Located on the Allegheny County border, South Heights Borough is one of the smallest municipalities of Beaver County. It covers just over 0.41 square miles and had a population of 475 residents as of 2010. Don’t be fooled by its size though. This little Borough has seen its fair share of excitement.
Fun Facts about South Heights:
-The area known as South Heights was originally known as Ethels Landing, which was the name of the post office located there. Early land owners were James Jordan, E. Laughner, and the Springer, Irwin, Shoup, and Davis families.
-In the late 1880’s a massive oil and gas field was discovered. Prospective rig workers began to arrive and work in the large operations that dotted the entire hillside of today’s Rt-151 and Heights Road.
-When the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad ran its initial single track from Beaver Falls to Pittsburgh, the line came directly through the budding village. The railroad decided to name the station Shannopin, after an Indian tribe that resided in the area. The first passenger train came through Shannopin on February 10, 1879. The tracks ran down modern-day Jordan Street.
-Shannopin was incorporated as South Heights in 1909; after a post office issue began sending mail to the other Shannopin (near Pittsburgh) forced the residents to make a change. The other option besides South Heights was “Mogadore”.
-Other early industries in South Heights were a brick factory and two explosive companies.
-From 1880-1910, four nitroglycerine explosions rocked South Heights due to the operations of the explosives manufacturers.
–Shannopin United Methodist Church still retains the original village name.
-The South Heights Hotel was built in 1896 and still stands at the corner of Jordan and Curtis Streets. Many original homes remain in town to this day as well.
-South Heights formerly had its own two-cell jail, two of its own schoolhouses, and a fire department. Currently, it is part of Ambridge Area School District and Crescent Township Fire Department handles the fire calls.