Abbot Farm

The Abbott Family Farm, painted by Austin Wooster in 1875

History of the Farm in Scott Township (now Mt. Lebanon)

Since about 8,000 B.C., the Abbott farm was used by Archaic and Woodland Indians as a seasonal camp.

In 1852, before his marriage to Magdalena Schmeltz , Christian Abbott bought this 22 acres and 9 perches* of land in Scott Township from Reverend Clokey. This was a part of the land from the tract previously owned by the MacFarlanes and the Boggs'. The MacFarlanes bought the land from the William Penn family. According to The Way We Were: A community history of Mt. Lebanon, PA, published by Mt. Lebanon Magazine, 2000, the price was 25 cents per acre.

The log house, behind the large tree in the center of the painting, is where many of the children of Christian and Magdalena were born. A new house was built on the farm in 1868, and later the log house was torn down.

The dirt road in the foreground of the painting, in front of the tree line, is now McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The winding dirt lane on the other side of the tree line, which curves up to the farmhouse, is now part of Beverly Road. The spring, covered by the springhouse, in front of the large tree in the center of the painting, is now under the basement of the Embassy Apartments on Beverly Road. The Abbott cows grazed on the pastureland where the Lincoln School now stands. The artist exercised artistic license in this painting. The distance between the intersection of McFarland and Beverly Road to where the farm house stood is greater than in the painting.

According to the 1876 map of the area, and the deed description, it is very likely that the George Kennedy farmhouse is the building to the upper left of the large center tree. The distance could have been altered for artistic effect. The strawberry field is to the right of the house and you can see the Abbott women picking strawberries. Notice the two figures walking down the lane. On close inspection you can see a man in the barnyard.

Christian successfully worked this land with the help of his wife, Magdalena, and their four sons and six daughters. In 1896 he transferred the title to his son, Edward. Edward and his wife, Elizabeth Jacob, farmed the land with the help of their five sons and five daughters. They had many picnics on the lawn with large groups of family and neighbors. Produce was taken on Saturday mornings to be sold at the farmer's market on the Monongahela Wharf.

None of Edward's sons were interested in farming, so in 1926 he sold the land to Howard W. Salkeld, who developed it as the "Colonial Heights Subdivision," off Beverly Road. Edward gave each of his children a lot on which they built their home, and remained there until their deaths. Three were on Ralston Place, across from Lincoln School, and one stood where the Lincoln School parking lot is now. The farmhouse continued to be occupied by the youngest son, Clarence and his wife, Ruth Geyser until it was torn down in about 1966. It stood at 235 Arden Road, taking up 3 lots. Edward and Elizabeth kept three lots on Beverly Road where they built a house for themselves.

A 1927 map of Mt. Lebanon shows Akron Avenue (off Ralston Place) with the name "Abbott Street", however, it was changed to Akron Avenue when Edward Abbott had a disagreement with the borough commissioners.

* One perch = 30 & 1/4 square yards

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