John S. Hicks-Erie Confectioner and Ice Cream Manufacturer

Jeff Sherry, Museum Educator

Friday Feb 24th, 2023

John S. Hicks, son of a former slave, was born in Virginia on February 14, 1845. He began in the ice cream business in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1864. He moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1878 and soon built his business in a large, modern building at 1216 State Street. He housed his ice cream “factory” in the basement, an ice cream parlor on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor, which he shared with his wife Frances and daughter Ida. The sidewalk in front of his establishment was concrete, the first of its kind on State Street.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #111

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Feb 22nd, 2023

I LOVE to walk! It is such great exercise and the lack of any lasting snow this winter has made it easy to get out and breath some fresh air. I can clear my mind and notice things that I never observe with a quick drive. Erie is so walkable too! The topography of the city is mainly flat and there are sidewalks almost everywhere. Something wonderful happened on my last big walk-through town that I just have to tell you about.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #110

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Feb 15th, 2023

Today, we are going to focus on one small section of the map of Erie for this blog. It is circled below in yellow on the lower, right side.


Two African Americans Made the Ultimate Sacrifice in WW II

Jeff Sherry, Museum Educator

Friday Feb 10th, 2023

This blog is in recognition of Black History Month and the service of our region’s veterans.

About 407,000 American service personnel gave their lives in World War II. Of the 727 from Erie County, only two were African Americans: James Walker Carter and William J. Butler. A new Black Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post was opened in their honor after the war named the Carter-Butler Post.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #109

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Feb 8th, 2023

Welcome back as we continue to try to answer the question why Erie did not grow as large as the nearby cities of Buffalo and Cleveland that I proposed many blogs ago.


Cookery Through Time #3

Elizabeth Sul-Celline - HHC Docent

Friday Feb 3rd, 2023

I found this recipe in The New Cyclopaedia of Domestic Economy, and Practical Housekeeper: Adapted to All Classes of Society and Comprising Subjects Connected with the Interests of Every Family, and Five Thousand Practical Receipts and Maxims. From the Best English, French, German, and American Sources. United States, H. Bill, 1872.

I am beginning to realize these Victorian era books have VERY long and extravagant titles.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents # 108

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Feb 1st, 2023

I began blogging about John Nolen’s book “Greater Erie Plans and Reports for the Extension and Improvement of the City” written in 1913 with blog #95 and have since commented on the whole book. The question that I posed then was “why didn’t Erie grow as large as Buffalo or Cleveland”?  I hoped that the book would provide an answer. It really did not because so many of the recommendations that Nolen made were followed.


The USS Erie in WW II

Jeff Sherry, Museum Educator

Friday Jan 27th, 2023

The USS Erie, (PG-50) classified as a gunboat rather than a cruiser, (most US Navy ships named for cities were cruisers) launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1936. The ship was christened by Mrs. Ida Knoll of Erie, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Knoll was the mother of future Rear Admiral, Denys Knoll, United States Navy. The new ship was had a displacement of 2,000 tons, 328 feet in length, 41’3” wide and carried a compliment of 234 sailors and marines. She was armed with four 6” guns, two quad machine guns and two 3-ponders. The ship also carried a floatplane used for reconnaissance.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #107

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Jan 25th, 2023

A few blogs ago I wrote about the variety and number of businesses that were located in downtown Erie. I pulled the 1913 Erie City Directory for some of that information and was impressed by all the dressmakers I found in the book. Today, we think nothing about going to a store and picking up what we want “off the rack.” Well, that is not always the case for those of us with harder to find sizes (I am taller than the average) so we shop the internet or get something altered. Who were these dressmakers?


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #106

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Jan 18th, 2023

Just when I thought I knew about every notable person from Erie, I was wrong. In reading John Nolen’s 1913 recommendations to Erie, I found the following sentence: “Horace Greeley, Dan Rice and Denman Thompson, names familiar to American people, figure prominently in the history of Erie County.” Denman who??