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History of Baywood

The Baywood property has a documented history dating back to the 1700’s.  It began as a homestead and was transformed into a residential estate, occupied by families prominent to Pittsburgh.  Since 1962, Baywood has served as a 35-acre, private corporate retreat for Mobay and then Bayer Corporation.  Baywood was Bayer’s “retreat in the woods”, an exclusive, stately facility for meetings, conferences, training, and social events on this secluded property.  Today, Baywood is owned by DiCicco Development, Inc. who is committed to carrying on the legacy of Baywood with renewed passion in the restored and revitalized buildings and grounds


John Meek owned
a 423-acre land grant

which was just one of the 4 land grants that comprised the Baywood property.  The other land grants belonged to G. Meek, Samuel Neely and Samuel Bryson. This was a time when conflicts were prevalent in the Moon Township area between settlers and indigenous tribes. The Meek family, made up of 3 brothers, Joshua, John and Jacob, were forced off of their land by the conflict and stayed in Fort Redstone for four years until the warrant for their land survey was issued.  By 1788, Moon Township was a community of farmers raising various agricultural products as well as sheep, cattle and hogs which lead to oil and coal exploration.


At the turn of the century,

the William Cooper family owned an eighty-acre parcel consisting of sixty acres which encompassed the 15th through 18th green of the Montour Country Club, adjacent from Baywood. The remaining 20 acres encompassed the portion of the property where the Main House, Carriage House and lower parking lot are located.


The eighty-acre parcel was sold

to Mary Dilworth who then sold 15 acres to James & Florence Lockhart.  James was the son of Charles Lockhart who is a very prominent name in Pittsburgh as he is mentioned at the Heinz History Center as a pioneer in the petroleum industry. He was the first to demonstrate Crude Oil as an illuminant to Europe. Lockhart was also the first known to complete a transaction of crude oil being sold and purchased, he purchased 3 barrels of crude oil at 31 ¼ cents and sold it to Samuel Kier for 62 ½ cents. Lockhart also is notable for implementing the business practice of buying and selling goods, specifically crude oil, that had not yet been produced. Due to his exceptional business practices and accrued wealth, according to The Frick Museum of Pittsburgh, Lockhart had an eye for art and owned an extensive art collection that was considered the finest and most valuable in Pittsburgh.


Lloyd W. Smith purchased the land and built the Main House

with his wife Gertrude McCormick Smith.  Lloyd W. Smith, President of the Union National Bank, purchased 14 acres from the Lockhart family and constructed what is now the Main House as well as a small barn which was built where the carriage house is today. Two years later, they purchased 19 acres from John and Roberta Beggs bringing the land total to 33 acres.


William R. Jackson, President of Pitt-Des Moines Steel, purchased the property

with his wife Lucilla Jackson. In 1943, the family constructed the barn with the help of a kit purchased from Sears Department Store. During this time, they also purchased 1.01 and .349 from their neighbors, the Herron family and the Lockhart family respectively, bringing the estate’s total acreage to today’s 35.5.  The Jackson family also constructed the pond which was completed in 1945. A few other projects that the Jackson Family was responsible for included the tennis courts and the skeet shooting range that were once on the property. While they resided on the premise, they owned 3 horses and a pony that they enjoyed riding through the property’s bridle trails stretching over 20 miles, some of which are still in existence today.


Dr. Clifford E. Barbour and his wife purchased the property

from the Jackson family calling their new estate “The Barboury Coast.” Clifford Barbour was the fourth president of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Because of the recognition he received for his success in moral psychology and his leadership as the highest honor of the Presbyterian Dominion, Fred Rogers (of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) deemed Clifford Barbour as his mentor. Fred Rodgers joined the seminary because of Dr. Barbour and the Rodgers family became frequent visitors of Baywood.


The Barbours resided on the property for 9 years before selling the property to Mobay

and shifting the property from residential to commercial real estate.  Mobay was a company comprised of Monsanto and Bayer who immediately had their own vision for the use of the Main House and began remodeling starting with the screened in back porch, closing off the walls and turning it into today’s Florida Room as well as the second portion of the dining room which they called “the breakfast room.” There was a porch on either side of the building which Mobay expanded and closed off to create a lounge and a commercial grade kitchen respectively. The portico was also redesigned, and the interior of the house underwent a major renovation including the second-floor bedrooms which were converted into office space.


The Guest House was constructed, and the Carriage House was refurbished

creating a total of 11 overnight rooms for employees and customers.  After Monsanto was eliminated as part of Mobay, the name Mobay was dissolved and became Bayer. As a result of the renaming of the company, the property became known as Bayer’s retreat in the woods calling it “Baywood” utilized as a private, corporate retreat for meetings, events, and lodging.


The lodge was built

and included specialized building materials including hand-hewn red oak beams and stones from the Allegheny Forest. There were no nails used in the woodwork, as all of the beams and planks were held together with wooden pegs.


Bayer announced the closing of its operation in Robinson Township.  

To the dismay of many who cherished Baywood and the fond memories that coincided, Bayer closed the buildings and listed the property for sale.


Baywood reopened its doors

with its new owner, DiCicco Development, and is once again the preferred venue for social and corporate meetings and events.  Purchased in 2020, the grounds and buildings were extensively renovated and restored.