Watson-Curtze Mansion is closed to the public for the month of February for minor renovations - discounted museum admission $8



A Gift for Tad Lincoln

Jeff Sherry

Friday Jul 1st, 2022

In 1865, the men of Company “K” of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, who had been the official Army Presidential guards since their regiment arrived in Washington in 1862, gave President Lincoln’s son Tad (Thomas) a unique gift. A photo album with ninety-seven posed studio photographs of each member off the company. Obviously, the soldiers, known as “Bucktails” for the tail of a deer worn on their caps, were taken by the often precocious Tad. He was also taken by the soldiers.


Wedding Dresses

Amanda Rockwood

Wednesday Jun 29th, 2022

With wedding season among us I thought it would be fun to talk about the history of the wedding dress. The most common, and highly debated part of dresses is their color. Were they always white? The answer, not at all.

FH4 v2

Adolph Brugger and Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory.

Garett Brugger

Friday Jun 24th, 2022

In 1870 at the age of twenty Adolph Brugger left his home in Baden near the black forest in Southern Germany. He left not by choice but because he was under the threat of forced enlistment in the neighboring Prussian Army. He and his family decided it was better to leave than to fight in France for a cause in which he did not believe. Once the decision was made to leave for America Adolph knew he could never return. Not having enough savings of his own, his older brothers John and William helped pay for the journey. He sailed down the Rhine River towards the Netherlands and across the North Sea to Liverpool, England. There he negotiated passage to the United States aboard a four-mast boat. After a long journey at sea he arrived in Halifax, Newfoundland, and then traveled on to New York City. There he arrived at Battery Park and Castle Garden in a time before Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. After passing through immigration in Castle Garden, he made his way to Hudson River Train Station. He boarded the train bound for the west and his destination on the great lakes, Erie, Pennsylvania.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #89

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Jun 22nd, 2022

“Erie can justly lay claim to being the incubator of the national sport.” This is according to John G. Carney’s 1957 book “The Saga of Erie Sports”.  That is quite a statement!  He writes that when the French arrived in the area in the mid-1700s, they found the native people playing the game of lacrosse.  When the British later arrived, they played cricket.  The combination of the two sports eventually turned into the game of baseball.


Happy 185th Birthday Strong Vincent

Jeff Sherry

Friday Jun 17th, 2022

Born in Waterford, Pennsylvania, in 1837, Vincent was named Strong for his mother’s maiden name. The Vincent family moved to Erie when he was a boy. He worked for a time in his father’s iron foundry and then attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. It was at Trinity that Vincent met his future wife, Elizabeth Carter. After an altercation in which a man insulted Elizabeth and Vincent attacked him, Vincent moved to Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study law. After graduating in the middle of his class in 1859, he returned to Erie to “read law” in the office of William S. Lane on W. 6th Street. The house that was the office still stands today.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #88

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Jun 15th, 2022

Hallo liebe Leser!  I attended a workshop at Old Economy Village near Pittsburgh recently.  The program was on unlocking the stories of German immigrants to the United States by studying family documents, books, and objects. Plus, it was a wonderful opportunity to network with others in the museum business.  The 2000 census claims that 20% of Americans have some ethnic connection to Germany.  With a name like Rebecca Weigert-Weiser (both German), I decided the workshop was the right one for me!


Penelec powers Pennsylvania communities for more than 100 years

Todd Meyers, Penelec

Friday Jun 10th, 2022

Tracing its roots to a handful of companies that illuminated downtown streetlights-from dusk until an hour after the saloons closed in some spots-the Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility, marked its 100th anniversary on June 10, 2019.

What began long ago as a tiny company in Philipsburg, PA, with 16 customers along 2 miles of line, Penelec evolved into a modern electric utility with more than 700 employees servicing nearly 600,000 customers throughout a sprawling 17,000-square-mile service territory, the largest footprint of any FirstEnergy utility.



Amanda Rockwood/ Researched by Stephen Manheimer and Amanda Rockwood

Wednesday Jun 8th, 2022

Recently we received a donation from Stephen Manheimer from New York. These items relate to General Marquis de Lafayette and his visit here to Erie, Pennsylvania where a banquet was held in his honor. These are important to us because Lafayette played such a significant role in the American Revolutionary War. Although he was a French aristocrat and military officer, he aided the Americans in many of the major battles during the war. Upon returning home to France, Lafayette then played a key role in the French Revolution. He was considered a national hero to both his native France and to the newly ordained United States of America.


Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #87

Becky Weiser

Wednesday Jun 1st, 2022

Have you ever heard of the village of Hatch Hollow in Amity Township, Erie County? I have because I grew up near to there, but any resemblance to a village is long gone.

The Wall that Heals v22

Honoring our Fallen Vietnam Service Men

Jeff Sherry

Monday May 30th, 2022

This Memorial Day, “The Wall That Heals,” a portable version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. will visit Erie. In recognition of the visit of “The Wall That Heals,” the Hagen History Center will recognize the 59 servicemen from Erie County that are among the over 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in Southeast Asia. Each week, a few veterans will be featured on our social media. The week of Memorial Day, several servicemen will be honored.