The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hometown of Harrisburg Has a New Addition to its History

Introduction: What is the history of Harrisburg, PA and the Steel City?

For starters, the Civil War brought about considerable amounts of industrial problems. This is because during the war, the city was extremely crowded and consequently, many factories suffered from a lack of workers. For example, during the 1890s it was reported that twenty-seven employees were hired for every one hundred workers on jobs within Harrisburg’s steel industry. In addition, productivity was also an issue due to overproduction in the late 1800s and early 1900s because of this.
Large industries suffered from a lack of workers, so they turned to immigrants coming over to America. It was said that the city had the highest number of immigrants then any other city in America. In 1892, it was reported that over 12% of the city’s total population were foreign born. The increase in immigrants also caused a change in language and culture. Besides being able to speak English, immigrants also brought their own unique culture such as their food and clothing patterns.
Nevertheless, during the 1900s many immigrants were still coming over from Central Europe as well as from Southern and Western Europe. Immigrants from India, China, and Mexico also came to Harrisburg to find jobs. However, the city had more time for them because of the slower growth rate in the steel industry. During this time period, there was also a change in technology which caused many changes for immigrants. For example, the development of new technology such as the automobile brought about a change in transportation patterns since people could travel faster than before.

1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa
1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa

The History of 1425 Crooked Hill Road in Harrisburg

The building that houses the home at 1425 Crooked Hill Road was built in 1896, less than two years after the city of Harrisburg was founded. It was an exceptionally large house for that time period, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. At this time, the economy had been growing steadily since the 1700s because of the homes and industries that were centered on the city. The majority of the houses that were built were built in the Victorian style, with very elaborate architecture and interior designs. It is believed that this house’s design was done by one who had experience building homes in Europe. The house also had a great amount of pride as it was painted a dark blue color with white trim on every exterior surface, making it fairly noticeable even at night. Inside, the large yard that still currently remains was large enough to host many parties and other gatherings.

1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa
1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa

1425 Crooked Hill Road in Pittsburgh’s North Side Was Home To a Famous Pro Football Player and His Family

The original family to reside in 1425 Crooked Hill Road was the Wertz family. During the early 1900s, the Wertz family became nationally famous because of the achievements of Harry Wertz, his wife and their son. Harry played professional football for six years near Pittsburgh; during this time, he was a fullback and a halfback for an organization known as The Pittsburgh Stars. In 1914, Harry became a part of the All-Pro Football Team, which was recognized in Harrison’s History of Western Pennsylvania by Myra C. Vanderpool. After Harry retired from professional football, he was a school director in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
The Wertz family retained this home for over 40 years. In 1940, the family moved to Wheeling and sold the residence to John Joseph “J. J.” Dwyer, who owned an insurance practice in downtown Pittsburgh at 95 South 11th Street (currently occupied by his son–John J Jr’s Insurance Agency). Because of Mr. Dwyer’s profession, he decided to rent out the house rather than sell it. He rented the house to mid-level professionals who worked in downtown Pittsburgh due to its convenient location and accessibility.

1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa
1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa

1425 Crooked Hill Road in North Side Philadelphia is now home to another famous football player- Mike Tomlin

Both Harry Wertz and his son, Larry, were professional football players for an organization known as The Pittsburgh Pirates. During the early 1900s, sports were a very popular thing to do in the city of Harrisburg. Despite this popularity, a political feud took place between Harry and his family and Willie Heston over their real estate disputes. As a result, Harry and his family left their home at 1425 Crooked Hill Road and moved to the North Side of Pittsburgh. Throughout this time period, the house was rented out and passed through multiple hands. Eventually though, it became the property of Mike Tomlin, a linebacker for The Pittsburgh Steelers.
This year, Mike Tomlin and his family moved from the North Side of Pittsburgh to the South Hills suburbs and decided to purchase his old house at 1425 Crooked Hill Road for $600,000. As he is trying to pick up where Harry Wertz left off and fill the football player niche in Harrisburg, he has decided to purchase a home in North Side Philadelphia. He has listed his house at 1425 Crooked Hill Road for $899,000.
Mike Tomlin has two children with his wife, Lesley. Their first child, a daughter named Madison is 7 years old and their son, Michael Jr. is 4 years old. Mike Tomlin’s parents also live with them at the house.

1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa
1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa

What Now?

The 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry Troop: This was a black unit of sharpshooters that was established in the early 1900s. They were first organized two years before the Civil War ended and served in various capacities throughout the war.
The Kutztown Band: This band is a famous band that was started in 1878 by Charles I.D. Koenig at Kutztown Folk Festival, now known as Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; they are also known as The Blue Band and the Colonial Band because of their uniforms. They have been a big part of Kutztown’s music program since the beginning and have gained much fame through out the United States of America.

1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa
1425 crooked hill rd harrisburg pa

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