Authored by Robert Bailey Sr.
By Robert Bailey Sr.The original High School of Fairchance, PA existed between the years 1905 - 1958. On Feb. 12, 1958 the High School was destroyed by fire, and the students were moved to the Son's of Italy Hall and the Windy Hill School, belonging to Georges Township, PA for the remainder of the year. Fairchance-Georges District was formed the next year, and has since become the Albert Gallatin School District.The All-Class reunions for the students, 1905-1958 began with their first reunion on July 3, 1976 with 536 in attendance.
The second was in 1983, was a 3 day celebration June 17, 18, 19 with 400 attending.
The third was in 1989 June 25, 26, 27 with 500 attending.
The fourth 1993 June 25, 26, 27 with 350+ in attendance.
And in 1997 July 4, 5, 6 was our last reunion to date.Fairchance High School's first class was graduated in 1905. Mr. Corpenning was the principal and later became superintendent of Fayette County schools. He was followed by Fred Rubble, Ray Minerd, and Mr. Deppa, followed by Quincy Vincent, H. V. Lucas and Anthony Moats, then Jacob Wentzel, and Leonard Bailey. Jesse Franks was the principal at the time of the 1958 fire.The school became well known through the years for its operettas, three-act plays and minstrels. In the 1920s Chapel was held in the auditorium, consisting of reading the bible, prayer, flag salute and brief remarks from the principal.The first kindergarten was begun in 1947 by late Ellen Belle Hickle. The parent & teachers organization followed in 1948, and the first student council in 1949.Inasmuch as it is impossible for us to retain in any part, the name Fairchance, we must admit that there could be no better name chosen than Albert Gallatin, historically speaking. We should all feel pride in the name when we recall how much this statesman (Albert Gallatin) contributed to our early development and helped in many ways to make this area what it is today.Note: I do possess the teachers' names and the students for each class that attended the school. Any one inquiring about these groups can receive this info through an Email.
Fairchance, PA in the 1940s
By Robert Bailey Sr.During the 1940s Coal Mines, Coke Ovens and Railroads were at their prime. Uniontown, PA was a very busy thriving town, and streets were filled with shoppers every Friday & Saturday evening. The streetcars ran from Fairchance, PA to Uniontown, PA starting at Main & Church St. in Fairchance.At this time Fairchance had a bakery, union supply store, hardware, two dairy bars, appliance store, post office, four barbershops, drug store, theater, shoe repair, clothing store, cleaners, bank, 5&10 cent store, several service stations, two hotels, bars, bowling alley, and several grocery stores.Some of these store names were Jewell Bakery, Hatchets Hardware, Pegs Dairy Bar, The Hut, Dad Dunaways Drug Store, Kukalo Appliance, Darby Humbert Lumber Company, Fairchance Lumber Company, Dolittle Grocery, Gleason Grocery, Trouts Grocery, Marnellas Grocery, Steve Takotch Grocery, Trouts Cleaners, Bob Lowes Ice & Coal Delivery, White Front Meat Market, A&P, American Store, Romesburgh Garage, Archie Miller Service Station, Cloyd Carr Service Station, Rumpy Heavener Service Station, Gaydos Barber Shop, Sechler Barber Shop, Deans Barber Shop, Hunkers Machine Shop, Kapalko Pontiac Garage, Hawkins Photo Studio, Fairchance Feed Mill, Sharps Funeral Home was originally a bank and the Bank Tavern was originally a bank. We also had our own Grade School & High School.Doctors were Dr. Heath, Dr. Gretchner, Dr. Mark Montgomery, Dr. Bruce Montgomery, Dr. Patterson, and Dr. Waldon Moats. Dentists were Dr. Fast and Dr. Patterson.Coal miners made purchases at the Union Supply by charging it on their payroll account. Wires ran from each department to the store office and a carrier traveled this wire carrying the charge slip from each purchase (this was then replaced with a vacuum method).Stores were not self serve and clerks would retrieve each item from the shelves lined around the stores.Shoe stores had a ladder that traveled a rail on pulleys top & bottom of the ladder around the store shelves to retrieve shoes from top shelves.A&P was noted for their coffee they had three kinds 8 o'clock (red bag), Bokart (black bag) and Red Circle (Yellow bag).Each day a large cart on wagon wheels was pulled back and forth from the post office to the train station when the mail train arrived. All large packages were kept at the freight station along the B & O Railroad tracks. We also had the Pennsylvania tracks where coal was loaded on cars from the tipple.There were two outdoor theaters in the mid 1940s, the Moonlight at the top of Hights Hill and the Starlight in town. Roller skating rinks were Melody in town and Shadowland near Evans Manor, and Duck Inn in Fairchance. There was a powder mill off the mountain road on the north side of Fairchance in the early 1940's, and during the construction of Route 857 earlier there was a prison camp along the road near the West Virginia line just south of Fairchance, PA where the prisoners were kept that worked on the road construction.
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