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Fairview Township

Fairview Town Hall is located at 7471 McCray Road, Fairview PA 16415; phone: 814‑474‑5942.

1897 School Building, Fairview Township, Erie County Pennsylvania

Beginnings [1]

Fairview was one of the original Erie County townships. It is believed that settlement began with Francis Scott who came in 1797. But the real activity towards the settlement of this area arose from the organization and activities of the Harrisburg and Presque Isle Company, organized at Harrisburg July 25, 1796 by 10 men putting up 200 pounds each to form capital to be used in exploiting lands at and near Erie. Three of these men were Thomas Forster, Captain Richard Swan, and William Kelso who were natives of Paxtang and may have been some of those famous "Paxtang Boys" who so mistakenly attached a peaceful community of Indians. The company bought a considerable amount of tracts and lots at the Carlisle sale on August 3 and 4, 1796, including a large section in Fairview Township. Colonel Forster, for the company, built the first grist mill in the county in 1798, and the second saw mill in 1797, at the mouth of Walnut Creek, later called Manchester. Captain Swan brought his family here in 1802 and settled near the lake at Walnut Creek, where he rented and operated the company's mills, and a log tavern built by the company, also near the mills, of peeled hemlock logs. Colonel Forster and Captain Swan were approaching the lake, came out on the high bluff and first beheld a clear view of the expanse of blue water, when the former is said to have exclaimed, "This is the fairest view I have seen yet," and the place was named forthwith. Here in the old log tavern was held the first church services in the western part of the county, resulting in the erection of the first church building west of Erie, about 1810.

Among those coming in later were: John and George Nicholson, John Kelso, Patrick Vance, Alexander, Patrick and John McKee, William Sturgeon, Heremiah Sturgeon, and William Haggerty, in 1797. The original township was largely reduced in 1832 with the formation of Girard Township. In 1820, the population of Fairview Township was about 1,800. [Current population (2010) stands at about 10,000]

  1. John Elmer Reed, History of Erie County Pennsylvania, Volume One, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka, 1925.

Note: The Borough of Fairview was dissolved into Fairview Township in 1998.

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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