David Hunter and the Hunter Farm
This fine estate home, built in 1845, once stood at 2519 Pioneer Avenue, along the corner with Brookline Boulevard. Shown here in November 1935, it was formerly the home of David Hunter and his family. Born in 1830, David and his parents (Daniel and Jane) lived in the Pittsburgh business district on Water Street. His father was one of the city's first councilman, elected in 1816, who also held the Street Regulator assignment in 1815.
The Hunter's home was destroyed during the Great Fire of April 1845, and the family moved to a twenty-five acre Brookline location (then part of Lower St. Clair Township and later West Liberty Borough). The Hunter Farm was surrounded by two other notable local farms, that of Richard Knowlson and Ephraim Hughey. Daniel Hunter passed away two years later, in September 1847, when David was just seventeen years old.
David, a life-long farmer who never married, operated the farm and tilled the land for sixty years until it was purchased and plotted for residential development by the West Liberty Improvement Company in 1905. For many years, Hunter also owned a small piece of land at the Brookline Junction that was purchased by the Pittsburgh Coal Company also in 1905. The road that now bares the name Bodkin Street was, during the West Liberty Borough years, called Hunter Avenue. By 1910, David's land holdings had shrunk to a two acre plot at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue.
After David's death at age 90 on July 8, 1920, the property passed to his niece Margaret Hunter Armstrong, who lived in the home until she died on November 3, 1937. It then passed to her daughter Margaretta. The remaining Hunter land was eventually sold, around 1950, and the home was razed. In it's place rose the Pinebrook Apartments, a commercial building that now houses Salon Canova, a new home at 2519 Pioneer Avenue and three new duplex homes along Bellaire Avenue.
* Written by Clint Burton - November 9, 2019 *
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