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African Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage #16

KayAnn Warner

Tuesday Feb 15th, 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 #16: Hotel Pope – 1318 French Street, Erie For 50 years, the Pope Hotel was the local hot spot for African American musical culture. William and Jessie Pope opened the hotal in 1928 and Jessie ran the business after her husband passed. The Popes’ regular entertainment featured a band, a chorus line, a live emcee and nationally celebrated performers such as Lionel Hampton, Louie Jordan, Jackie Wilson, Lena Horne, Dina Washington. Tragically, the building was demolished in 1978.

View Heritage trail

Pope Hotel
Pope Hotel
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Bill Pope
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Ernest Wright Sr. Obituary
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Hannah Wright Obituary

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!