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Franklin Avenue has not always had the distinction of being Aliquippa's main thoroughfare.
A scant 90 years ago a road running parallel to Franklin - Sheffield Avenue had that honor. Bordered on one flank by hills and on the other, where Franklin Avenue now lies, by old Logstown Run Creek, Sheffield Avenue wound its muddy way to New Sheffield, linking it with Woodlawn.
Near the "Wye" it was lined by an array of flimsy frame structures - among these, the borough's first post office, the Wooden Pittsburgh Mercantile Co., building, the offices of the Woodlawn Land Co., and the old Woodlawn Hotel, the town's first hostelry.
From the downtown section of Sheffield Avenue to its intersection with Hopewell were eight houses. Woodlawn Academy, forerunner of the public schools, stood in the approximate area occupied by the former Strand Theater. F. L. Todd had a general store near the institution.
The borough's first major home construction project undertaken by Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., consisted of 120 homes, built on Baker Street in the Logstown section. They failed to contribute much to the business prestige of the borough's main street.
The town's first drug store, operated by a man named DeCastrique, also fronted Sheffield in the old days.
Today, Sheffield Avenue is a poor second to Franklin. In some places, it is hardly more than an alley, occupying virtually the same course it did in the old days.
Hurrying motorists take it in preference to Franklin to avoid heavy traffic.
The paving of Franklin Avenue in 1910 was a
near swan song for old Sheffield Avenue, which ungrudgingly gave
way to the "new order."