Wilkinsburg, named for General John Wilkins Jr., was incorporated as a borough in 1887. The village was founded on a 266-acre parcel purchased in 1789 by Col. Dunning McNair, who also laid the central street plan. After McNair’s death in 1825, the village was purchased by James Kelly. Caring deeply about the social life of the community, Kelly donated the land for most of the schools, churches, and residences for the elderly. When Wilkinsburg was annexed by Pittsburgh in the early 1870s, Kelly financed the legal battle to have the decision reversed. Through historic photographs from the Wilkinsburg Historical Society and private collections, Wilkinsburg illustrates the development of one of the most historic communities in the region.

Authors Wilkinsburg Historical Society

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