawkins was instrumental in starting the Pine Creek Presbyterian Church.  He lamented that  because there was no church in their farming area, "the beasts of the field had more to fear from the weapons of death on the sacred day than on any other day."  Around 1809, Hawkins was holding services in his house prior to the completion of the Pine Creek Presbyterian Church in 1815. 

1815   The Robinson School, the Pine Creek Presbyterian Cemetery (also known as the Robinson Cemetery at that time) and the Pine Creek Presbyterian Church were built near the intersection of Squaw Run and Dorseyville Roads.  The school was located next to the cemetery and the church, made of logs, was erected in the center of the cemetery.


Original site of the Church in the Pine Creek Presbyterian Cemetery on Dorseyville & Squaw Run Roads (Dorseyville Road seen above is a dirt lane).


Communion set used in the 1800's at the original Church site and in the 1900's at the Fox Chapel Road/Oak Knoll site.

1868   By 1868, Church attendance grew from 70 to 170, and a larger building was needed.  A brick building was constructed around the existing log structure in the center of the cemetery, and as one brick wall went up the inner log wall came down.  In this way the church could remain functional during construction. 

1892   In 1892, a newer, larger building was built in what was then thought as a more centralized location in the Fox Chapel Area. It also afforded the members new features not available at the original site, such as a road around the church, space for sheds to house horses and carriages or up to 12 wagons or sleighs.


New Pine Creek Presbyterian Church built near the northern end of Fox Chapel Road (however this part of Fox Chapel Road did not exist at the time it was built).

1932   With many men out of work due to the Depression, men donated their labor to make improvements to the Church.  The front vestibule was enlarged (compare to photo below) and a Sunday school room was partitioned off in the back. In 1944 the Manse was purchased.  It was the old Kelly homestead and it was located on land adjacent to the Church. 

1952  The Fox Chapel Road was enlarged, extending all the way to Dorseyville Road and its path came very close to the front of the Church.  Additional adjoining land was purchased and plans were set in place to move the existing structure to the other side and back off of Fox Chapel Road (onto what is now Oak Knoll Drive). 

Rolling along!  The Pine Creek Presbyterian Church building was relocated to its present location (see photo below).

1957   A basement, rest rooms and a furnace room were constructed first on the new adjoining property.  The Church building was then carefully 'rolled' over on tracks to sit atop the new foundation.   The 'moving' experience was quite moving!  Services were held inside the church after it was raised onto the rollers, and then again when it arrived at its final location before the new foundation was secured under it.


Current Church on its new foundation with basement and an activity/Sunday School room added to the back.  Located on the corner of Fox Chapel Road & Oak Knoll Drive.

2009   The Pine Creek Presbyterian Church in it present configuration, is shown above with its new paved circular driveway in a rustic setting.  It is lovingly maintained by its dedicated congregation under the direction of Rev. Diana Harbison.
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References:

1.  Hardie, F.C., Fox Chapel, A History of an Area and Its People. Pittsburgh, PA: Financial Press Corporation, 1987.
2.   History of the Pine Creek Presbyterian Church, 150 Year Anniversary, unpublished Church Document, 1815-1965.
3.  Holliday, S.H., Historical Sketch of Pine Creek Presbyterian Church, unpublished Church Document, March 22, 1894.

Photographs at the cemetery and Church were provided by Richard.  Digital photo enhancement and restoration were performed by Robbin.
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  Copyright © 2009-2013 Pine Creek Presbyterian Church
 

 

LOCATION
21 Oak Knoll Drive
Pittsburgh, PA  15238
Directions

SERVICE TIME
Sunday, 11:00AM
(Changes to 10:00AM during the summer. Home page Announcement will provide the
specifc dates.)

ACCESSIBILITY
Chair Lift
Interior chair lift available.

CONTACT US
Minister:  Rev. Diana Harbison
Email
Phone:    412-963-7868