1789 saw part of Baldwin Township settled by John Smalls, naming the area Six Mile Ferry Village. This area is now known as Hays and is on the southeastern part of Pittsburgh. It’s bordered by the Monongahela River, St. Clair and Arlington to the North and Northeast and New Homestead and Lincoln Place to the Southwest.
The area was formerly the site of the Hays Army Ammunition Plant, built n 1942 by the Navy and transferred to thge Army in 1966. It’s heyday saw more than a thousand people employed between World War II and the Vietnam War. The plant was relegated to standby status in 1970 and dispositioned in 1988. 1993 saw the site donated to the URA in Pittsburgh. Since the closing of the plant, Hays population declined from over 2000 residents to around 350 today.
The area is known as Hays Woods and encompasses 635 acres. It’s the largest undeveloped tract of land in the City of Pittsburgh. The woods is home to the best example of a fully natural environment in Pittsburgh and boasts 6 streams and a waterfall. In 2016, the areal was given to the City of Pittsburgh for development into the city’s largest official park.
In January of 2013, bald eagles were spotted in Hays after a 2 century absence. The pair produced a single fledgling in 2013 and 3 in 2014. Recently, 2 more fledgling eagles have been added to the population. There is a 24 hour web cam available to watch the nest!