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West Mayfield


The Borough of West Mayfield once consisted of some scattered farms and homes. The area in which the Borough now lies was, at the founding of Beaver County, part of South Beaver Township. It came within Chippewa Township's bounds upon the establishment of that township in 1816.

Early farmers in the area were the Edwards, Harbison, Ridings, Waggoner, and Schutte families. The district's schoolhouse was built about 1880 on land donated by the Edwards family. It adequately served the needs of that time and place, but later the people would need more and better schools. Early industries included a scale works and a key works, and coal was mined in Harbison Hollow.

In 1887, the land passed into the newly-formed White Township. Around this time, the site known as West Mayfield was little more than a station on the Pennsylvania Railroad; this station itself was a shed just south of the present 37th Street Bridge, which spans the cut made by the railroad through the Edwards and Harbison farmers. Little traveled in winter, 37th Street was then only a dirt road. Geneva College students utilized the hill for bobsled parties. Their homemade sleds, holding eight to ten people, were sources of pride to the owners.

Large scale industrial development began with the move of Babcock and Wilcox Company, Tubular Products Division, into present West Mayfield in 1899. Originally a partnership between George Babcock and Stephen Wilcox which manufactured steam boilers, Babcock and Wilcox presently produces specialty steel tubing and fittings used in oil and gas wells and lines, electrical generation systems and other forms of energy production. Other manufacturers followed Babcock and Wilcox into the area, among them Standard Steel Specialty Company and Mayfield Foundry.

With this industrialization came the erection of the Borough of West Mayfield, final approval coming on December 7, 1923. One of the factors prompting the incorporation was the desire of the citizens for an improved school system. West Mayfield is now part of the Blackhawk School District.