Hagen History Center will be closed Friday, September 17th to Sunday, September 19th. We will reopen on Tuesday, September 21st at 10 am. 



“You May Fire When Ready, Gridley” Charles Vernon Gridley

Friday Jun 11th, 2021

The history of the United States Navy is sprinkled with famous phrases and memorable statements. “Don’t Give Up the Ship” by Captain James Lawrence and made into a flag by Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812. Another famous naval phrase which remains in use today is “You may fire when ready, Gridley.” Who was Gridley? 


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #61

Wednesday Jun 9th, 2021

Do you have a secret?  I guess we all do to some extent, but in a way, to many of us it almost seems juvenile to keep secrets from others, especially joining a secret club or having secret handshakes.  So, I was a little surprised when the 1888 book that this blog is based on devoted a fair amount of ink to “Secret Societies”.


Arthur the Aardvark: An Honorary Erieite

Monday Jun 7th, 2021

Arthur the bespectacled aardvark is a familiar and beloved cartoon character to generations of children across the United States. Arthur’s books and television show are known for their heartwarming and relevant lessons which is what has made Arthur such an endearing as well as enduring character for children and adults alike over the years. However, what very few know about Arthur is that the creator of Arthur, Marc Brown, crafted Arthur and his world off of his own childhood experiences in Erie, Pennsylvania.


Upstairs, Downstairs: The Servants at the Watson-Curtze Mansion

Friday Jun 4th, 2021

The Watsons and the Curtzes, like most well-to-do families, employed live-in and part-time servants, such as maids, cooks, gardeners and coachmen. According to census records and City Directories, the Watsons employed 3 – 5 servants at a given time.  The Curtzes employed fewer and by 1940 only two chauffeurs, Luther Hans and Hans Luthi who are likely the same person. 


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #60

Wednesday Jun 2nd, 2021

In the mid-1800s, large groups of Jewish people emigrated from Germany to the United States.  Denied of owning land in Europe and overall treated differently, they came here with the hopes of a better life. Many assimilated to this country by Americanizing their names, did not work on Sundays and broke kosher laws to fit in.


PROBLEM CHILD: Stephen Decatur Dobbins

Friday May 28th, 2021

Most readers are familiar if not very knowledgeable of the achievements of Captain Daniel Dobbins and his cooperation with Oliver Hazard Perry in building the fleet that would defeat the British on Lake Erie. What many are not aware of is the problem child of Daniel and his wife Mary. 


Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #59

Wednesday May 26th, 2021

Located 27 miles Southeast of Erie, the borough of Union City was founded in 1796 by William Miles as Miles’ Mills. 


Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #58

Wednesday May 19th, 2021

The Erie man pictured below did many things, can you guess who he is?


Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #57

Wednesday May 12th, 2021

Prior to the early European explorers, tobacco use was mainly for tribal rituals in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.  Boatloads of tobacco travelled from the New World to the Old and the habit of smoking cigars and pipes became extremely popular.  The word “cigar” comes from the Mayan word “sikar” which means to “smoke tobacco leaves”.  The first cigar factory in the world was built in Cuba, which eventually became the world’s most famous producer.


Early Professional Baseball in Erie, Pennsylvania: Part 9

Monday May 10th, 2021

Relegated to Interstate League, "Invaded" by Canadian League, 1913-1916