Chatham receives 400 historic acres

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PITTSBURGH — Chatham University recently accepted a gift unequaled in the institution’s 139-year history: the nearly 400-acre Eden Hall Farm in Richland Township, Pa., from Eden Hall Foundation.

The gift establishes the largest university campus in Allegheny County and enables Chatham to expand its academic and environmental programs for the university’s nearly 2,000 students and for the North Hills community at large.

“With the Eden Hall Foundation’s generous gift of the Eden Hall Farm, Chatham University will become one of the most unique university campuses in the country,” said Esther L. Barazzone, president of Chatham University.

Acreage

At 388 acres, Eden Hall Farm is almost 10 times the size of Chatham’s historic 39-acre Shadyside campus and was originally assembled by Sebastian Mueller, one of the first executives at the H.J. Heinz Company, who used the farm to benefit the working women of Pittsburgh.

Chatham University has quadrupled its enrollment in recent years, increasing programs for young women and graduate students, enhancing its arboretum campus and launching online degree programs.

The addition of Eden Hall Farm to its campus is, according to Barazzone, “an unprecedented opportunity for us to continue to realize our vision for the future of our school, our students and our campus.”

History

Sebastian Mueller immigrated to Pittsburgh to work for his cousin Henry J. Heinz in his fledgling food processing operation.

He was generous in providing Heinz’s female employees with medical care and financial assistance.

Having no heirs, Mueller willed his entire estate, including Eden Hall Farm, to serve as a vacation and respite destination for the working and retired women of the H.J. Heinz Company, as well as for women throughout the region.

The property — much of which is agricultural and forest land — includes the Mueller’s former home, a conference center with guest rooms and a dining facility, a barn and caretaker home, as well as several smaller structures.

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