Astronaut Michael Fincke calls Emsworth his hometown

Last Updated:  October 23, 2020

Welcome to Emsworth Borough, we are located just a few miles north of the City of Pittsburgh, just off of Route 65 North.  Emsworth Borough is located on land that was originally purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the heirs of William Penn. The purchase was ratified by a local tribe of Indians shortly before the French and Indian War. There was no attempt to develop this land until the Revolutionary War. Young men were promised parcels of land in addition to any pay if they would remain in the army and defend their country.

A tract of land, Emsworth, was patented to John Wilkins. The name "Emsworth" is reported to have been the name of an old English Duke. The first settler, John Cheney, took up residence in 1802. In 1805 he sold the property of Emsworth to David and William Courtney. William married the daughter of William Dickson, who had been one of the first settlers in Ben Avon. William built a stone home on the property that is presently the athletic field along Ohio River Boulevard; the Courtneys raised and educated eighteen children. President Zachary Taylor was a guest in the Courtney home

The present Borough of Emsworth was crossed by the old Makintosh trail, which extended from Fort Pitt to what now is the Town of Beaver. Many families seeking to find their fortunes in the West were drawn to Emsworth because of its scenic beauty and location near waterways.

Served by the Avonworth School District, Emsworth is approximately one square mile in size, is still a very peaceful and well maintained borough, and is proud to be the home of young families as well as a number of senior citizens. 


The Allegheny County League of Municipalities (ALOM) has named the Borough of Emsworth as a 2020 Banner Community.  The Banner Community Program was started in 2013 by the Allegheny League of Municipalities in partnership with Allegheny County and has since grown to include 55 municipalities in 2020.  The program was designed to recognize communities that demonstrate a dedication to professional development, prudent fiscal management, transparency, accounting and proactive communications.  ALOM is a non-profit, non-partisan membership association whose mission is to foster local government in Allegheny County and Southwestern Pennsylvania by educating elected officials, delivering essential resources and advicating for sound policy and legislation. To learn more visit

       Monthly Council Meeting


Emsworth Borough Council meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

2020 Membership Campaign

The Avonworth Historical Society has embarked on its first membership campaign to grow our organization and expand our capabilities to preserve and disseminate local history. Will you help? Please consider becoming a member, giving a gift membership or spreading the word about our work and encouraging new memberships. Membership dues and donations are our main sources of revenue. These funds help to pay for our rent, office supplies, archival storage materials, lecturers, newsletter publication and computer/copying equipment. We recently purchased camera equipment to digitize 90 years of weekly City and Suburban Life newspaper issues, as well as, other documents and archival materials. We have costs associated with the maintenance and protection of the Dickson Log House, too, to name a few regular expenses. We can use your support now! Go to to help us reach our goal of 202 new members. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated!

The only the voting poll for Emsworth is at Smith Center, Sacred Heart Church on November 3.

The Zoning Hearing Board will meet at the Borough Hall, 171 Center Avenue, on Tuesday, October 27, at 7 p.m. to discuss a variance request for a fence at 164 Orchard Avenue.


The Planning Commission will meet at the Borough Hall, 171 Center Avenue, on Wednesday, October 28, at 7 pm. to discuss a lot consolidation request from Trinity Commercial Development for parcels on Herron Avenue.