Saturday, July 18, 2015

Etna, PA (Photo Tour)

Etna, one of the older surviving urban villages in Allegheny County, was originally known as Stewartstown. The village came into being around 1820, in conjuction with a factory producing "scythes and sickles," according to The History of Allegheny County by Thomas Cushing (1885). This factory later became the Spang Steel and Iron Company. The Spang Mansion of circa 1828 still stands on Locust Street in Etna. Etna is a fascinating place to walk around and explore, due to the abundance of very old homes, some perhaps dating to the early or mid 19th century.  Many of these homes have been remodeled or covered with aluminum or vinyl siding, which makes it difficult to identify their age. Etna, being a working class type of town, does not have many grand homes. Like neighboring Sharpsburg, it is an excellent and intact example of a 19th century urban industrial village.

Spang Mansion, circa 1828

My guess is this is one of the older frame houses in the town. 


  1. Wonderful selection of infinite variety: houses, factories, businesses and even a street. Wondering what the detailed wood/stone decoration over windows is called. Over the years it seems the windows are what change the most. Some homes look as though there might be log cabins underneath. Amusing, the build-on the house with the streets creating a triangular section. One thing for sure a very interesting area but utility poles, wires, TV dishes and gas meters really detract from a neighborhood. Enjoyed the tour very much.

  2. Loved those photos of old Etna Borough. Spent my childhood and young adult life there. Miss it. Good to see not a lot has changed.

  3. That first picture.Was that All saints at the end of the Street.I lived on Dewey Street (0-10) and it looks like the rt I'd take to school every day. Thanks for the great memories

    1. No, that’s one of the smaller churches by “downtown “ Etna.