On this 103rd Commemoration of Veterans Day

Doug Squeglia

Friday Nov 11th, 2022

The day was November 19th, 1863 at the Consecration of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In part of his two-minute address, President Lincoln noted, “But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men and women1, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here”.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #101

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Nov 9th, 2022

I grew up in Erie County with farms surrounding my parents’ home. Since that time, I have lived on a spread-out college campus, the dense population of the New York City area, and the high plains desert of Colorado with a lot of nothing. Now I live in the City of Erie, and I am grateful for the many outdoor benefits of living here. I feel as though I am close to everything and enjoying the greenspaces in the city is no exception. In John Nolen’s consultation in 1913, he admonished the city for its lack of parks and playgrounds.

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The Story of Us-a New Exhibit at the Hagen History Center

Jeff Sherry, Museum Educator

Friday Nov 4th, 2022

A new, semi-permanent exhibit, opened in July, 2022, at the Hagen History Center.  Located on the second floor of the new exhibit building, The Story of Us tells the “whole” story of the settlement and great industrial growth of Erie and the county as a whole. No one museum exhibit can possibly tell the “whole” story of a county’s history but this one does a good job.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #100

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Nov 2nd, 2022

I cannot believe that this blog series has lasted so long! My first edition posted in April of 2020. If you have been a regular reader, you learned the contents of the “1888 Erie PA Illustrated, as well as a lot of other local historical information. It has been fun! To celebrate blog #100, I have decided to write about something different - - - me.


Take a look back at the history of Penn State Behrend

Jane Ingold/ Harborcreek Historical Society

Sunday Oct 30th, 2022

“My first class was a German class, and it was held upstairs in the grainery of what we called the barn on the Behrend estate. The grainery was big enough for the four or five students who were going to take German … In the downstairs of the barn, they were hauling out the horse manure to build classrooms down there.” 

This was the Behrend Center that greeted freshman Dennis Jacobson in September 1948. How did Harborcreek end up with a college bearing such a rustic setting?


Mourning Dresses

Amanda Rockwood

Wednesday Oct 26th, 2022

Today we will be looking into the meaning of the mourning dress. Although many know about the basic meaning of the dress, there is much more to it.


The Curse of the Black Hand: The 1911 Unsolved Murder of Giovanni Baptiste Arecchi

Justin Dombrowski

Friday Oct 21st, 2022

In the early 1900s fear had spread throughout Italian communities throughout America with the terror of the Black Hand. Using methods of extortion similar to members of the Camorra and the Mafia, the Black Hand Society utilized tactics involving threatening letters being sent to a victim, demanding something, usually monetary compensation in return. If the demands were not met, they were usually met with violence, even murder. The demands, written in scribbled Italian dialogue, were full of spelling errors and included crude symbols such as guns, skulls, or perhaps a blood-covered knife - complete with the almost childish caricature of the blackened silhouette of a black hand.



Amanda Rockwood

Wednesday Oct 19th, 2022

Today I decided to talk about some items in the collection that may not stand out to everyone. Within our collection under “Women’s Accessories” we have three beautiful lavaliers. The definition of a lavalier is simply, “a pendant on a chain worn like a necklace.” When hearing this most people may think it is just a necklace. In fact, lavaliers have a deeper history and meaning.


Rendering and The Story of Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne-Maybe Not so “Eerie” after all.

Jeff Sherry, Museum Educator

Friday Oct 14th, 2022

As Halloween draws near, we are reminded of the legend of General “Mad Anthony” Wayne’s bizarre story of his death, likely from gout, on December 15, 1796, at the American fort at the site of the modern Wayne Blockhouse.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #99

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Oct 12th, 2022

John Nolen writes quite a bit about the public and private buildings in Erie, and very little of it is complimentary.  That is unfortunate, but really, I understand.  Strangely, one of my greatest pleasures before COVID was paying my property tax in person.  Lauren, who worked in the city tax office was always a good sport when I came in.  (I’m sorry Lauren ☹)  I would have my check in hand, wear black, and loudly comment on here I was in the “architectural gem” City Hall paying my money.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in paying for fire and police protection and schools.  It was just my comment that I was entering such an ugly building to do so.