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How 65 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods Got Their Names

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If you’re from Pittsburgh and you’re on Facebook, you probably saw the much-shared “fantasy map” of the city patterned after those of Middle Earth included in J.R.R. Tolkien books. Last year, I talked to Stentor Danielson, the cartographer and professor of geography who created it. He said that one could determine much about a place simply by looking at a map. I asked: What could an alien, with no knowledge of Pittsburgh but a deep understanding of maps, determine about this city of steel and pierogies just by glancing at the street layout?

“We talk about Pittsburgh as a city of neighborhoods, and that’s really obvious as we see how each neighborhood flows—how the streets all connect to each other and [how] they are aligned,” he said. “That says a lot about how Pittsburgh was built, over rivers and gorges. And you could also infer how Pittsburghers are attached to their neighborhoods.”

If the neighborhoods are distinct, it might be because most existed as homesteads and independent boroughs long before they were parts of Pittsburgh. From the 1860s to the 1930s, the city went on an annexation binge, assimilating nearby communities and old estates like some kind of ruthless Pitts-borg. The Rust Belt metropolis expanded, from the triangle-shaped city limits extending a few miles from the point at which the three rivers meet to a great splotch that encompasses a span of hills and valleys.

This is how 65 of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods got their names. The designations of some small neighborhoods seem lost to history (probably concocted by a real estate developer or inherited from a forgotten early landowner). Particularly helpful were Pittsburgh: A New Portrait by Franklin Toker, The Names of Pittsburgh by Bob Regan, and Pittsburgh and You, a 1982 guide to neighborhoods and local amenities and attractions created by the city and still available in its original format—typewritten pages in a three-ring binder—at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

1. Allegheny (East, West and Central)

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Much of what is now the North Side cluster of Pittsburgh neighborhoods was once Allegheny City, an independent municipality named so for its place on the banks of the Allegheny River and gobbled up through a controversial annexation in 1907 that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three neighborhoods—East Allegheny, West Allegheny, and Allegheny Central—retain the Allegheny name.

2. Allentown

Joseph Allen, an English butcher, purchased 124 acres of land here in 1827.

3. Banksville

In its earliest days (the 1770s), the settlement was known as "The Experiment"—the experiment being allowing a bunch of Scots-Irish immigrants, who were viewed as industrious but not valuable to the society, to farm and mine an area that was often attacked by natives. In the late 1700s, then-owner David Carnahan split the land between his three sons. One of the sons, Alexander Carnahan (who laid out the area after the Civil War), named the town Banksville after his wife, Eliza Banks.

4. Beechview

Beechview, home of the steepest street in the U.S., is named so for its beech trees.

5. Beltzhoover

The land was once farmed by one Melchior Beltzhoover, a German immigrant.

6. Bloomfield

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This East End locale was once covered with fields of blooming flowers. George Washington, who visited the Pittsburgh area seven times, wrote of walking through “the high ground through a field of many blooms.”

7. Bluff

The home of Duquesne University and a bunch of law offices, this area has gone through a few names, including Uptown (for its proximity to downtown), Soho (named after a suburb of Birmingham, England) and Boyd’s Hill (for a guy who hanged himself here—seriously). Its current designation on city maps, Bluff, likely refers to the geological formation of the same name, a ridge that runs parallel to a shoreline. The neighborhood has a bluff-like area parallel to the Monongahela River.

8. Bon Air

In 1898, two businessmen bought a tract of land to resell and dubbed their enterprise the Bon Air Land Company, bonair being an old term meaning gentle and courteous. They picked well; today, Bon Air is one of Pittsburgh’s quietest and most suburban-seeming neighborhoods.

9. Brighton Heights

One of the main streets here is Brighton Road, named so because it leads to the borough of New Brighton (named for Brighton, England).

10. Brookline

Two corporations that bought and sold land here, the Freehold Real Estate Company and West Liberty Improvement Company, named it after the Boston suburb for an unknown reason.

11. Carrick

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A physician, Dr. John H. O'Brien, badgered the Postal Service to install a post office here. When the agency did in 1853, it let him name it along with the area it served. He chose Carrick, after his hometown of Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland.

12. Central Northside

This area was once known as the Buena Vista Tract because it was dotted by streets named after Mexican-American War generals (Taylor, Sherman, Pilson) and battles (Monterey, Palo Alto, Buena Vista). James Robinson, Jr., the mayor of Allegheny City who christened the streets, had been a general in the war. Though the Mexican War streets remain a defining part of the neighborhood, the moniker Central Northside took hold when the area was marketed to new homebuyers in the mid-20th century.

13. Chartiers

A few decades before the founding of Pittsburgh, Pierre Chartiers, a French-Indian trapper, ran a trading post here.

14. Chateau

After Route 65 cut the North Side neighborhood of Manchester in half in the 1960s, the two parts were distinct enough that the city declared the half bordering the Ohio River its own neighborhood, dubbed Chateau for Chateau Street, which was presumably named for all of the grand houses along it.

15. Crafton Heights

This is another place named after an early landowner, though sources differ on who. Most cite attorney James Craft, though one says it was Charles J. Craft, a real estate developer.

16. Duquesne Heights

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From across the Monongahela, this hillside neighborhood faces what was once Fort Duquesne, the French settlement built at the convergence of the rivers in 1754 and named in honor of Michel-Ange Du Quesne de Menneville, Marquis Du Quesne, governor of the French colonies in North America.

17. East Carnegie

The area outside this neighborhood was incorporated as the borough of Carnegie in 1894. The residents named it after Andrew Carnegie. (The steel baron donated a library, music hall, and high school in return.) Though still part of Pittsburgh, the small residential community east of it soon took on the name East Carnegie. 

18. East Hills

This hilly neighborhood is on Pittsburgh’s easternmost edge.

19. East Liberty

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Jacob Negley, son of an early settler of East Liberty Valley, laid out and named the town of East Liberty after his wife’s farm, East Liberty Valley. It was east of the other settlements in Pittsburgh, and “liberty” was farming lexicon for an area open for grazing. Old-school Pittsburghers refer to the town as "Sliberty."

20. Elliott

In 1785, mill owner and ferryboat operator Daniel Elliot was granted two tracts of land here and named them Elliot’s Design and Elliot’s Delight. No one but him, apparently, was willing to call them that, so they eventually became simply Elliott.

21. Esplen

This tiny neighborhood, a sliver on the banks of the Ohio River, has the wicked cool distinction of being built on dirt that landed there after a railroad crew used explosives to blast apart a hill that was in their way. The railroad workers who later lived here named it after Henry Esplen, an admired administrator of the nearby Thaddeus Stevens School.

22. Fairywood

This one was coined by the Pennsylvania Railroad, who built this community as a residence for workers sometime around 1900.

23. Fineview

In 1828, Flemish nuns built a school for girls here, called Mt. Alverino, and Pittsburghers began calling it Nunnery Hill, even after the school closed and the nuns vacated. Later, James Andrews, a bridge designer and associate of Andrew Carnegie, built a home here. At his urging, the City Council renamed the neighborhood Fineview for its view of downtown.

24. Friendship

This neighborhood was once home to Friendship Farm, owned by a member of the Society of Friends, a.k.a. the Quakers.

25. Garfield

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The granddaughter of John Winebiddle, who owned much land in what is now the East End, sold the area that is now this neighborhood to the city in 1867. Pittsburgh divided it into lots for sale, the first of which was purchased on the day James Garfield was buried. The first lot-buyer named it in honor of the recently assassinated president.

26. Glen Hazel

It was named for the wooded glens of hazelnut trees.

27. Greenfield

Upon the installation of streets in this area in 1878, City Councilman William Barker, Jr., dubbed it Greenfield for its lush greenery.

28. Hays

Industrialist James H. Hays opened the Hays and Haberman Mines here in 1828.

29. Hazelwood

Hazelwood, east of Glen Hazel, was named after John Wood’s estate Hazel Hill. Over time the name, taken from the hazelnut trees in the area, became Hazelwood.

30. Highland Park

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You might assume this one was named for its elevation. However, the neighborhood—as well as its eponymous public park and Highland Avenue—were named after Robert Hiland, a county surveyor who subdivided the land into plots for purchase after the Negley family sold it to the city. Perhaps someone in the Department of Public Works also thought it was named for its place atop the East End and “corrected” the spelling.

31. Homewood

William Wilkins, a judge and U.S. senator (amongst other positions), built his estate here and named it Homewood.

32. Knoxville

Rev. Jeremiah Knox was one of the first farmers here.

33. Larimer

William Larimer was one of the most prominent land speculators of the westward expansion (and the founder of Denver, Colorado). Before that, he was a general in the colonial-era Pennsylvania Militia and owner of a homestead here.

34. Lawrenceville

A popular misconception holds that this newly hip neighborhood—dubbed the Williamsburg of Pittsburgh by Gawker —was named after David L. Lawrence, city mayor and governor of Pennsylvania. Actually, Army Col. William Foster (father of Americana songwriter Stephen Foster) named it in honor of Captain James Lawrence, commander of the U.S.S. Chesapeake, whose dying command of “Don’t give up the ship!” was one of the rallying cries of the War of 1812. It was appropriate for a neighborhood that housed a munitions factory that helped arm the military until it was destroyed in an explosion in 1862.

35. Lincoln–Lemington–Belmar

Several Pittsburgh neighborhoods have had more than one name. Usually, when City Hall orders a new map, one moniker is preserved and another one or two are sent to the death row of the local lexicon, sustained for only another few years by older residents. But the city generously allowed this East End area three names. Lincoln and Lemington are streets that run through it, and Belmar comes from the long-gone Belmar Racetrack.

36. Lincoln Place

This area was named by Edward Haslett, a real estate developer who bought and sold land here.

37. Manchester

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English immigrants settled here and in 1832 named it after the British city of the same name.

38. Marshall-Shadeland

There have been quite a few names for this neighborhood, or parts of it, but the most recent city map has narrowed it down to two. I couldn’t find the origin of Shadeland, though it likely refers to the once forest-like character of this spot. Marshall comes from Archibald M. Marshall, grocer, dry goods merchant, and landscaper who practiced several of those trades in the area.  

39. Morningside

There seems to be no record of its origin, but the name Morningside Valley, for this area’s defining geological feature, predates the neighborhood.

40. Mount Oliver

This hilltop neighborhood was named for Dr. Oliver Ormsby, son of John Ormsby, an English soldier granted almost everything that is now Pittsburgh south of the Monongahela for his role in the French and Indian War. Oliver Ormsby established a residency here that included a private racetrack.

41. Mount Washington

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If you’ve ever seen a photo of Pittsburgh’s skyline, it was probably taken from the overlook on the 600-foot, tree-covered Mount Washington. The area was originally known as Coal Hill, which was not nearly majestic enough. Sometime in the 1880s, it was redubbed Mount Washington in honor of the first president who, during the French and Indian War, stood atop it and surmised that whoever controlled the area where the rivers met controlled the whole valley.

42. New Homestead

This one was named for the neighboring borough of Homestead.

43. North Shore

Home of PNC Park and Heinz Field, the North Shore sits on the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, north of the point at which the rivers merge.

44. Northview Heights

Northview Heights took after a low-income public housing complex of the same name, completed in 1962.

45. Oakland

The home to Carlow University, the University of Pittsburgh, and a student population incapable of getting their trash into a trash bin on trash day, Oakland was named for its abundance of oak trees. It was little more than a forest until the Great Fire of 1845 caused several prominent families to look eastward for a place to rebuild their estates.

46. Oakwood

This area is also named for its oak trees.

47. Overbrook

This neighborhood was once part of Baldwin Township. Citing crummy streets and few streetlights, citizens petitioned for independence in 1919. After they broke away, they chose Overbrook as the name of the new borough, probably after the stream that runs through it. In 1930, they voted to join the city.

48. Perry North/Perry South

The Venango Path, a Native American trail leading up to Lake Erie, ran through this area. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry made use of the passageway as a supply line during the War of 1812. As a result, parts of this area went through several Perry-related names, including Perrysville and Perry Hill Top, before the city settled on Perry North and Perry South.

49. Point Breeze

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A tavern/hotel called Point Breeze, built around 1800, sat where Penn and Fifth Avenues now cross.

50. Polish Hill

In late 1800s, an influx of Polish immigrants settled here, and it was an easy walk to jobs at steel mills on the Allegheny. The neighborhood’s welcome sign still reads “Witamy Do Polish Hill.”

51. Regent Square

A tiny, idyllic neighborhood on the easternmost edge of the East End, Regent Square is the prefab creation of William E. Harmon of Harmon Realty, who coined the name. In 1919, he acquired the land here, hoping to sell to Westinghouse Electric managers and executives.

52. Saint Clair

Once, a pair of villages named after Revolutionary War General Arthur St. Clair sat side by side in Allegheny County. While Upper Saint Clair remains, Lower Saint Clair was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1920 and became the neighborhood of Saint Clair.

53. Shadyside

David Aiken (the namesake of Aiken Avenue) donated the land for the first Pennsylvania Railroad station in Pittsburgh’s East End. As a thanks, the railroad allowed him to name the station. His wife, Caroline, suggested Shadyside, apparently after a book title. The name extended to the surrounding area.

54. Sheraden

William Sheraden owned a 122-acre farm here.

55. Southshore

This ghost of neighborhood—with 19 residents, a junkyard, a dock, and a few warehouses—is a thin strip on the banks of the Monongahela, directly south of the merging of the three rivers.

56. South Side Flats/South Side Slopes

Once a slew of communities stood across the Monongahela from Pittsburgh. The largest were East and West Birmingham, named for founding landowner John Ormsby’s birthplace of Birmingham, England. When the city annexed the area in 1872, it brushed them aside and stamped the label South Side Flats on the region along the river (which now has more diners and dive bars than a Jim Jarmusch movie) and the South Side Slopes on the hillside above.

57. Spring Garden

There were once many natural springs here.

58. Spring Hill–City View

This North Side neighborhood has two official names, Spring Hill and City View, and they are both pretty literal: It’s a hill that has springs, and you can get an eyeful of the city skyline from it.

59. Squirrel Hill

Long before the founding of Pittsburgh, Native Americans hunted grey squirrels here. Now, the only hunters are Jerry’s Records customers pursuing the stacks for some old Sam Cooke.

60. Stanton Heights

The name was concocted by the Steelwood Corporation, which in 1947 purchased the land here (once a country club) and built 400 units of housing for workers. 

61. Strip District

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There were once several communities along the Allegheny River here, including Bayardstown and Croghansville, but their identities faded away once it became a hub for industry, then shipping and receiving and later electric retail. (Think a discount shoe store, a popcorn shop and an outlet for dried flowers in close proximity, because why not?) No one seems to know how the exact origin of the Strip District name, but it’s likely due to long strip of business that exists along the concurrent Penn and Liberty avenues.

62. Swisshelm Park

Swisshelm Park was named for John Swisshelm, who owned a home and gristmill here.

63. Troy Hill

One of the first inhabitants of this settlement atop a plateau overlooking the Allegheny was Elizabeth Seymore, who dubbed it The Village of New Troy, after her hometown of Troy, New York. It was shortened to Troy Hill in subsequent decades.

64. West End

This area was once called Temperanceville because founding landowner Isaac Warden didn’t allow the sale or consumption of booze. When the city annexed it in 1873, it was redubbed the West End (although that term colloquially refers to all of the hilly neighborhoods on the western fringes).

65. Westwood

Its developers, the Wood-Harmon Company, gave the neighborhood this preplanned subdivision-sounding name in the early 1900s.

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How Austin's Neighborhoods Got Their Names
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When Austin was chosen as the capital of Texas, it wasn’t called Austin at all—it was a small village called Waterloo until its name was changed to honor Stephen F. Austin, the colonist known as the “Father of Texas,” in 1839. Many of its neighborhoods also have colorful histories. Here’s how seven of them got their names.

1. ZILKER

You can thank Andrew Jackson Zilker, a bootstrapping Texas politician and philanthropist, for the name of this south central Austin neighborhood. Zilker was the ice king of Austin, making his fortune with the chilly stuff before beginning to buy up land around the area. In 1917, he sold a 350-acre tract of land to the city of Austin and gave the proceeds to the Austin public schools. Now the park—and the neighborhood that adjoins it—is named in his honor.

2. JUDGES HILL

A photograph of The Mansion at Judge's Hill
The Mansion at Judge's Hill in 2013

Now a residential neighborhood in the heart of Austin, Judges Hill has been associated with the judiciary since before the city had its current name—and before Texas was part of the United States. One early resident was Thomas Jefferson Chambers, an American speculator and attorney who bought much of his land in shady deals, then became a naturalized Mexican citizen with the intention of practicing law—the only foreigner to be granted a law license. He was later named chief justice of the newly formed Texas Supreme Court, but never presided over a case. Nevertheless, for his service he was given land in the Austin area. After the annexation of Texas, Elijah Sterling Clark Robertson—also a judge—bought property there, and other judges and attorneys followed. Voila: Judges Hill.

3. BREMOND BLOCK

Speaking of Victorian-era luxury, the Bremond Block Historic District provides a rare glimpse of what Austin looked like back in the day. The neighborhood was named after the Bremond family, merchants and bankers who constructed or modified fancy houses there beginning in the 1870s. Today, the Bremonds are known mainly for the block they created—a magnet for wealthy Austinites and family members that’s now on the National Register of Historic Places.

4. CLARKSVILLE

An arial photo of the Clarksville neighborhood in Austin, Texas and beyond
Matthew Rutledge, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Unlike the Bremond Block, Clarksville was not known for its wealth. The land was granted and sold to the former slaves of Texas's own governor, Elisha M. Pease, in 1865. Charles Clark, a freed slave, also bought some of the land that's now Clarksville from another former Confederate officer, Nathan G. Shelley, and it became one of the four freedmen’s towns in Austin. Most of the neighborhood’s small, wood-framed houses are now gone, and as Kristie Cantou of Hatch + Ulland Owen Architects writes, “most African-American residents have been driven out of the neighborhood by decades of land speculation, gentrification, construction of Mopac [the Missouri Pacific Railroad] and rising property taxes.”

5. JOLLYVILLE

You might think things are pretty jovial in Jollyville, but stop right there: The north Austin neighborhood got its name from a person, not a state of mind. Jollyville was named after John G. Jolly, a blacksmith who lived in the once-tiny town that is now a neighborhood in north Austin.

6. MOORE’S CROSSING

A photo of the Old Moore's Crossing Bridge in Austin, Texas
The Old Moore's Crossing Bridge
Dave Wilson, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Like many Austin neighborhoods, this historic district owes its name to one of the area’s many creeks. The airport area got its name from a man named John B. Moore’s store that, you guessed it, was near a creek crossing. In this case the creek was Onion Creek, which also lent its name to a ritzy country club neighborhood south of downtown. Onion Creek, it’s safe to assume, got its name from onions, though it’s impossible to track the name’s origin.

7. SWEDE HILL

When it comes to obvious names, Swede or Swedish Hill may have Onion Creek beat. It was settled by Swedish people in the 1870s. At the time, there were more Swedish people in Texas than in any other Southern state, perhaps because Swedish immigrants weren't intimidated by the harsh, arid climate. Many Texas Swedes hailed from the exact same county in Sweden, and in Austin the community flocked to a place they called Svenska Kullen, or Swedish Hill. There are other reminders of Sweden in Austin, like the Govalle neighborhood, which is named after a ranch that immigrant Swen Magnus Swenson named “Ga Valla,” or “good pastures.”

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How 9 New Orleans Neighborhoods Got Their Names
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One of the most historic cities in the U.S., New Orleans dazzles with its ornate cathedrals, lush gardens, and neighborhoods that seem to melt into one another—so much so that it can be hard to know where exactly you are. But whether you find yourself in the Gentilly or the French Quarter, one thing’s for sure: The area’s bound to have a rich, compelling story to tell.

1. BYWATER

Known for its colorful Spanish and French architecture, Bywater encompasses—but is not limited to—much of the Bywater Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This area has gone through a few different nicknames—it was first Faubourg Washington (faubourg being an old French term meaning something like suburb) and later Little Saxony, for its sizable population of German immigrants. But in the 1940s, when the telephone company gave each area a unique code name for the rotary phone dial (to help make phone numbers easier to remember), they went with BYwater for this neighborhood, due to its close proximity to the Mississippi River. Later, the code was changed to WHitehall, but it was too late by then: Bywater had caught on for good. Today, it’s also part of what’s affectionately known as “the Sliver by the River,” referring to the area along the water that saw no flooding during Hurricane Katrina, thanks to its slightly higher elevation compared to the rest of New Orleans.

2. PIGEON TOWN

Located in the 17th Ward, Pigeon Town is a working-class nabe known for its concentration of musicians and artists. It’s also sometimes called Pension Town, usually by newcomers to the area, and there’s been great debate over which name came first and is therefore correct. In 2015, The Times-Picayune tried to get to the root of the matter, finding local histories explaining the origins of both names. They found that Pension Town may date to late 19th-century wars and returning soldiers buying land with their army pensions, while Pigeon Town could be a reference to immigrants who once populated the area and spoke in “pidgin” English. Meanwhile, the city officially calls the region Leonidas, for the street running through its center, and it’s also called West Carrollton—as it once comprised about half of the town of Carrollton before it was incorporated into New Orleans. Pigeon Town or Pension Town are still the most common names you’ll heard these days, though, and locals often sidestep the whole issue by just calling it “P-Town.”

3. VIEUX CARRÉ

The balconies of the French Quarter decked out for Mardi Gras
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The oldest part of the city, Vieux Carré is perhaps better known as the French Quarter, and it literally translates to “old square” in French. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this was the site of the original central plaza built by the French settlers in the early 1700s. Most of the neighborhood’s current buildings, however, were constructed by the Spanish during their rule of New Orleans in the later 1700s—and this is partially because the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 wiped out most of the French buildings. Buildings in the Vieux Carré are particularly known for the lacy, elaborate ironwork found on their signature “galleries” (a wider version of a balcony, supported by columns). The Vieux Carré is also the name of a classic cocktail from the 1930s—rye whiskey, cognac, vermouth, Benedictine, and two kinds of bitters—which was coined in the area’s own Hotel Monteleone.

4. LITTLE WOODS

This one isn’t too strange if you look at its original name, Petit Bois: It’s a direct translation of Little Woods. What’s perhaps more of a mystery is the fact that there were no forests growing in this area when it was first developed by the French. The "Little Woods" they were referring to was, in fact, the swamp vegetation on Lake Pontchartrain, which the neighborhood faces. Close enough.

5. ST. ROCH

The entrance to St. Roch cemetery
Bess Lovejoy

A subdivision of Bywater, St. Roch was known as Faubourg Franklin for its first century or so. But in the mid-19th century, a yellow fever epidemic hit the city of New Orleans, whereupon German priest Peter Leonard Thevis vowed to St. Roch, the patron saint of good health, to build a chapel in the area dedicated to him if no one in the parish died of the disease. The saint apparently provided, because Thevis built the chapel, along with a shrine and cemetery, both of which shortly became New Orleans landmarks. The neighborhood has been called St. Roch ever since.

6. TREMÉ

Although Claude Tremé only owned land in the area for a short time—and his wife was actually the one who inherited most of it—he’s somehow managed to be the lasting namesake of a neighborhood that has really gone through some nicknames. It was first called Place de Nègres, after the main plaza where slaves would gather to dance and play music. This name—both the plaza and the neighborhood—was later updated to Congo Square. In the late 19th century, the city of New Orleans renamed it Beauregard Square, after Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, but people ignored that and kept calling it Congo Square. Then the area was called Back of Town for many years, for its location away from both Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi and at the “back” of the French Quarter. In the ’70s, the city created Louis Armstrong Park and christened an open space within it “Congo Square,” in a callback to the area’s history. Today, its official name is actually Tremé-Lafitte, since it’s incorporated the Lafitte Projects. According to “The King of Tremé,” drummer Shannon Powell, the name “Tremé” has only been in use to refer to this area as of the 21st century. “We always called this neighborhood part of the 6th Ward. Local people called it that. No one local called the Tremé Tremé.”

7. ALGIERS

There are two main theories behind the name of this neighborhood that’s also known as the 15th Ward. One is that its location was so far-flung that the French settlers compared the distance between it and the rest of the city to the distance between France and Algeria. The other is that a soldier who had fought in Algeria said that the neighborhood looked similar to the north African landscape he’d recently returned from when viewed from a ship. Neither of these tales have been proven, however.

8. GENTILLY

Gentilly is a corruption of the word chantilly, but it’s not the lace that this neighborhood is named for. Instead, it’s the town of Chantilly, located just outside of Paris, for which the lace is also named—and more specifically, it was the town's grand Château de Chantilly that the French settlers had in mind when they developed this area just outside of New Orleans. It’s said that the G was swapped in because “French tongues have a hard time with something starting with ‘Ch.’”

9. METAIRIE

A footbridge over Lafreniere Park in Metairie
A footbridge over Lafreniere Park in Metairie
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Although it abuts the city limits to the west and is technically not a part of New Orleans, Metairie isn’t a separate city either, only an unincorporated “census-designated place,” so we’re counting it. The community got its name from four French brothers, the Chauvins, who owned thousands of acres in Jefferson Parish in the 1720s, which they split up to employ sharecroppers who paid their rent in produce. The French word for such a tenant farm is—voilà—métairie.

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