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 #24: McKean “Crossroads” Community Church – 11160 Oliver Road, McKean Formerly the McKean Baptist Church, this building is known to locals as the “Crossroads Church.” It began as a small gathering at nearby schoolhouses, led by a Black pastor, Elder Devan, during the Civil War. In 1866, land was donated for building a church. Archaeological and other evidence suggests its possible role as a station on the Underground Railroad.
The photograph is of a letter found in our Oren Reed collection, sent to Oren from his son who was in Pennsylvania at the homestead. The letter, in the bottom left corner, talks of Elder Devan.
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!