Excerpt from the Senior Class Yearbook:
The Fairview Echo - 1941,

Fairview High School, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania.

Mountain Top was chosen as a theme for this book in that it has been placed here by nature at the gateway to a great industrial valley that is hemmed in on all sides by high mountains. It has an elevation of 1623 feet above sea level, therefore, it is a very clean and healthful place to live. Mountain Top is the place where health is certain, where beauty is effervescent and where in community life there is happiness The people of Mountain Top are happy and content because they live amid the luxuries of nature and right at the doorstep of the city of Wilkes-Barre Many of the prominent people of Wilkes-Barre find Mountain Top a beautiful summer resort while others find it a permanent place to live and commute to the city and other parts of the valley where they find employment of all kinds.

The first original settler of Mountain Top was Conrad Wickesier. He was a brave pioneer who cut the road for the entry of his oxen team into the forest back in 1798. He cut many paths to let sunlight and civilization enter in the loneliness of the spot. Many more followed to this place. They came driving the teams and carrying their belongings to a place they might call home. James Wright was the first to build a tavern; and in that day and that time the tavern served a mighty useful purpose, The tavern was a place for people to stop and rest, get refreshments, exchange views, and learn what others were doing and what progress was being made in the development of this country. James Wright built three saw mills to level the forest and clear the land. Samuel B. Stiver and William Vandermark founded the trail that lead up one side to the summit of another. They moved on the northwest part of the township where they settled and prospered. John Hoffman, another early pioneer, settled near Stivers Pond. In 1883, Elias Carey came up the valley and took over the Holcomb improvements. After homes were built, stock was looked after, and land was cleared the demands of a school were seen. Trees were then cut down, hewed with an axe and set in place with their ends interlocking. In 1840 the old log school house was built. This was near the mountain home of S. B. Stivers in the northwest part of the township. The first school teacher was Charles Fine. From this humble little log building there has grown the present educational system of the township.

After the school was built, Stephen Lee, the first merchant of the township built a store. His store was located near the home of S. B. Stivers. One of the early businessmen was Mr. Willis who set up a tavern. It was from this humble start that Mountain Top grew into a great community center.

The first road to Ashley was an old dirt road which wound its way from Ashley along the Ashley planes to Solomen's Gap. This road was narrow and stony. A stage coach made regular trips along the dangerous winding turnpike between Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton before the Ashley Planes were built. When automobiles became a popular favor, a new mountain highway was built by Hanover Township and Ashley Borough authorities. The boulevard, built in 1908 was one of the most substantial of its era. It was a sturdy road built up the notch through the mountains largely from materials blasted from the mountain sides to which the highway clings.

At the present time an improved cement highway passes Mountain Top which makes it only a few minutes drive to Wilkes-Barre or Hazleton.

Mountain Top has three modern churches, Presbyterian, Methodist and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is situated in the Gap. It is better known as St. Catherine's. The Presbyterian Church is located at Fairview and the Methodist at Penobscot. We are proud to own these churches in our community. Our churches and school show a very good example of cooperation in this locality.

Railroading is the principal pursuit at Mountain Top. The Lehigh Valley and the Central Railroad supplies work for almost all of the residents. The Central Railroad was built previous to 1865. At this early stage coal jimmies were transported by mules between White Haven and Mountain Top. The mules pulled empty cars from White Haven up to the top of the mountain and then the mules received a free gravity ride back to the starting point. In 1865 the Lehigh Valley Railroad was built and in 1866 the Ashley Planes were built. After the Lehigh Valley Railroad was built, a powder mill was opened. This mill brought many new families to Mountain Top.

In 1923 a firetower was built as a lookout for forest fires. Mr. May was the first forest fire inspector. Then Mr. J. Eichler and now Mr. H. Shafer is our inspector This gives our boys a lot of work in the spring and fall. The firetower is 65 feet high and a beautiful view of Wyoming Valley and vicinity can be enjoyed from its top. The elevation, where the tower stands is 2140 feet. Many visitors come for miles to this tower and they spend many hours viewing the scenery and asking many questions about the way the towerman and firemen work.

Mountain Top has many places of interest. One beautiful spot is Crystal Lake. This lake is a water reservoir for Wyoming Valley. It is about nine miles around and as a beauty spot is comparable to Harvey's Lake. The natural beauty of the lake isn't marred by human habitation. Penobscot Mountain is another interesting spot of Mountain Top. On a nice day seven counties can be seen from the knob of this great Mountain. It rises to a distance of 2140 feet above sea level where the fire tower is erected. It is possible that General Sullivan saw for the first time the scene of the Wyoming Massacre from this peak. The haystack, another unique spot, is a place where many hikers enjoy visiting. This is named after its great Shape of a huge stack of hay. This peak is two thousand feet high and gives you a fine view of Wilkes-Barre and the Susquehanna River on one side, and Glen Summit and Mountain Top on the other. Wapwallopen Valley is one of the beauty spots of Luzerne County. This valley is between Mountain Top and the hills to the south. Scientists believe this valley was scooped out many thousand years ago by glacial action. The Sullivan Trail passes over the mountains northeast of Mountain Top.

Another spot which is new to Mountain Top, is Fairview Heights, located at the Triangle. It is one of the most beautiful building locations at Mountain Top. Here one may enjoy fresh air, sunshine and all the beauties of nature. Good neighbors and fine friends are to be found at this rapidly growing settlement.

The first settler at Fairview Heights was Mr. B. M. Ayres. Mr. Ayres encouraged others to locate in this territory and today there are about thirty families living on the Heights.

Due to certain building restrictions, all houses are built very attractively. Most of the houses are painted white with red or blue trimmings. Beautiful lawns and gardens surround most of the homes. Good roads circle around the settlement and altogether it is a delightful modern settlement where one can enjoy the comfort of the country with easy access to the city because of the Wilkes-Barre Hazleton Highway, located at the foot of the settlement.

People from all around the country come to Mountain Top to see the great things nature gave us. Even on the hottest days of the rear one can always find a place that is cool and comfortable.

Submitted by Graham Van Slyke

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