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The Point: Living in the Block House

Photo_of_the_Block_House_when_a_residence.


Old Blockhouse Occupant Dies: Body of Mrs. Eliza S. Barnes Here for Interment in Allegheny Cemetery.
From The Pittsburgh Telegraph, 1 June 1914.
Memories of times when Pittsburgh was a struggling village are revived by the death of Mrs. Eliza S. Barnes in Kansas City, Mo., and the returning of her body to Pittsburgh for burial. Mrs. Barnes formerly lived in the Block House at the Point. This was many years ago. At that time the confluence of the two rivers was farther east than it is now and the Block House was at the water's edge. Since then, the Point has been extended farther by artificial filling.
A "hitching post" for steamboats was placed directly in front of the Block House and the Barnes family collected toll from all vessels tying up there. Mrs. Barnes died December 3, 1913. Her body was placed temporarily in a vault in Kansas City. It will be buried tomorrow in Allegheny Cemetery. Mrs. Barnes was aged 96 years. The Barnes family came to Pittsburgh in 1797.

Woman Who Lived in Old Blockhouse Never Returns
From The Pittsburgh Press, 31 July 1933.
Mrs. Delia C. Smith never has been back to the Blockhouse to see what her old home looks like today.
She and her mother, Mrs. Sarah Costello, from County Galway, were the last residents of the old landmark, before it became the property of the Daughters of the [American] Revolution.
In those days the fort was divided into three rooms, and the basement rented to Aunt Sibby Powers, an old Irish lady who sold candy to neighborhood children.
Mrs. Costello posed on the steps for a famous drawing of the fort, her daughter, Mrs. Smith, related last week at the picnic of former residents of the Point.
She also recalls how Point children in the old days used to act as guides to visitors, earning pennies and nickels for candy.
Mrs. Costello came from Ireland on a sailing vessel, after her parents died, in company with a girl friend. Mrs. Smith was about 15 when she and her mother moved away from the fort. She lives in Duquesne Heights.

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