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Life in Fairhaven

When young ladies of the community had gentlemen callers, it was quite common for the town boys to wait for them and beat them up. Fairhaven was known at the time as “Hell’s Hole” because of all the squabbling, fighting and saloons. In those days, you could buy a bucket of beer for 10c.

The first saloon in Fairhaven was owned by Tomas Hardy and was located on what was known as “Eighteen Acres”. In later years this place was turned into a residence and was known as the “Old Theobald Homestead”. There was also a saloon on Fairhaven Hill owned by Mr. Schmidt, and was later turned into apartments known as “Schmitty’s Blocks”.

The Butchers Run Flood occurred in 1871, overflowing the Saw Mill Run from the base of the hill on one side to the railroad tracks on the other side. Thirty two people drowned along the Saw Mill Run during the flood.

Life in early Fairhaven was not easy but the townspeople found ways to relax and enjoy themselves. A baseball park was formerly located around the area of the Rite Aid today and people flocked from all parts of the township to see baseball games played there. Everyone carried lanterns with them wherever they went at that time. Carbon Oil lamps and candles were used in the homes for light.

In the building known as “Rindfusse Dwellings” across the railroad tracks from the Pittsburgh Railways station in 1890 there was a dancing pavilion. A smallpox epidemic started in Fairhaven in 1893. Watchmen were posted day and night around afflicted homes. Dr. Kirk and his horsemen erected a tent in the center of Baldwin and lived there during the entire time of the epidemic so he could care for the victims. He shot all cats that he came in contact with in order to prevent the spread of the disease.