Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pittsburgh's Historic Oliver Bath House

Oliver Bath House,
From The American City, 1915

I mentioned the Oliver Bath House almost two years ago in my post "The Pittsburgh Buildings of Henry W. Oliver." On Friday, a newspaper article showed the efforts underway to designate the bath house as a historic landmark:

"The idea for the bath house was born in the early 1900s, when industrialist Henry W. Oliver saw the need to provide mill workers a place where they could clean and refresh themselves after their shifts. Indoor plumbing was rare, particularly in working-class neighborhoods. (Pittsburgh did not require bathrooms in homes or apartments until the 1950s.) Many workers simply rinsed off in the Monongahela River on their way home."

Many members of my family tree lived on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Who knows? Maybe they used the bath house or at least walked past it.

Read the entire Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article at "Preservation Pittsburgh pushes for historic designation for Oliver Bath House."


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this information!
    I'm interested in learning about early Pittsburgh. I have layouts posted at my blog which shows photos of the school my grandmother attended as a girl; a page at the second location shows her in front of the school:

  2. Hi, Joanne, Can you share the link to the French birth record site? I'm a Pittsburgh native and am trying to find out information about my great grandparents, expecially my great grandmother, Caroline Endres Diescher. She and her husband, Samuel Diescher, were engineers that designed and built several of the inclines in Pittsburgh, most notably the Duquesne Incline. I know her maiden name was Caroline Endres, I'm pretty sure her father's name was Phillip Endres and her mother's name may have been Cathrine (or Emma) Reib (or Reeb) and that she was born in Paris in 1846. She died in Pittsburgh in 1930 according to her gravestone in Allegheny Cemetary. I would like to confirm her actual birthdate and place, her parent's names, and when she immigrated to the US. Eventually, I'd like to confirm the names and birthdates/places of her siblings. I"m also curious whether her mother died before they immigrated to the US since I haven't heard any reference to her. Thank you!

    1. Wow, you have very interesting and talented ancestors! There isn't one link to all French births. You need to know the city or town where the birth, marriage, or death happened and then determine the department where that town is located. Each department has its own archive and online access to vital records. They aren't searchable, but you start with an index to confirm the date of birth and get a record number, and then go to the actual record. I know you said Paris, but I checked and a user posted a tree that contained Caroline Endres and parents Philippe Endres and Catherine Reeb. These Geneanet trees are often accurate, so I like to go there first for clues. Caroline's birth is shown as 25 Feb 1845 in Herbitzheim, Bas Rhin. If you think that may be your Caroline, the Bas Rhin link is
      Paris records are tedious to work through since there are so many, so I recommend starting with the Geneanet clue to see if you can tie it to your Caroline. Please email me directly at jecowden2 -at- if you'd like any assistance or have more questions. I love helping other people with their research!


Do you have a genealogy problem or need guidance on where to search next? Send me a message if you'd like me to help!