About Glen Osborne
Glen Osborne was first surveyed for European settlement after the Revolutionary War when it was part of the large tract of Depreciation Lands given to Continental Army veterans in place of their devalued currency. Coming from Pittsburgh, it geographically marks the beginning of the Sewickley Valley, which was topographically a natural area for early development. Beaver Road was a main trail, first for Indians and later for pioneers headed to the Ohio Territory and points west.
Nathaniel Breading was the original surveyor and named his tract Aleppo. Henry Pratt bought tracts in Breeding's district, including most of what is now Glen Osborne, in 1786. The early settlers were flatboat and keelboat men. By 1820, there were houses built by steamboat captains and pilots who wanted to overlook the river. When the train came through in 1851 some railroad barons chose to live in Glen Osborne. Several had their own railway stops and commuted to Pittsburgh.
The Borough was named for Frank Osburn on whose eastern property boundary the first public rail station was built. The name was altered to Osborne to avoid confusion with a similarly named station elsewhere on the line; thus the borough took the name Osborne when it was first incorporated in 1883. A later railroad station was named "Glen Osborne," a name the Borough reverted to in 2008
Mary Roberts Rinehart Park (MRR Park)
Nestled next to the Osborne Elementary School in Glen Osborne, below the activity of Beaver Street, is the Mary Roberts Rinehart Nature Park. & Trail. Named after noted mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart, the park was once part of Mrs. Rinehart's estate. Overgrown and trash strewn from years of neglect, the park was reclaimed through the efforts of volunteers and grantors, and now provides an opportunity to relax, to walk, and and to learn about the plants indigenous to the Appalachian Region. The park also features a stone amphitheater and a stone fire pit hand-built by a generous resident who loves to do stone work in his spare time. For further information, please visit our website www.mrrnaturepark.com.
Coat of Arms
The Borough has a Coat of Arms that it uses for display purposes on its signs, banners (flags) and stationery. David Pittman Johnson, a noted heraldic artist, together with the mayor, designed our Arms in the 1990s and they are registered with the American College of Heraldry. Municipal Arms are quite common in Europe and fairly often used throughout the United States. Many of them date from Colonial times.
Arms usually tell a story about a person or a place. If you look at our shield it is divided into three parts, the top (called the chief), the middle, and the bottom (called the base).
Our full Arms (called an Achievement) include a bear holding a red marigold. In Old English 'osborne' means divine bear and the red marigold is our official flower. The Borough's motto, "Consilio Non Impetu," translates from Latin as "Wisdom, Not Impulse," which we think is a good rule for a government to follow.
- The top in our case is meant to represent the Ohio River.
- The base represents the hills above the Borough and our land generally. The three white circles on the base, called roundels, are from the Arms of William Penn showing that this was once Penn's land.
- The middle is a Conestoga wagon wheel, showing that our pioneer ancestors came through the valley on the way west; the wheel has flames to make it evocative of the rising sun. This was done as a pun (heraldry loves puns) on the name of the Colony's land agent who acquired the region by purchase from the Indians, Colonel John Morgan. In German, "morgen" means "morning."
We use the full Achievement on Borough stationery and on the entrance signs to the borough. We use the shield alone for the street signs. The banners properly reflect only the elements of the shield, as is done, for example, with the US flag. Some states follow the same rule, while others place their Arms on a colored background.
Perhaps the most striking and heraldically correct state flag is Maryland's, which uses the Arms of its former Lord Proprietor, Lord Baltimore. Pennsylvania uses the second format, on a blue background. Compare the two and decide which makes more of an impact to you.
Borough of Glen Osborne
P.O. Box 97
Sewickley, PA 15143