According to the 1901 charter which established its official boundary lines, the borough of Bridgeville was stated as stretching from the middle of Chartiers Creek to the northern end of McLaughlin Run...Unfortunately, life is never as clear-cut as a boundary line and for the past 120 or so years Bridgeville has served as the commercial and social center for much of South Fayette and Upper St. Clair Townships, Kirwan Heights, and portions of Scott and Collier Townships. You can't really discuss "Bridgeville" without discussing the "Bridgeville Area".
So with that being said...a short history of Bridgeville, in 500 words or less...
First there were the Indians. We all should know that the Indians were the original settlers to this area (Ewing’s Hill/Gould City Hill, Bridgeville was one of their early settlements), long before the French fur traders allegedly used Chartiers Creek and the nearby Indian trails to conduct their business. In the mid-1700s, the German, Scottish and English immigrants who came to settle in this new frontier were predominantly farmers. By 1850, those who called this area home were still primarily farmers, though the area which is today Bridgeville slowly became the commercial center for the surrounding farming communities of South Fayette, Upper St. Clair and Collier.
1851 Bridgeville featured a woolen mill at the corner of Bank Street Extension and Washington Avenue, and there were some beautiful homes being built on the west-side of Washington Avenue. By 1870-1875, coal mining was a new industry in all the area hills. And by 1875, 3 separate lines of railroads were crisscrossing the territory. With the railway came a resort hotel—the Norwood—to accommodate city residents who wanted a vacation in the country. By 1901, Bridgeville legally left Upper St. Clair and formed its own borough. At the time, Carnegie was the closest incorporated business center. With its new status as a borough, Bridgeville could advertise itself as an alternative—complete with banks, stores, a post office, a funeral parlor and much more.
As testament to its standing as the community of choice for the south-western end of Allegheny County, Bridgeville’s main thoroughfare was designated as Pennsylvania’s RD #1 for at least 100 years, with RD #2 winding its way through Upper St. Clair. Photographs of the 1939 construction of the new Bridgeville Post Office, on the corner of Hickman Street and Washington Avenue, clearly show the PA State Route signs for RT 19 and RT 28.
Kirwan Heights and the lower part of Collier Township grew with the borough, and C.P. Mayer, Sr. and all his business ventures helped to reinforce the idea of Bridgeville as the commercial center of the area. Mayer’s commercial and industrial enterprises, as well as his new airport, provided not only employment to residents, but a great deal of entertainment as well.
Bridgeville continued to be a commercial, business and residential hub until well after World War II when it began to redevelop itself as a more residential family-centered community. Today Bridgeville still has banks, stores, a post office and some of the best restaurants in the area, but the tone of the town has slowed down a great deal since its boom years.