DURING the two decades that followed the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794 Pittsburgh spread out over the flood plain between the rivers with all the gangling awkwardness of a rapidly growing youngster. The town that at the beginning of the period had perhaps twelve hundred inhabitants boasted eight thousand at the end, but it was still small enough for everyone to hear the courthouse bell, which was rung for courts, public meetings, church gatherings, and fires. Then, as now, the citizens liked to change residences frequently, and April I was recognized as the official moving day. The log houses that had furnished shelter at first were soon outnumbered by frame and brick houses--it was said that altogether there were thirteen hundred houses in is 1815. Those built of bricks from Fort Pitt were easily distinguishable by their dirty white color. There was little rhyme or reason in the placing of the houses; sides, gable ends, or even corners faced the streets if the fancy of the owner so dictated, and of course there was no attempt to attain architectural beauty. The only thing that saved the hodgepodge of log, frame, brick, and stone houses from being positively ugly was the profusion of Lombardy poplars, locusts, and weeping willows that had taken the place of the primeval forest.
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Publication information: Book title: Pittsburgh:The Story of a City. Contributors: Leland D. Baldwin - Author. Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press. Place of publication: Pittsburgh. Publication year: 1937. Page number: 154.
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