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African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage #15

KayAnn Warner

Sunday Feb 13th, 2022

For the month of February, the Hagen History Center will be recognizing African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage (The Trail).

Trail #15: John S. Hicks Home and Ice Cream Factory – 1218 State Street, Erie  John S. Hicks made this three-story building to his home and business in the mid- 1800s, using the basement as his “factory” for producing large quantities of ice cream. Hicks pioneered the use of steam power to freeze his ice cream, allowing him to produce more ice cream than most confectioners. Hicks also made popular sweet treats like “water ices, Roman punches, and Charlotte Russe.”

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Ice Cream Ad
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John Hicks
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J.S. Hicks Ice Cream Ad

For the month of February, Hagen History Center will be recognizing African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage (The Trail).

The Trail is a community history project that dates back to 2013, that continues to inspire us about Erie’s Black History. Hagen History Center planned to present multiple images for each stop on the Trail, but then realized our collections lack visual materials for a few of the stops.

To help us rectify this, we are inviting readers to become Citizen Archivists.

A Citizen Archivist is a term coined in 2010 by the National Archives and describes a virtual volunteer who helps professional archivists by locating and uploading relevant information, tagging, and adding metadata to already established online archives.

Click the link for the Trail, and if you happen to have documents, photographs, maps, or other images associated with a trail number, send us a message on social media! We will be posting a few times a week, so stay tuned!