Excerpts from News Record August 13-14, 1977


The name Sharps Hill dates back to 1930 when the Sharps Hill Volunteer Fire Department was founded. It wasn’t long before the neighborhood adopted the name for its own. “Before that it was really nothing. People had a dozen names for it: Ferly’s Hill, Gobbler’s Knob and Polish Hill,” remembered 73-year-old Sharps Hill native John Farbacher, 535 Keystone St. Farbacher served as “temporary president” when the fire department was organized.


He explained the name “Sharp’s Hill was chosen because one of the landowners in the area at one time was the Sharp family, which included James Sharp, who founded Sharpsburg in 1826.


Today, however, the apostrophe in “Sharp’s” is usually omitted.


The neighborhood was in critical need of a fire department of its own back in 1930, Farbacher said.

“We had a couple of bad fires and people lost their homes and a couple of barns. The other fire departments wanted money (to fight fires) and we didn’t have any money. I decided then and there we had to build a fire station.”


When the volunteers were unable to borrow the money for a station, Farbacher mortgaged his home to pay for the structure, which firemen built on Farbacher’s land next to his home.


When the fireman moved to their new building on Berner Street in 1950, ownership of the old fire hall reverted to Farbacher. It now houses an auto repair garage run by his son, Robert.


Additional History from meeting notes and other documents


First Elections


On September 18th, 1930 at a meeting held in Bumbich's Hall membership report showed there were a total of 56 paid, 2 dropped and 13 not paid. Bingo totals were $518.15, dues and initiation fees were $47.15. General Elections of Officers were held. For the office of President William Ganster recieved 22 votes, John Farbacher 2 votes, and James Christy 5 votes. For  Vice-President   John Farbacher obtained 13 votes, James Christy 9 and John Brown received 7. Secretary voting was Albert Mattheis with 28, John Brown 1 vote and August Eichner 2 votes. The position of  Treasure was obtained by James Christy getting 17 votes, Andrew Lipski received 13 votes while Albert Mattheis got 3 votes.


Alex Harkiewicz was elected Fire Chief with 18 votes while John Brown obtained 10 and John Szymoniak received 6. Assistant Chief with 17 votes Paul Shafer while John Szymoniak received 13 and 1 vote was cast for John Rosinski.


It was also at this meeting that a motion made by John Lewis, 2nd by August Eichner and passed by the house to have a Turkey Raffle on Thanksgiving Day.


Department Charter


On May 5, 1933 the name Sharps Hill Volunteer Fire Department of Shaler Township was registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State and the Decree of Incorporation was the 18th of November 1936. Our inital mailing address was Shaler Township - RD #2, Box 467, Sharpsburg, County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Initial assets were $2500 in Real property and $314.00 in personal property.

The incorporators were John Lewis Sr., John Ganster, Albert Mattheis, James Christy, John Farbacher, James Ganster, Florence Bernesser, Walter Harkiewicz Jr., John Szymoniak, and John Mader.