Origin of Osborn-Bath and Fairborn High School
athletic teams becoming known as “The Flyers”
Athletic League Affiliations
by Craig Moore
As a life-long resident of Fairborn, a FHS alumnus and parents who were Osborn-Bath graduates. I’ve wondered for years how the school colors became blue and gold and the teams referred to as “Flyers”.
My research has taken me back to the origins of the schools in the area we know today as Bath Township, Greene County, Ohio.
Today’s “Fairborn” City School District was created in 1951 after Fairborn came into being January 1, 1950. Many know Fairfield was a village, as was Osborn, divided by the Interurban Traction tracks that ran down what is today’s Wright Ave. Before they were that close together, “Old Osborn” was a village located out along St. Rt. 235 near Johnson/Haddix Road. Part of Wright-Patterson, Skyborn Theater and Skateland was where this village was located. Old sidewalks can still be seen along Haddix Rd. in front of the old Skateland location.
Fairfield was located along either side of Broad St. from Xenia Dr. to Dayton Dr. Its name was the reason for the cemetery being called Fairfield Cemetery and the Mercer log home is one of the oldest remaining structures.
Fairfield had its own high school, as did Old Osborn and Bath Township. They were close communities with separate high schools, operating under the Greene County, Board of Education.
Old Osborn was moved in 1922/23 by the Osborn Removal Company. The Miami Conservancy District basically condemned the town with the building of Huffman Dam. This is an involved story that has been told many times in other accounts.
Osborn relocated into what is now downtown Fairborn. Dayton Dr. and the relocated railroad were on the east, Xenia Dr. on the north, and Interurban tracks on the west. This move land locked Fairfield as Fairfield Air Depot, Wright Air Field, Patterson Field, WPAFB, blocked it on the west.
In 1923, Bath Township H.S., located where a monument sits at Sport St. and the Xenia Dr. intersection, joined Fairfield H.S. (firehouse on Broad St.) and Osborn H.S. (which was brick and couldn’t be moved from Old Osborn) to form Bath Township Consolidated Rural School District.
This new school district built the Bath Township Consolidated School (later Central Ele, Jr. Hi) opening in the 1924/25 school year. By 1928 it became Bath Exempted Village School District. The high school grades became known as Osborn-Bath. Letters given to students for various organizations and athletics was the letter “B”. The letters were blue with gold piping and lettered insignias. These can be seen today in the gym entrance portion of the Senior Apartments located on N. Central Ave.
In all newspapers accounts. Osborn-Bath athletic teams were referred to as Osborn or Bath, but no mention of team name or school colors. Teams they played had references as Cadets, Buccaneers and sometimes mentioned colors.
The Tri-County Herald and Xenia Gazette newspapers never associated any team name or colors in athletic or school event articles for Osborn-Bath. Girls and boys basketball teams won county championships in the 1920’s but no team name or colors mentioned. Becoming an exempted village district in 1928 eliminated Osborn-Bath from the county basketball championship. Athletic teams started to compete in the Class B classification.
1925 Osborn-Bath Annual
The students of Osborn-Bath decided to publish an annual for the first year of the new consolidated school. The name chosen was “The Echo” and page 81 covered Fall baseball.
“September 8, 1924, found the students of Bath Township entering their new school building for the first time. The outlook for athletics being very bright. Two games of baseball were first scheduled under the guidance of Supt. H.E. Zuber. Both games were played with Enon High School, the first being September 26 at Enon. The final count ended, 20 to 3 in favor of the Blue and Gold, thus starting off with a win.”
This is the first instance that I’ve found using the colors Blue and Gold. Still undetermined how the colors were chosen. There are pictures of the basketball team of 1919 Old Osborn H.S. with dark jersey and lighter color lettering of a script “Bath”.
“Osborn Bath Flyers Play Bellbrook”
“Friday night at 7:30 Osborn-Bath’s newly named Flyers will take off against a fairly strong Bellbrook five”. So the 1934/35 school year is when Osborn-Bath became the Flyers. Not in the fall for football but starting with the basketball season.
It was nice to find this headline, but it still didn’t explain how the term “Flyers” came about. Carefully scanning the remaining pages of this Tri-County Herald edtion. I found the following small article on the last page (pg.4, column 7).
Name School Team
“On December 4 the last six grades of the local school voted for a name for the basketball team. The choice of names were “Knights of Bath”, “Flyers” and “Bluejackets”. The results were decided in favor of the Flyers as the votes cast for it numbered 333, Knights of Bath, 9 and Bluejackets, 2”.
In summation. For 17 years Osborn-Bath were the Flyers. The next 21 years Fairborn High School were the Flyers. The next 11 years Fairborn Baker High School were the Flyers. So the name Flyers represented athletic teams in the consolidated district for 49 years. Blue and Gold were the colors for 60 years, starting in the fall of 1924.
Consolidated District Athletic League Affiliation
In the January 14, 1935 Xenia Gazette, page 5, sports writer Phillip Frame made the following announcement. “Ohio Solider and Sailors Orphange, O.S.S.O Home(Xenia Woodrow Wilson) and Osborn-Bath two exempted Class B schools were asked to join the Little Four and become the Little Six League”. The Little Four were Lebanon, Franklin, Northridge, West Carrollton. Osborn-Bath/Fairborn would be a member of this athletic league for 17 years (1936-1953). Fairborn joined the Miami Valley League from 1953 to 1964. Joining newly created Western Ohio League as a charter member in 1964-1975 and again 1983-2001.
The 1972 school year began the two high school era in Fairborn with Baker; named for long time superintendent H.K. Baker and Park Hills High Schools.
Fairborn Park Hills High School was known as the Vikings and had the colors of brown and gold. The school name was created by the school board from either a housing sub-division (Mapleridge and Maplegrove Dr were platted as Park Hills sub-division) or from the shopping area across from Five Points Ele/Jr. Hi called Park Hills Shopping Center. A Five Points Jr. High student committee chose the teams name and school colors. Park Hills would be an independent until joining the Mad River Valley League 1973/1974. Independent again 1974-1975.
Both schools helped to form a new athletic league called the Miami Central Conference 1975-1982.
Fairborn High School was reconstituted in 1982/83 school year as the Skyhawks with colors of brown, blue and gold. The colors eventually evolved to columbia blue, Navy blue and white. The Skyhawks competed as an independent for the first year and joined the Western Ohio League 1983-2001. Joined the Mid-Miami League 2001-2006. Joined Greater Western Ohio Conference, South Division 2006-2019. Joined a reconstituted Miami Valley League 2019-2020.
Fairfield H.S. on Broad St. Later became Fairfield City Hall and Fire Dept. (Allan Routt Collection shared by Jeff Routt) At one time Bath Township H.S. was in this building as well.
BathTownship H.S. Sports St. at E. Xenia Dr. Xenia Drive would be to the right. Yellow-Springs Fairfield Rd on the left. Sports St. today. When Sports street was re-routed it would be behind this building today. The monument is in the correct location. (Allan Routt Collection shared by Jeff Routt)
Old Osborn High School (Allan Routt Collection shared by Jeff Routt) not moveable to New Osborn.
Letters of Osborn-Bath H.S.1925-1949. Currently at the Central Senior apartments now in the building near the trophy case in Gym entrance.
Bath Township Consolidated School ca. 1924. Interurban tracks are the electrical poles behind the building. (Allan Routt Collection shared by Jeff Routt) School was completed in 1924. Homes in distance would be Broad St. today. Gym section and some twenty classrooms were added along Hebble Creek in 1930's. The annex was 1940's.
Because I (Denise) am a visual person, I need to see how these two towns were before the move. This map is sideways and I wanted to turn it but I can't seem to do that and I have no idea why. The town of Osborn literally tippy toes into Clark County, perhaps a part of a couple of properties. As Craig notes, Osborn set on the properties we knew as the Skyborn Theater and Skateland and the farms east of Haddix Road. (Note where the Mad River runs)
As you can see in this picture, Osborn was up in northernmost part of Greene County, near the Mad River. The red line marks where it was moved to, next to Fairfield. My home on Pleasant St. was moved from Osborn. The railroad tracks are no longer there but they were important back in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Tri-County Herald; December 7, 1934
Enlarged front page Tri-County Herald December 7, 1934
Osborn-Bath Echo pg. 81. First athletic team referred to as Blue and Gold.Osborn-Bath Echo pg. 81.
Osborn-Bath Annual 1925