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Cranberry seeks respect from Internet sites, phone company

| Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, 6:59 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Peggy and Ray Wetzel pose for a portrait in their Fernway neighborhood in Cranberry Township on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Peggy and Ray Wetzel pose for a portrait in their Fernway neighborhood in Cranberry Township on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.

Cranberry officials say the township just isn't getting any respect.

Facebook posts made in Cranberry on a smartphone tag the location as “near Fernway.”

Some of Verizon's cell phone exchanges for Cranberry are listed as “Crider's Corners.”

Type Cranberry Township into Mapquest, it will send you to a similarly named community in Venango County. Clicking on the alternate selection takes you to Fernway and Crider's Corners in Butler County.

“We want people to understand they're in Cranberry,” said Ron Henshaw, Cranberry's director of community development. “We've gone to Google and whomever to try to correct that, but so far, Google has been reluctant to change that.”

A Google spokeswoman said the company is researching the issue.

Representatives from Facebook did not return phone and e-mail messages.

Verizon spokeswoman Laura Merritt said that whatever name's assigned to a cell tower a phone latches onto to make or receive a call is the name displayed in billing details.

“We have a cell tower we refer to as “Crider's Corners” in the Cranberry Township area,” she said.

Fernway, according to the township's historical society, was the first housing development in the township, dating back to the late 1950s. Located in the southwestern portion of the township, homes there are built on concrete slabs on streets that include Robinhood Drive and Chadborne Court.

Fernway resident Ray Wetzel, who has lived on Sandalwood Drive since 1959, said he believes people used Fernway as a landmark because Cranberry was under the radar back then.

“I just think that it's the idea that nobody knew where Cranberry was,” Wetzel, 84, said, adding that most of the township was farmland.

For years, Cranberry had a Zelienople mailing address until it got its own postal designation and ZIP code in 1994.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fernway is a “Census designated place,” meaning it has a concentrated population in a particular area, but is not an incorporated municipality.

According to the latest Census figures, Fernway had a population of 12,414 people living in 4,737 homes. Henshaw disagreed with those numbers, pointing out that Fernway is a small part of the township, which has a population of nearly 29,000 residents.

He estimates the number of residences in Fernway at 200 to 300.

Crider's Corners is described by Cranberry's historical society as the township's business district and main intersection, located at Dutilh Road (old Perry Highway) and old Mars/Freedom Road next to present-day Route 228.

“I just think that some of the local designations have hung on for different reasons,” Henshaw said. “Even back to 20 years ago, so many people would say the housing development they lived in, instead of saying Cranberry Township.

“We're creating a stronger knit community, with more interconnection, more involvement and people are saying they're from Cranberry Township instead of the housing development.”

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or

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