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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Fairview Cemetery - Introduction

Contributed by Joan Fiesler and Rich Biondi

This is one of a series of pages concerning the Fairview Cemetery. Fairview Cemetery is located in Fairview Township on Maple Drive, north of Route 20. All information has been compiled by Joan Fiesler, Fairview Area Historical Society, in August 2002, and has been provided for posting on this Web site by Rich Biondi. Please contact Joan Fiesler or Rich Biondi with any questions or comments.

This page is an Introduction and a brief history of the cemetery and will also serve as an index page to the burial listings.

Introduction - Fairview Cemetery Burials

In 1982 the Fairview Area Historical Society received copies of the Fairview Cemetery Interment Records. The information was converted and alphabetized into an index card file. This book has been transcribed from the card file. There are more than 3,800 burials noted from the start of the cemetery until December 1982. The record, in most of the entries, include name of deceased, interment number, lot number, lot book page number, birth date, place of birth, death date, age at death, late residence at death, spouse, father, mother, cause of death and remarks.

The burials of Erie County veterans in Fairview Cemetery also have been noted and veterans were added. These include any veterans from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, War of 1812, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars who were interred as of April 1998. The source for this information came from a Veterans Administration Report, dated April 27, 1998. Information from the Fairview Area Historical Society’s collection of genealogy files has been included. The files were used to confirm dates, locations and relationships of the deceased. Death records from St. James Lutheran Church were used to confirm information and are noted.

The information available for use from this web site include the deceased persons name, interment number, birth date, death date and section in the cemetery where they are interred). Additional information will be in the “Burials in Fairview Cemetery” book. There is a copy of the book at Blasco Public Library, Erie, PA, Erie Society for Genealogical Research, Erie, PA and Fairview Area Historical Society.

The Fairview Area Historical Society and the Fairview Cemetery Board of Governors are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Effort has been taken to transcribe this information as accurately as possible.

History of Fairview Cemetery

In the 1800s people were buried on their family farm or in the churchyards. By 1864 the population in Fairview was large enough to develop a cemetery for the community.

The cemetery was incorporated in 1864. Many burials and headstones from other cemeteries were re-interred into this cemetery. The land that was not used for burials was rented out for crops. Anyone could rent an area and grow food to use or to sell.

Jacob Bixler purchased the first lot in Section A, Lot 1 on April 7, 1866, for $25.00, which included perpetual care. The cemetery caretaker was paid $1.50 per day to mow the walks and trim the trees in the cemetery (if he used his own horse). In 1894 the Grand Army of the Republic requested a lot for the Unknown Monument to be placed in the cemetery. In 1896 a privy (toilet) was built as a convenience for the visitors who came on weekends to walk through the grounds and meet neighbors.

The members of the Fairview Cemetery Association were local residents. The Association could extend loans to local people. The early cemetery stones were made of slate, marble and limestone. There are different styles and many of the inscriptions are interesting. A great many of the pioneers who settled “Sturgeonville,” as Fairview was once called, are buried in this cemetery and many of their descendants are also.

The Chapel

In 1901, for convenience and also to generate some revenue, the Cemetery Association decided to build a chapel. Mr. T. Woods Sterrett, local builder and Association member, contracted the work for $1,087 and finished it in six months. Forty-eight chairs were ordered from the Union City Chair Factory. Five Norway pines were cut and the wood was used to heat the chapel the first winter. In 1906 the board paid $4.50 for two days of mowing with a horse. Mr. J.C. Thornton, local mill owner who first introduced the idea of a chapel, was the first person buried from the chapel on October 7, 1902. In 1946 a tent was purchased for gravesite ceremonies and after that winter the chapel was only used for storage.

In 1976 the community restored the chapel as a Bicentennial project. The Fairview Area Historical Society was formed shortly afterward and accepted responsibility for the maintenance and care of the chapel. The building is open on Memorial Day, special occasions and by appointment, for students and the general public. One wedding and one art exhibit have taken place in the chapel since 1976.

The plantings and trees, the gently curving drives, the shape and configuration of each section, all add to the quiet beauty of this fine old cemetery.

Burial Listings - Fairview Cemetery

This page was last updated on  Friday, March 21, 2003 .

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