For those folks currently caught up in the “March Madness,” here’s a little basketball story from Fairview. The joint borough and township high school was built on Chestnut Street in 1927, but without a gymnasium. That would have to wait until 1935 when the WPA assisted with funding. Meanwhile, after-school activities were still held on the second floor of a two-story livery stable behind Treasure Island (also called the Heuer House, the Fairview Hotel and even the Fairview Tavern). The stable was called Hyke’s Hall. After-school activities included dances, school fairs, basketball games, etc. Occasionally community events were held there as well.
For a picture of what that must have been like -playing basketball on the second floor of a livery stable, here is an account from the Class of 1930. It goes like this, exactly as written…
“It Really Happens”
A school bus came to a halt on Main street. A curly head popped out of a window. “Say, Mister, where does Fairview play basketball?”…
“What? – in that barn? Where will I find the coach?… Over there in that place! Say Mister, I thought Fairview had a new high school…. They do? Well, where on earth is the gymnasium?”
Laughing, eager students climbed out of the bus and hurried up the steps of the Fairview Tavern barn. As they crowded into the doorway, a Fairview coach in an apologetic tone, said, “I’m sorry, team, but I’ll have to ask you to go over to the Tavern to dress.”
“What? No dressing rooms? Must we walk over here with our gym shoes on in this snow? Oh,why did we come to this dreadful place?”
Fairview coach: “I’m sorry but its the best we can do. Really it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.”
A silent party of ten players trudged over to the Tavern. As they neared the door the Fairview manager meekly cautioned, “Will you please be as quiet as possible? You see this is a hotel and they really are very generous to permit us the use of this check room.”
Fourth quarter of the game in progress. Referee blows whistle. “Let’s have a broom – the roof’s leaking!” Time out is called until Fairview mops up the floor. The game proceeds.
“Say, who’s standing on the switch?” “Lights! Lights!” “Don’t some one have a match?” The crowd of spectators, huddled together on the platform, sigh miserably. Eventually the wind storm died down. The lights flickered on, and once more the game proceeded. This time, fortunately, to a close.
After the game, “Showers! Where’s the shower?” “What? No shower? Can’t even wash our faces? Why, I can’t put my clothes on top of this dirt!”… “I want a drink.!… The water is over in the barn? Well, don’t they have any here?” “But, coach, I’m thirsty.”
“Say, I put my clothes on this piano. This is not mine. I can’t tell which belongs to boys and which to girls!”
Ten members of the team and the coach uttered unmeasureably hypocritically, “We had a nice time.”
A bus door slammed! Fairview coach to manager: “My! I’m glad that’s over.”
Wasn’t that a marvelous memory? We are so very grateful for our yearbooks.