Erie County

Erie County, Pennsylvania

History of Erie County, Pennsylvania 1884

by Samuel P. Bates, 

Submitted by Gaylene Kerr Banister


Fairview Township and Borough of Fairview

The first known settlement in Fairview Township was made in 1797, by Francis Scott, who had been in the employ of Thomas Rees, the surveyor, for a year previous. Nearly a year before -- on the 25th of July, 1796 -- a company of ten men was formed at Harrisburg, for the purpose of improving and populating the country near and adjoining Lake Erie. Their names were Richard Swan, Thomas Forster, John Kean, Alexander Berryhill, Samuel Laird, John A. Hanna, Robert Harris, Richard Dermond, William Kelso and Samuel Ainsworth. Each contributed 200 Pounds ($1,000), as a common stock for the use of the company, and the money was agreed to be used in the purchase of inlots and outlots in the town of Erie and elsewhere, and for improving and settling such lands as might be bought. The company was styled the Harrisburg and Presque Isle Company. Thomas Forster was a native of Paxtang, born in 1762, brought up as a surveyor, served as Colonel during the Whisky Insurrection of 1794, an Associate Judge of Dauphin County, member of the Legislature in 1798; subsequently removed to Erie in the interest of the Harrisburg & Presque Isle Land Company, where he became thoroughly identified with its interests, and filled important positions, dying in 1836. Richard Swan was a native of Paxtang, born in 1757; served in the war of the Revolution, and was a gentleman of influence in his locality. He removed to Erie County, and here many of his descendants reside. He died in April, 1808. William Kelso, the son of Joseph and Margaret Kelso, who located on the Susquehanna in Paxtang, prior to 1830, was a native of that township. He lived many years on the Cumberland Valley side, in the old Kelso ferry house, where he died May 22, 1807. He was the father of John Kelso, who went to Erie in 1802, there located, and the ancestor of the family in this county. Immediately after the first compact, Messrs. Harris and Kean were delegated to go to Carlisle, where public sale of the lots in the towns of Franklin, Erie, Waterford, Warren and Beaver were being made, and purchase such as they deemed proper in the interests of the company. This sale was on the 3d and 4th of August, 1796, and resulted in the company becoming the owners of numerous town lots in Erie and Waterford.

Capt. Swan moved his family to Erie County in 1802, and settled on Walnut Creek. He rented the company's mill for one year from April 11, paying $250 rental, and agreeing to clear a piece of land. He managed the mill until his death in 1808. His widow bought a farm about one and a half miles from the mills. In 1817 her son Richard built the first frame house in Fairview Township. This house stood until a few years ago. When Col. Forster and Capt. Swan first arrived at the point where the mills were built, they were standing a high bluff overlooking the lake, and the former exclaimed, "This is the fairest view I have seen yet." The expression pleased them, and they named the future town Fairview. A log tavern was built in 1797, of peeled hemlock logs, and contained four rooms in the first story, besides a back kitchen and three rooms above. Capt. Swan, who rented the milled in 1802, also rented this tavern, paying $100 a year.

Among other early settlers who reached the township in 1797 were John and George Nicholson, John Kelso, Patrick Vance, Alexander, Patrick and John McKee, William Sturgeon and William Haggerty. The Nicholsons were born in Ireland, but emigrated to Lancaster County, where they remained a short time before coming to the lake shore. Mr. McKee remained in Fairview a few years, and then changed to Mill Creek. Gen. Kelso moved to Mill Creek in 1800, and from there in 1804 to Erie, where he died in 1819. In 1798, the colony was enlarged by the arrival of John Dempsey, of Dauphin County; and in 1800, by that of Thomas Kennedy, James Moorhead and Thomas McCreary. The latter was from Lancaster County, his brothers having come north at the same time and settled in Mill Creek. The settlers during 1802 were S. F. Gudtner, of Franklin County, William and Moses Arbuckle, of Maryland, and Joseph M. Kratz, a Frenchman, who afterward removed to Erie. About 1801, Jacob Ebersol, of Lancaster County, moved in, followed in 1805 by James Ryan, of Dauphin County. Rev. Johnston Eaton arrived the same year as Mr. Ryan, remained but a few months and returned for a permanent residence in 1806. Among other early settlers were John Caughey and Samuel McCreary, of Lancaster County. Mr. Caughey moved to Washington County in 1812, and came back in 1822. Moses Barnett, from Dauphin County, went in about 1816; Arthur Oney, from Otsego County, N. Y., in 1820, John Silverthorn, probably in the same year; David Russell about 1822; Samuel P. Allen, from New England, and Daniel Bear, from Lancaster County, in 1823. The first colonists, with the exception of Messrs. Ebersole and Gudtner, were Protestant Irish stock, but at a subsequent date many Pennsylvania Dutch moved in, followed still later by numerous foreign Germans. Of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Daniel Waidler, from Lancaster County made his settlement in 1834. Mr. Oney took up a 400-acre tract, at the rate of twenty shillings an acre.

In 1805 occurred the first death of a grown white person in the township, being that of John Gordon. The body was buried on the bank of the lake, near Manchester, and has never been removed.

General Description
Fairview is one of the original townships of the county, but its size was largely reduced by the formation of Girard Township, which took place in 1832. It only embraces 16,198 acres now, making it one of the smallest townships. The old west line ran through Girard to a point near Miles Grove, parallel with the boundary between Elk Creek and Conneaut. The south line ran parallel with the one between Elk Creek and Girard, from Springfield on the west to McKean on the east, embracing what is now the northern portion of Franklin. Fairview is bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by Mill Creek and McKean, on the south by Franklin, and on the west by Girard. Its shape is somewhat like that of a cross, and its greatest length is eight miles, with a breadth in the widest part of about six and a half miles. The population was 536 in 1820, 1,529 in 1830, 1,480 in 1842, 1,760 in 1850, 2,157 in 1870, and 1,482 in 1880. The post offices are Swanville and Avonia, and most of the trading is done in Fairview Borough. By the assessment of 1880, the valuation of the township was as follows: Real estate, $908,750; horses, 403; cows, 516; oxen, 24, total personal property, $34,570, trades and occupations, $6,400; money at interest, $15,363.

Land and Streams
With the exception of the gullies along Walnut and Elk Creeks, the sides which are too abrupt to be tillable, there is hardly an acre of worthless land in the township. The lake shore plain attains a width of about two miles and a half. Its soil is of a sandy nature along the lake, merging into a gravely formation further back, and producing every kind of grain, fruit and vegetable that can be cultivated in this section. The back lands are usually clay and loam, varied by patches of gravel. Wheat prospers in every part of the township. Potatoes are cultivated in large quantities, and many car loads are shipped every fall from Fairview Station to the large cities. Apple and peach trees bear yearly. Lands range in value from $50 to $125 on the lake plain, to $40 to $50 in the back districts. The chief streams of Fairview are Walnut Creek and Elk Creek, both of which have been described in the general sketch. Walnut Creek enters the township from Mill Creek, and, taking a northwesterly course, empties into the lake at Manchester. Elk Creek comes in from McKean, flows across the southern portion into Girard, and unites with the lake a little northwest of Miles Grove. The deepest part of the Walnut Creek gorge is in the vicinity of the Lake Shore Railroad culvert, where the banks are over a hundred feet high. A short distance above, and almost on the side of the Nickel Plate bridge, was the Walnut Creek aqueduct, once the wonder of this region, built to carry the water of the canal across the gully. It was constructed of timber, and was 104 feet high by about 800 feet long. The railroad culvert and embankment cover a space of about 600 feet, with width enough for three tracks. Bear Run is the principal tributary of Walnut Creek within the township. It heads on the J. Rusterholtz place, in the extreme eastern corner of Fairview, near the edge of Mill Creek, and falls into the main stream a short distance south of Weigle's grist mill, after a course of about four miles. Brandy Run rises near the center, on the farm of J. A. Kline, and after flowing seven or eight miles, joins Elk Creek, a little south of Girard Borough. Falls Run, another branch of Elk Creek, comes in from Franklin, on the south edge of the township, having a length of some three miles. It received its name from a beautiful cascade, near the Franklin stone quarry, where the water of the creek passes over a ledge fifty feet high. From there to Elk Creek its banks are 100 feet in height and almost perpendicular. Little Elk Creek rises in Franklin Township, runs through a corner of McKean, and falls into Elk Creek proper on the John Sterrett place. Trout Run is an independent stream which rises on the east line near McKean, runs in a northwesterly course through Fairview Borough, and empties into the lake two miles beyond, at Lock Haven. Its length is between six and eight miles, and it is subject to sudden and damaging overflows. Beaver Dam Run, a rivulet which tumbles into Walnut Creek about eighty rods below Bear's mill, received its name from an extensive embankment built by the beavers which formerly existed on what used to be termed the Barnett farm. Traces of their work were to be seen about forty years ago.

Bridges and Mills
The principle bridges in Fairview Township are as follows: On Elk Creek -- The Swalley, Ryan and Brooks (the latter of iron). On Walnut Creek -- Manchester, Lake road (iron), N. Y. C. & St. L. R. R. (iron), Ridge road, Cross roads and Town line (built jointly by Mill Creek and Fairview Townships); also the Lake Shore Railroad culvert. On Bear Run -- One across the breast of the dam at Bear's mill. On Trout Run -- Culverts, at the grist mill and at the paper mill. On Little Elk Creek -- Silverthorn, Galusha and Town line (built jointly by McKean and Fairview Townships).

The manufacturing industries of Fairview Township are as follows: On Bear Run -- Nason's grist mill. On Walnut Creek -- Weigle's grist mill, Lohrer's grist mill and Morgan & Co.'s paper mill, just below Avonia or Fairview Station (the paper mill was destroyed by fire August 30, 1883), and Feidler's grist mill at the Lake road (now owned by McKee & Kermick). These are all run by water except Feidler's mill and the paper mill, which have used steam in connection, but more recently water only. George Siegel has tile and brick works on the Andrews place, a mile south of the borough, and L. Vettner a tannery on the Lake road. The Walnut Creek Mills of Mr. Weigle were established at a very early day by S. F. Gudtner. In 1856, the flouring mill was rebuilt by Alexander Nicholson. Nason's mill was built by Daniel Bear in 1823, and fell into the hands of Mr. Nason in 1864. The second saw mill in Erie County was built at the mouth of Walnut Creek in 1797, under the supervision of Col. Thomas Forster, who added a grist mill in 1799, which was the first in the county. Both of these have gone down. In 1815, Samuel McCreary erected the first woolen mill in the county at the intersection of the Depot and Lake roads. He continued to operate it till 1841, when two of his sons succeeded him. In 1848, the firm became McCreary, Thornton & Co., and after that the mill had several changes of ownership until it was abandoned. The building was used as Morgan & Co.'s paper mill. The Lock Haven Woolen Mills, on the bank of the lake, were established by the Messrs. Caughey in 1842, who had built a saw mill the year previous. They disposed of the woolen factory in 1850 and of the saw mill in 1864, after which time they had various owners. The property was destroyed by fire in October, 1878. A number of saw mills once successfully operated have gone to ruin.

From the venerable Richard Swan, Esq., who was born in 1796, we learn that the first schoolhouse in what is now Fairview Township, was erected in 1804, and stood probably a mile from the mouth of Walnut Creek (south and east). School was help in this building the first winter by John Linn, a Revolutionary soldier. The next teacher was William Gordon. The next schoolhouse, or rather cabin, in which school was taught, was located on the land of Jeremiah Sturgeon, which was within the present limits of the borough of Fairview. School was kept at this place two winters, taught first by John Hays, then by Squire McCreary. This was probably as early as 1810. William Sturgeon erected a schoolhouse on the present site of the dwelling of William P. Sturgeon, about 1811 or 1812, in which Jacob Eckison and John Hays taught respectively. the next schoolhouse in this neighborhood stood about one mile west of the residence of Thomas Sturgeon. It was erected about the year 1816 or 1817, and was a frame structure. It was built by the neighborhood, and among the teachers who held sway there were a Mr. Brown, Charles Landon and Alonzo Strong. Later than the above house, another, built of logs, stood near the present dwelling of Johnston Eaton, in which school was taught by Abner Jackson and Francis Plum. There was a regularly built schoolhouse in the southeastern part of the township, near the line dividing the townships of Mill Creek and Fairview, at a very early day. The second school attended by Mr. Swan was in a cabin house which had previously been vacated by Alexander McKee, and stood about one mile east of the present residence of Richard Swan on the Lake road. Robert Maxwell taught here about the close of the war of 1812. Following is a list of the present schools: Swan, on Lake road, at Richard Swan's; Willis, on the same road, near Frank Willis'; Lake road, north of Avonia (a graded school -- two rooms); Swanville; Vance, on Bear Run; Heidler, on Heidler road; Ruhl, on McKean road; Sturgeon, near the cemetery; Rick, on the Girard road; Van Camp, near Elk Creek; Beckman, on the southwest, and Stuntz, south of the borough.

Common Roads, Railroads and Canal
The leading thoroughfares are the Lake and Ridge roads, extending across the whole width of the township from east to west -- the former at an average distance of three-fourths of a mile, and the latter from one and a half to two and a half miles back from the lake; the Depot road from the borough to the lake; the Fairview and Waterford, running southeast into McKean; and the Girard and Waterford, which intersects the latter at Sterrettania. A route along the beach of the lake was opened between and the mouth of Walnut Creek as early as 1797. The Ridge road crosses the Walnut Creek gully at Weigle's mill by two quite steep inclines, which are a source of considerable anxiety to teamsters and pleasure seekers. The side hill at Walnut Creek was first cut down for a roadway by Arthur Oney, who received $100 for the job. He also build the first bridge across Walnut Creek on the line of the Ridge road. The Lake Shore Railroad passes through the township from Mill Creek to Girard at a short distance from the lake. The railroad stations are Fairview (or Avonia) and Swanville, both of which lie north of the towns they are intended to accommodate. The New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad also crosses the township a little south of the Lake Shore road, and the Erie & Pittsburgh Company use the Lake Shore track for their trains between Miles Grove and Erie. The old canal followed nearly the same line as the Nickel Plate road across the township.

The following is a list of the citizens of the township who have held State and county positions: Assembly, Myron H. Silverthorn, 1879-83. Sheriff, Miles W. Caughey, November 12, 1846 to November 5, 1849; Andrew F. Swan, November 29, 1867, to November 4, 1870; Joseph W. Swalley (by appointment), March 31, 1864, to December 6, 1864. Deputy Sheriff, Joseph W. Swalley, 1861-64. Register and Recorder, Daniel Long, November 12, 1872, to January 1, 1879. County Treasurer, Joseph W. Swalley (by appointment), March 10, 1870, to December 23, 1870; Jacob Jeagla, December 27, 1872, to December 17, 1874; William C. Hay, January 7, 1878, to January, 1881. County Commissioners, George Nicholson, 1820-23, also by appointment from August 6, 1828, until the ensuing October election; Isaac Webster, 1844-47; William W. Eaton, 1856-59; Myron H. Silverthorn, 1870-75; Directors of the Poor, Curtis Heidler, 1845-48; M. M. Kelso, 1850-53; Alex Nicholson, 1857-60; William W. Eaton, 1870-73. Clerk and Treasurer to the Directors of the Poor, D. W. Nason, 1879 to date. County Surveyor, Robert P. Holliday, November 5, 1863, to November 12, 1866, and February 22, 1869, to November 11, 1872. County Auditor, George Nicholson, 1809, and 1816-19; Daniel Sayre, 1823-26; David H. Chapman, 1827-30; John J. Swan, 1830-33; Moses Barnett, 1841-44; H. H. Bassler, 1858-1862; Jos. W. Swalley, 1861-64; Oliver P. Ferguson, 1865-68. Mercantile Appraisers, Johnston Eaton, 1859; John McCreary, 1876.

Religious Societies
The following-named churches are located in the township: Salem Church of the Evangelical Association, Christian Church, United Brethren and St. Jacob's Evangelical United. Salem Church is the outgrowth of the Missionary labors of Rev. J. Siebert, whose labors began in this field in 1833. Other early missionaries in the county who also served this people were Revs. E. Stoevers, D. Brickley and J. Noecker. The house of worship, located in the eastern part of the township, was erected about thirty years ago. Rev. P. J. Fowl is the present incumbent. The circuit, since 1877, has been designated Fairview Circuit.

St. Jacob's Evangelical United Church is located on the Ridge road about a mile and a half east of the business part of Fairview Borough. The congregation was organized in the winter of 1852, and the church was built about the same time at a cost of $1,000. The first pastor was the Rev. Michael Kuchler. The present pastor is Rev. C. Gavehling, who has been in charge of the congregation in connection with the one at Girard for the past four years.

The United Brethren Church is upon the road from Franklin Center to Sterrettania, five miles south of Fairview Borough. The congregation was organized about 1857, and held meetings until some five years ago in the Van Camp Schoolhouse. Rev. Z. C. Dilley is the present incumbent. The church building was dedicated February 22, 1880, by Rev. J. Hill.

The Christian Church is three miles south of the borough, on the direct road from Girard to McKean Corners. The congregation was organized by Rev. Asal Fish, first pastor, in 1835. The building was erected in 1845, at a cost of $1,000. Among other pastors of the church have been Elders Ziegler, Morse, Sherman, Langdon, Washburn and Kendell.

Manchester and Swanville
As before stated, the first settlement at the mouth of Walnut Creek was made by Col. Forster and Mr. Swan, who gave the place the name of Fairview. John M. Kratz started a store in 1802, and a log tavern was kept by Richard Swan, who was followed by James Dunn. The latter was Postmaster in 1822. This was the great point of the township, till 1824, containing, besides the tavern and mill, a distillery, a blacksmith shop, etc. The elections and military trainings were held there, and as long as the states and travel ran down to the mouth of the creek, it was rather a lively little village. The mills fell into the hands of Daniel Lord in 1829, who changed the name of the place to Manchester and erected a paper mill. It was burned down while in charge of the Messrs. Reed, and no attempt has been made to rebuild it. A Presbyterian congregation was organized at Manchester in 1806, and a building erected there in 1810. Rev. Johnston Eaton was the pastor. The place of worship was removed to Swanville in 1832.

Swanville, on the Ridge road, nine miles west of Erie, and about a third of a mile south of the Lake Shore Railroad, received its name through John J. Swan, who built the first house and established the first tavern on the site. It consists of a blacksmith shop, store, schoolhouse, about twenty residences, and had a population of about 98 in 1880. Mr. Swan opened his tavern about 1832, and soon after another was started by the Nicholsons. These continued in operation until 1853-54, when the want of business compelled their closure. The Westminster Presbyterian Church in Mill Creek Township was built at Swanville in 1832, and removed to its present site in 1851. This church is interesting from the fact that Rev. Johnston Eaton, the first permanent minister of that denomination in the county, began and closed his career as its pastor. He came on in 1805, remained for a short time, went back to his former home and returned in 1806 to stay permanently. The first service held by Mr. Eaton was in Swan's tavern at the mouth of Walnut Creek. He was ordained on the 30th of June, 1808, in the barn of William Sturgeon, which stood within the present limits of Fairview Borough, and was installed as pastor of the congregations at Fairview and Springfield. His relations with the Springfield Church continued till November 8, 1814, and those with the Fairview Church till his death, on the 17th of June, 1847, and those with the Fairview Church till his death, on the 17th of June, 1847, in the seventy-second year of his age and the forty-second of his ministry. After his release from the Springfield Church, Mr. Eaton occupied his time till 1818, between Erie, Fairview and North East, and between Fairview and Erie till 1823, when the latter church felt strong enough to sustain a separate pastor. Mr. Eaton served as an army Chaplain during the campaign of 1812 and 1813. His venerable and estimable lady died in 1872 in the ninety-third year of her age, leaving a family of eight children, all of whom but one are living. The first church building was erected at Manchester, then known as Fairview. This was abandoned and a new building put up in 1832, at Swanville, which still retained the name of the Fairview Church. About 1837, the New School element of the congregation seceded and established a church in Fairview Borough, and in 1845 they were followed by a number who belonged to the Old-School side. This left the main body of worshipers in the church at Swanville living in the western part of Mill Creek. In order to have their place of worship more convenient, they removed the building in 1851 to a point on the Ridge road, several miles east of Swanville, where it is still in use, under the name of the Westminster Church. The building at Swanville stood where the schoolhouse is now.

Other Matters
Fairview Depot, or Avonia, is the railroad station of Fairview Borough, from which it is about half a mile north. The buildings of the place, besides the railroad offices, are George S. Stone's store and warehouse, some half a dozen residences and an eating house.

Lock Haven, at the mouth of Trout Run, is nothing more than a name. It once had a woolen factory and saw mill, but the latter fell into ruin and the former burned down, as stated above.

Two quarries have been opened in Fairview, one at Manchester and the other on Trout Run, just below the depot. From the Manchester quarry, some of the stone were taken for the locks of the canal. The material is not very good, however, and neither of the quarries has proved of much value. Most of the stone used in the township and borough comes from Howard's quarry in Franklin.

Borough of Fairview

The borough of Fairview was incorporated in 1868, covering an area of one mile square, and including a population at that time of some 400. It stands on the first rise of the lake shore plain, twelve miles west of Erie, a mile and a half south of the lake, and a half a mile from the railroad station. The Ridge road forms its main street, and Trout Run winds through its limits. The churches of Fairview are Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Lutheran and German Evangelical, the first being of brick and the two others of frame. Its schools are all held in one large two-story building erected in 1866. It has three apartments, and the schools are graded. Two teachers are employed. The first schoolhouse in the village was erected by the people some time prior to 1838. The manufacturing concerns of the place are Henry Kreider's steam planing and saw mill, James H. Glazier's steam cider mill, J. Galyard's steam cider, sorghum and jelly mill, S. J. Fargo & Gardner's wagon shop, and three or four blacksmith shops. The mercantile interests embrace one dry good store, one grocery, one clothing store, two hardware stores, one millinery store and one dry goods store. The hotel is knows as the Monitor House. The borough once boasted of two military companies -- the Fairview Guards, organized in 1858, with J. Beckman as Captain, and another with O. H. P. Ferguson as Captain. By the united States census, Fairview Borough had a population of 480 in 1870 and 425 in 1880. The assessment of the latter year gave the following results: Real estate, $165,081; horses, 64; cows, 35; personal property, $4,011, trades and occupations, $9,155; money at interest, $35,435.

Early Incidents
The first settlers upon the site were the Messrs. Sturgeon, in honor of whom the place was long known as Sturgeonville. The first tavern, a small log building on the bank of Trout Run, along the Ridge road, was built and kept by William Sturgeon. This was closed some years, when Mr. Sturgeon erected another tavern near by, of which W. W. Warner was long the landlord. The present Monitor House was erected by S. C. Sturgeon, and has been kept at periods by John Clemens, of Erie, S. N. McCreary, and others. Following the tavern came a store, a blacksmith shop, etc. On the death of William Sturgeon in 1837, he directed that after the demise of his wife some fifty acres of land and twenty town lots should go to the Presbyterian Church of Fairview. A church was to be organized and a building erected within one year from the time specified in the will, otherwise the property was to be donated to the Presbyterian Board of Publication. In the year of Mr. Sturgeon's death, the general assembly of the church separated into New School and Old School, and both branches found ardent friends and advocates in the Fairview congregation. Each side made haste to get up edifices in time to avail itself of Mr. Sturgeon's legacy, and as a matter of course the question as to which it belonged had to be settled by the courts. After a short legal tussle, the court below decided in favor of the Old School branch, and, on appeal to the Supreme Court, that body affirmed the decision. The union of the denomination in November, 1869, did away with the need of two buildings, and both of the contending branches now worship together in harmony. The building at present occupied was built in 1874, and cost $11,000. It occupies the same lot on which both the Old and New School edifices stood during the days of contention. Rev. Mr. De Witt, installed in 1879, is present incumbent. The first Old School church in Fairview was replaced by another, which burned down. The New School building was removed and is now occupied by another denomination.

Other Churches
The Methodist Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of a class formed in the house of Justice Osborne by Rev. John P. Kent in 1817. It consisted of Justice Osborne (leader), wife and daughter, Giles Badger and wife, Alexander Nicholas and wife, and Mrs. Odell. As early as 1841, the appointment was on McKean Circuit to which it belonged until 1860, when Fairview Circuit was formed. A. Bashline was pastor in 1881, 1882 and 1883. The first church edifice was built in 1836 and stood outside of the village. The second building was erected in 1854, costing $600.

Mt. Nabo Church of the Evangelical association owes its origin to the early missionary labors of Rev. J. Siebert, who began preaching in Erie County in 1833. Following him in this field were Revs. Stoevers, D. Brickley and J. Noecker. Preaching was held at private residences and later in schoolhouses. The congregation was on Erie Circuit until 1877, since which time it has been on Fairview Circuit. The church building of the society was formerly occupied by the Presbyterians, of whom it was purchased in April, 1872.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the village was organized in 1856, with less than a dozen members. This congregation and the one at St. Jacob's on the Ridge road were originally one and the same church society, but at the date given above became separate bodies, owing to some difficulties which arose between the membership and pastor. The Rev Michael Kuchler became the first pastor of this society. The first house of worship was built in 1857, on the outskirts of the borough, and used until the present one was erected in 1878. At present the congregation is without a pastor.

The Fairview Cemetery, on the northwest edge of the borough, covers a tract of fifteen acres, and has been in use about sixteen years. The first body interred was that of Mrs. Milton Sturgeon, and the second that of a five-year old daughter of George Waidler.

Mrs. Sarah Green, who was living at Fairview in February, 1883, was claimed to be one hundred and two years old, and able to go about and do all kinds of housework. The wife of Casper Doll died in February, 1883, aged ninety-seven years and ten days.

Bibliography: Samuel P. Bates, History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, (Warner, Beers & Co.: Chicago, 1884), Township Histories, Chapter VIII, pp. 739-749.


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