What's New

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Name our beer!

Saturday Feb 4th, 2023

It's time to name our beer! We'll soon be serving historic Koehler lager on our campus for specific events, thanks to an arrangement with Koehler Brewing Company. But we need your help to name that beer. Send your suggestions to Pam Parker pparker@eriehistory.org. Hurry! We hope to hop on a new name in two weeks! So put on your clever and scroll through these photos from our archives for some inspiration. We'll take care of the artwork.

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Fireside Chats January 18th with Betsy MacKrell

Tuesday Dec 27th, 2022

You've probably walked in the Erie cemetery, and been stumped to explain those "tree" headstones. What about pyramids, obelisks, urns and drapery? What meanings do the various choices hold, and what might have led people to choose one style over another?

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Canalside Readers Book Club

Tuesday Dec 20th, 2022

Do you love history as much as we do?

Join Kyle Churman (owner of Werner Books), B. J. Lechner and Mark Squeglia for some reading and discussion of history-themed books every month and taking a few field trips too!

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Book your Holiday Party in the President's Room

Sunday Dec 11th, 2022

We still have dates available for your holiday company or family party for up to 40 guests.

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New exhibits in Watson-Curtze Mansion now open

Wednesday Dec 7th, 2022

Explore our Jewish Heritage Exhibit and our Hunting and Fishing Exhibit now open in the Watson-Curtze Mansion.

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Happy Birthday to Harrison F. Watson

Monday Dec 5th, 2022

Born in 1853, he and his wife Carrie and their daughter Winifred owned the mansion at 365 W. 6th St. They built it on land they purchased from the Morrison family to the east (the current Wood-Morrison House on the Hagen History Center campus). The house cost the Watsons $50,000 to build, roughly $10 million today.

The Watsons previously lived on East 16th St., across from the Erie roofing paper factory that he owned. Their oldest daughter Gertrude died there at age 8 in 1887 of scarlet fever.

In the mansion, Harrison's den is a unique blend of architecture. The narrow drawers in the room were designed to hold butterflies, insects and rocks he collected as a hobby that he had throughout his life. The unique small doorway inside the room is a closet -- although many visitors like to believe it is a secret passage.

He died Nov. 10, 1904 at age 50. He had been unwell the last five years of his life and had installed an elevator in the mansion to help him get to the four floors of the house.

He is buried in Erie Cemetery.


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Enjoy the beautifully decorated Watson-Curtze Mansion

Monday Nov 21st, 2022

through January 8, 2023

Museum hours:

Tuesday-Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday noon - 5 pm

Hagen History Center will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day.

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Membership Special

Monday Nov 14th, 2022

Give the gift of exploration and learning this year!

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You're invited to Victorian Halloween on Sunday October 9th

Sunday Sep 25th, 2022

You're invited to ????VICTORIAN HALLOWEEN???? on Sunday, October 9th from noon-5PM!
Share in spirited realities of Victorian life and death amid the candlelit rooms on the Hagen History Center campus.

FREE ADMISSION thanks to our sponsors The Erie Community Foundation and Erie Insurance.



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Last two weeks to see the Historic Flag that draped President Abraham Lincoln's casket

Saturday Sep 24th, 2022

ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT TO SEE this historic flag that draped President Abraham Lincoln's casket in April of 1865. You can see this piece of American History in a glass case on the second floor of the Watson-Curtze Mansion until October 11, 2022. It will be removed from public view to meet curatorial guidelines regarding preservation of textiles. The flag will remain in our collection.

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A Night at the Museum Photo Album

Tuesday Sep 20th, 2022

If you attended our gala on Friday night, you'll want to click through these 277 photos! You can download digital images free, and your download will not have the watermark on it.

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Are you ready for more Murder and Mayhem in Erie?

Saturday Sep 17th, 2022

Did you enjoy the Murder and Mayhem in Erie Pennsylvania book by local author Justin Dombrowski? Then get ready for a walking tour of Downtown Erie that consists of 7 locations where he'll discuss seven more tales of murder and mayhem in Erie, taking you to the locations of some of the most infamous and fascinating tales associated with Erie's history.

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A tribute exhibit to the Curtze family is now open

Saturday Sep 17th, 2022

Visit the second floor of the Watson-Curtze Mansion to see the restored bedroom and bathroom filled with a tribute to the Curtze Family. The exhibit features furniture, paintings and many Curtze family possessions.

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Record set for Battle of the Barristers!

Friday Jul 29th, 2022

Thanks to the generosity of all involved, a total of $6,739 was raised for Hagen History Center and that’s a record!

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The Story of Us Exhibit Now Open

Wednesday Jul 20th, 2022

The Story of Us exhibit now open

Hundreds of historic images and dozens of family stories fill 3,000 square feet on the second floor of our new exhibit building. Our newest major exhibit, called The Story of Us, traces the history of Erie County in a series of displays that include stories of people who created and built our community. This is easily our biggest undertaking in years.



Hagen History Center hosts a Meet the Author event with Justin Dombrowski, "Murder & Mayhem in Erie, Pennsylvania"

Sunday Jun 19th, 2022

We're excited to host Justin Dombrowski, author of the new local book "Murder & Mayhem in Erie, Pennsylvania" for a brief speaking engagement and book signing on Sunday June 26th at 2PM in the Watson-Curtze Mansion.


Hagen History Center announces new executive director

Thursday Jun 2nd, 2022

The Erie County Historical Society – Hagen History Center board of directors announced that Caleb M. Pifer has been selected as the new executive director with a start date of June 13, 2022.

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Hagen History Center presents the Unseen Erie Bus Tour

Friday May 20th, 2022

How many times have you driven past Old Main on Gannon's University and wondered how the building looked inside? The Unseen Erie Bus Tour from the Hagen History Center aims to shine a light on familiar locations around the city by celebrating their history and showcasing the beauty of these structures. The tour will stop at 7 locations: The Masonic Temple, the HBKS Wealth Advisors Building, the former Strong Mansion on Gannon’s campus, the Boston Store, St. Joseph's apartments, and a former speakeasy. Lunch will be provided and served at the Hagen History Center Erie campus. Sponsored by FirstStudent Transportation and our tour stop locations. Are you ready to see the unseen? 


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Annual Award Nominations Now Open

Sunday May 8th, 2022

Each year, Erie County Historical Society-Hagen History Center recognizes individuals who, through their own efforts, have contributed to the advancement of Erie History. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to nominate individuals they believe deserve special recognition.

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Battles Bank President Charlotte Elizabeth Battles exhibit now open

Thursday Apr 21st, 2022

Open now in the Watson-Curtze Mansion, we have a room dedicated to Battles Bank President Charlotte Elizabeth Battles. She was a banker, businesswoman, artist and much more. On exhibit you will see some of her personal artwork, furniture, photographs and family history.


Bobbi Hovis, Navy flight nurse during the Korean War, exhibit now Open

Tuesday Apr 5th, 2022

Hagen History Center is honored to celebrate the military service of Bobbi Hovis.  Her flight jacket is currently on exhibit as well as medals earned from her Korean and Vietnam War involvement as a Navy flight nurse. Born in 1925, Bobbi grew up in Edinboro, Erie County, Pennsylvania.

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Colonel Ross Anthony “Tony” Snow, M.D. shares his Story and Uniform

Monday Mar 28th, 2022

Congratulations and thank you to Colonel Ross Anthony “Tony” Snow, M. D. , for sharing your story, uniform and 22 years of military service with us. His uniform is currently on exhibit in the Wood-Morrison House on our campus. Tony Snow, M. D.


March is Maple Syrup Month

Monday Feb 28th, 2022

For centuries the sap running from the maple trees has signaled spring in this part of the world – and only in this part of the world! Erie County is right in the middle of North America’s maple syrup region.

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First to Eleven shoots Holiday Music Video in Watson-Curtze Mansion

Thursday Dec 16th, 2021

First to Eleven shoots Holiday Music Video in Watson-Curtze Mansion for the second year in a row!

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Executive Director of Erie County Historical Society to Retire

Friday Oct 29th, 2021

The executive director of the Erie County Historical Society-Hagen History Center will retire at the end of the year.

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Announcing the 54th Annual United Arts Fund

Thursday Sep 9th, 2021

Established in 1967, the United Arts Fund, which is managed by Erie Arts & Culture, supports the arts and humanities in Erie’s urban core by providing unrestricted funding to the Erie County Historical Society- Hagen History Center, the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Playhouse, the expERIEnce Children’s Museum, and the Flagship Niagara League. The annual United Arts Fund also supports Erie Arts & Culture's Ignite Arts grant program. 

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The Joe Natalie Show visits Hagen History Center

Saturday Aug 14th, 2021

On Friday, August 13, The Joe Natalie Show visited Hagen History Center to take a tour of the new and remodeled facilities, including the Watson-Curtze Mansion, Wood-Morrison House, and brand new Exhibit Building.  

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Hagen History Center raises $28,251 during Erie Gives 2021!

Wednesday Aug 11th, 2021

Thank you for your donation during Erie Gives!

With your generosity, The Hagen History Center raised $28,251 with 115 donors!


A fun weekend in Girard celebrating Dan Rice Days!

Jeff Sherry

Monday Aug 9th, 2021

Every year during the first weekend in August, the Borough of Girard, Pennsylvania, holds Day Rice Days, a summer celebration that features a chicken barbeque at the volunteer fire company, music, a Saturday morning parade and, of course, a wide variety of food vendors. Each year, the Hagen History Center opens the two houses belonging to the Battles family estate.

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History Detectives Summer Camp under way!

Pam Parker

Wednesday Jul 28th, 2021

Kids are back on Hagen History Center Campus and inspired by history!  More than 20 middle-school students are enjoying our History Detectives Summer Camp this week. 


Successful ReOpening Weekend

Pam Parker

Wednesday Jul 21st, 2021

Thanks to everyone who came down to visit us on our recent grand reopening weekend. More than 2,000 people were inspired by exhibits, history and festivities that brought new life to the corner of West Sixth Street and Chestnut Street.  

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2021 Annual Meeting and Awards

Pam Parker

Thursday Jul 15th, 2021

The Hagen History Center had a beautiful night for its 2021 Annual Meeting and Local Historical Awards presentation on Wednesday. More than 60 Hagen History Center members were in attendance! 

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Andy's Awesome Adventures travels to Hagen History Center

Wednesday Jun 30th, 2021

Andy Teach otherwise known on Youtube as "Andy's Awesome Adventures" has traveled to 50 countries on all 7 continents but doesn't consider himself a professional travel vlogger. Andy is "just a guy on vacation who tries to help you figure out where to travel and how to travel, as well as giving you some history about your destination."


Sign up now for our History Detectives Summer Camp!

Tuesday Jun 29th, 2021

Hagen History invites students in grades six through eight to join us for our History Detectives Summer Camp!


Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet Arrives at Hagen History Center

Monday Jun 28th, 2021

On Friday, June 25th, Frank Lloyd Wright's 1931 Cord L-29 arrived at Hagen History Center's New Exhibit Building. 

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Original Battles Bank Sign Returns to Historic Location

Friday Jun 25th, 2021

On Thursday, June 24th at Girard’s Summer Solstice Party, Executive Director, George Deutsch, presented the original sign from the Battles Bank to the new property owners, Jon and Gina Welsh. 

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Battles Museum of Rural Life Organizational Survey

Thursday Jun 17th, 2021

Hagen History Center along with Girard Borough are exploring how we can better serve the Girard area effectively in the long term.  Your answers to the survey below will provide essential input to inform these efforts in the history of Girard. We are also exploring ways we can collaborate and partner with the community more.
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Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic San Francisco office comes to Erie, Pennsylvania

Tuesday Jun 8th, 2021

Frank Lloyd Wright’s original San Francisco office has been rebuilt in Erie, Pennsylvania. It will be available for visitors to
walk through for the first time on July 17 when the Erie County Historical Society-Hagen History Center reopens.

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Commemorative Book Launch

Monday May 24th, 2021

The Commemorative Book Launch for the book, Answering the Call, Erie County, Pennsylvania, in World War One, will take place on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at Hagen History Center, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

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Theresa Gamble is Director of Library and Archives at Hagen History Center

Sunday May 23rd, 2021

Theresa Gamble has joined the Hagen History Center in Erie as Director of Library and Archives.

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Girl Scouts visit Watson-Curtze Mansion

Monday May 10th, 2021

Curator Becky Weiser took Girl Scout Troop 17009 through the mansion where six Scouts had the experience of being curators for a few hours, in addition to learning about strong women. The girls earned their Women in History patches.