Freeman, Sabina Shields. Twice Around the Township, Fairview History Retold. Fairview: Published by the Author, 1997 

Freeman wrote a twice-monthly history column for the Cosmopolite Herald from 1983 to 1985. In 1990 the articles were compiled and printed in “table-top” book form and seven years later after a few more articles were written and printed, the 1997 edition was published. The book contains 39 photos as well as an index.

Articles include such topics as early settlers, transportation, people, places, events, wars, schools, special years, old-time Fairview recipes, miscellaneous and two year-end round-ups.  The four articles included in the second edition are noted separately.

This book is the source for much history; many of the people who were interviewed for these articles were alive during the early part of the 20th Century.  One story, the Heidler-Kreider Case, was lengthy enough to be published as three parts. 


By Sabina Shields Freeman

Photo section – 16 pages. Indexed.

2nd Edition. 1997

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Excerpt: The Borough Fire of 1944

Late in May 1944, the destruction and death of World War II were intense in Europe and the islands of the Pacific. The war was a long way from Fairview Township where life continued quietly and safely. The most exciting thing expected to happen that last full week of May was the high school commencement exercise.

On Tuesday, May 23 at 8 pm., in the Joint Borough and Township High School (later Chestnut Elementary), 21 seniors graduated from Fairview.  Afterwards most of them drove off to parties with friends. Many would be gone for hours.

Interstate 90 was not even a dream at that point in time, and all east-west traffic used Routes 5 and 20.  Route 98 was a busy intersecting road. The large tractor-trailers frequently traveled at night. Long after midnight, in fact, it was after two on the morning of the 24th, one carload of young people was returning home and passed a big Lyons Transportation Company truck from Erie, headed west on Route 20.  The car, driven by Fred Kruse, had a blowout, and while he and his three passengers – Monta Vitters, Kathleen Vigrass and Jim Robinson – were changing the tire, the Lyons truck caught up with them and passed by, still heading west.

The truck was being driven by Robert F. Reed of Akron, who was a 31-year-old father of three.  His trailer had just been loaded with castings in Erie and his gas tank was full.  He generally traveled with a partner in a two-truck convoy.  They alternated between the two east-west roads each night, and that night they traveled Route 20.  The other driver had started earlier and was waiting for him in a terminal in Geneva, Ohio.

Coming north on Route 98 at this same time was Donald H. Thomas, 25, of Buffalo, He was driving a tractor-trailer owned by the Motor Age Transit Company, also of Buffalo. His cargo was drums of oil and turpentine.

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