The History of Glenshaw

The small town of Glenshaw began its history around 1800. In that year, a Mr. John Shaw Sr. purchased 600 acres of land in Shaler Township. One of the first buildings constructed on the Shaw farm was a lumber mill that would be used to build his first house. The Shaw farm was originally known as Shaw’s Glen, meaning Shaw’s meadow. Over time, the name was changed into its current name, Glenshaw. As Glenshaw grew in the 1820s and 1830s, Shaw constructed a log gristmill. The building stood until 1845, when his son erected a larger mill in its place.

In Sylvester Wagner’s “My Childhood Memory Sketches,” she describes Glenshaw as:

“Glenshaw was a very small town with not too many people. There was plenty of wide open spaces and quite a few farms. We had a general store -Edgars’- and a post office, and a public school, a railroad station, and one of the finest public libraries. There was also a gas station with one hand pump and free air. Glenshaw was on both sides of Route 8, the main road leading north. Etna was our neighbor town to the south. There was two parts to Glenshaw, Upper Glenshaw and Lower Glenshaw. Lower Glenshaw, where I lived, consisted of Sourkraut Row, the Flats, and Tony Town. The Shaw homestead was in Lower Glenshaw, and from these early settlers the town was named ‘Glenshaw, or Shaw’s Glen.’ Upper Glenshaw, which ran from present day Undercliff Fire Company to St. Bonaventure Church. In between these two landmarks lay the farms of the Braun family, the Hoffman’s, the Bustler’s, the Wetzel’s, the Schmidt’s, the Christof’s, and the McClure’s.”

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