Kraus Department Store

Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #66

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Sep 8th, 2021

The title of this blog is a perfect description for this Erie store because it has brought much happiness to generations of Erie residents.  It has been in business for 135 years and still serves the community with a smile.  Its tag line is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”.  Can you guess which store I am writing about?

William Morrison

Captain William L. Morrison

Jeff Sherry

Friday Sep 3rd, 2021

William Leverett Morrison was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on June 15, 1869. The son of Leverett and Missouri Bliss Morrison, young Morrison would choose a naval career and become one of Erie’s most influential and experienced citizens.


Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #65

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Sep 1st, 2021

Sometimes when we really take a close look at an object, just to be with it in the present without our minds wandering, we see things differently.  I have had that very opportunity lately.

Taylor home

Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #64

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Aug 25th, 2021

Many of you have commented to us here at the History Center about the wonderful work being done on so many of the old homes surrounding our campus.  Led by Mr. Tom Hagen, these old mansions are being beautifully restored and given new life as either apartments or businesses.  The Erie community is thrilled and so are we who work on this wonderful street. 

hotal iron

National Waffle Day

Becky Weiser

Tuesday Aug 24th, 2021

We are celebrating National Waffle Day here at the Hagen History Center with one of our favorite collections – Griswold!  Thanks to the generosity of donor Alan Stone, we have 221 different waffle irons, and several can be seen on exhibit in the Watson-Curtze mansion kitchen. 

WJET Erie City  Dir 1962 p82

National Radio Day

KayAnn Warner

Friday Aug 20th, 2021

Who hasn’t talked about the radio? Modern music still refers to the radio in songs, R.E.M. wrote about it in Radio Free Europe in the grungy 1990s, and Queen wrote the smashin’ hit Radio Ga Ga in 1984.

Sewing Machine 1842

The Sewing Machine and Synthetic Dyes

Elena Kubat – Waynesburg University

Wednesday Aug 18th, 2021

Our clothes today come in so many different styles and colors which was unimaginable to people back in the 1800s when clothes were sewn by hand and dyes had to come from natural sources. So, how did we get to the point where we could buy colorful clothing cheaply off the rack?

Hanover Marker

Pennsylvania Historic Markers-A Roadside Attraction Since …1913

Jeff Sherry

Friday Aug 13th, 2021

As you drive across the highways and byways of Pennsylvania, it won’t be long before you see the familiar blue and gold (Pennsylvania’s state colors) historic markers commemorating a person, place, innovator or event of note in that area. Over 2,300 of these cast aluminum  markers dot the landscape of the commonwealth.


The Changing Silhouette of Victorian Women’s Fashions – The History of the Corset

Lydia Lane – John Carroll University Intern

Wednesday Aug 11th, 2021

The earliest recorded instance of corsets in history is from the Minoan people. The Minoans were a group of people who lived in proximity of Greece on the island of Crete around 1,000 BC. The earliest image of a corset comes from a figurine of the Minoan snake goddess where she is depicted wearing a corset-like garment. The Minoans and other Grecian people desired the image of a small waist, so corset-like pieces were worn to achieve this effect.


Dan Rice and Dan Rice Days in Girard, PA

Jeff Sherry

Friday Aug 6th, 2021

Each August, the Borough of Girard, Pennsylvania, in western Erie County, celebrates Dan Rice Days, a community tradition named after circus owner, entrepreneur and clown. Who was Dan Rice?