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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

History of The Little Town of Sturgeonville

Contributed by Rick Polaski

A US Government publication issued in April 1963 to commemorate the opening of the then new Fairview Post Office contained a number of short articles concerning various groups in the area, and several other articles associated with Fairview and its history. The article below, written in 1956, is from a woman who was born in 1864, and contains her version of some of the history of the area, particularly with regard to land settled by members of the Sturgeon family. Please contact the contributor of this article directly if you have and questions or comments concerning it.

The following is from Sara Etta Kreider Struchen, Born 1864

History of The Little Town of Sturgeonville

The three Sturgeon brothers, Samuel, William, and John came here about the year 1770 from Lancaster County and settled on Traut Run at the place now occupied by Mr. Kuntz. It was all timberland, but they found some good drinking water near by and so built homes for each one. After three or four years they returned to Lancaster County to bring their families back.

During this time these men had to go to Pittsburgh for their food supplies though there was plenty of wild meat and birds. The country was thickly settled with Indians, and the brothers were afraid to travel alone, so whenever it was necessary to have food supplies brought in, one would stay at home and the other two would go on horseback with a bag of grain to trade and a gun strapped on their backs.

It took about two weeks to make this trip. Their route lead was at about four miles and then turned down through the hills following what is now the Bessemer Railroad, they found that the Indians had entered their shack and stolen all their supplies. This happened  while they were out in the fields working. All they had to eat was whole grain from the barn until they could make another trip to Pittsburgh for more supplies.

As they progressed, they laid out the streets and donated one square in our town to the public.  Whenever a lot was sold, the money was given to their preacher for the little church which was just west of the present Presbyterian Church. In time a new church was built on the west Ridge Road and since then it was moved to its location.

Fairview has been very dear to many or our older people.

The next year a set of two gristmills, the first in the county were built at the mouth of Walnut Creek.

The Rev. Johnson Eaton came here in 1805 and returned  again in 1806 with his family. His first sermon was preached in a small log tavern located on the east side of the mouth of Walnut Creek on Lake Road. This tavern was kept up by Capt. Swan. The Rev. Eaton's first services were held in the Wm. Sturgeon barn near the site of Water and Main Streets. The other street was called Church Street and is about 150 Yrs. Old.

Fairview Village was incorporated as a Boro in 1868, being one mile square with a population of 600 People. It then had one Presbyterian Church, one Methodist Church, and three German Churches. The one German Church was located at the top of Goetz Hill and later moved into town and is now used as the Town Hall. The Union School was built in 1866.

Sam C. Sturgeon took over his father's farm in 1810 and this same farm was taken over by Mr. Frank Hetz, who made a rose garden of the one farm. The American Legion has taken over the Wm. Sturgeon property in the memory of our departed soldiers.

The John Sturgeon home had been owned by Mr. Herbol, but has been taken over by the airport.

Last but not least, our Cemetery Road was made possible by one of the Sturgeon heirs.

Sara Etta Kreider Struchen

Given to Mrs. Catherine Walker, September 21, 1956

Mrs. Struchen's age then, 92 years.

This page was last updated on  Tuesday, October 15, 2002 .

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