Fairview’s American Legion Post #742 and its Auxiliary also contributed to the Borough Centennial celebration in 1968. Nationally the organization was charted and incorporated by Congress in 1919. Fairview had been home to a chapter of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) after the Civil War, but had not formed a chapter of the American Legion after World War I. Then came another World War and Fairview veterans of that early world conflict believed their service was needed again, this time working locally for the direct benefit of their community.
Twenty-two Fairview veterans of World War I applied for a temporary charter in September 1944 to found the Orville H. Frank Post #742. They named the post for the first Fairview man to give his life in that current world war. A permanent charter was granted the following year. The first officers to serve in the organization were: Commander, Harvey L. Walter; Treasurer, S. C. Buseck; Adjutant, Cecil E. Mason; and Historian, H. C. Herbol.
The same year the permanent charter was granted, the group purchased a building for their headquarters. It had been the barn on the Perry Sturgeon property, then owned by Leroy Weislogel. Along with it came a number of acres where they developed sports facilities – two baseball diamonds, a horseshoe court, basketball court and a picnic pavilion. The barn also was developed into a fine building with meeting and dining facilities as well as a bar. The outdoor facilities and meeting room were (and are) available to the public and the restaurant facility is open as well.
During the Centennial Celebration in 1968 the Legion not only opened their building for one of the exhibits but also sponsored one of the events. The Legion listed its activities that year as conducting an active blood bank, donating blood to Erie’s VA Hospital and to Fairview residents when needed, plus sponsoring the Memorial Day Parade and the services at the Fairview Cemetery following the parade. Not listed were the number of activities it sponsored for the youth of the community.
Today the organization has a website that describes its purpose, a list of other organizations it supported in 2017, including a high school scholarship fund, information about its building and rental opportunities, a newsletter, membership form, links to other service organizations and even a menu for the restaurant. Also, the building is believed to house the old World War II Roll of Honor that listed the Fairview men and women who went off to serve in World War II. During the war it was displayed proudly in front of the Fire Hall, which had opened in 1940.
For those of you who may have an old American flag that is too tattered and worn to fly, consider making it part of the “Unserviceable Flag Ceremony,” to be conducted by the American Legion on June 14 at the Legion Hall at 6:30 p.m.