Wednesday, September 3, 2014

To the top of Big Savage Mountain where Will's creek begins...Fairhope, PA

Fairhope, PA

We began this morning heading to the Meyersdale Public Library to meet up with Carolyn McKinney, author of the book "Hunting for Dead People." (Intriguing title, very helpful gal!) Carolyn, along with Cynthia Mason, the head genealogist, were very helpful in my search for information on my grandfather.

Carolyn had several books already sitting on a table for us to look through. Two of the books were written by local authors,Southampton Township, PA Volumes I and II by Roger and Mona Huffman, and contained over a hundred pages each of photos and images of Southampton Township people and places and the surrounding areas which included Fairhope.

To our great surprise, there were two photos of the original Post Office and General Store that George W. Ordner had built and stocked a general store with inventory on a $500 loan from his uncle, George E. Ways, in 1871. This is also the house where his son, Charles W. Ordner, was born in 1874.

Post Office and General Store in Fairhope, PA, George Ordner
built in 1871. The store and Post Office were on the first level,
the family lived above the store. George, Dena, baby Charlie
and George's mother, Isabella Ways.
(photo from Huffman's book, reprinted courtesy of
Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.)

The B&O train passing the Fairhope Post Office. The train was
close because it dropped off and picked up the mail from a hook
extending towards the tracks.
(photo from Huffman's book, reprinted courtesy of
Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.)
Photo taken September 3, 2014 on the site where the Post Office once stood.
The little white roof across the tracks is the current Post Office.
 We were very excited! Cynthia also found the original land maps of the counties from 1876 which had G. Ordner listed as the PO and Store in Fairhope and G. Ways listed down the tracks in Larimar. I knew that George and Dena lived with his Uncle George in 1870.

We visited the current Fairhope Post Office (I had to mail my dad a postcard to wish him Happy Birthday. Hope it was fun today, Dad!) The Post Master was there, Robert G Platt. He was very helpful and suggested we head to the town of Berlin on Saturday morning. He would be at the genealogical center where we should be able to find out all kinds of information on Fairhope. He also told us that we knew the very first postmaster and now the very LAST Postmaster of Fairhope. How sad to see it close this year! The list of all postmasters is online at the USPS web site.

Cancellation stamp from the Fairhope PO.
We also uncovered more information on George's war history. There is a researcher, Keith Petenbrink, who has been searching local Civil War soldier's history for the past ten years for the Meyersdale Public Library.
Good information...I will write more about it as we trace his war travels. Starting tomorrow we are heading to his first battle site...check back later!

Steaks are cooking on the fire and its time for me to put the salad together!

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