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



Happiness & Long Life for All its Residents #46

Wednesday Feb 24th, 2021

In the early days of settlement, whiskey was the drink of choice for many.  Whiskey was consumed at any point in the day, and by children as well as adults.  Of course, then, as now, some people had a problem with too much whiskey drinking and the first prohibition society in Erie County began in Wattsburg in 1829.  By 1840, every town in the county had a temperance society and by 1896 distilleries no longer existed here. 


The Pope Hotel

Friday Feb 19th, 2021

In a time of segregation and Jim Crow, African Americans were often not welcome or barred from many businesses, restaurants and taverns throughout the United States. American GIs serving in the military in World War II recalled being barred from lunch counters and other establishments where even German POWs were being served. Struggling to overcome this “Whites Only” segregation, many black businesses opened nationwide to meet the needs of this part of the population. Erie’s Pope Hotel at 1318 French Street, opened in 1928, was one such place.

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A Pictorial View of Life in Erie's Black Community: An Untold Perspective

Thursday Feb 18th, 2021

Mr. Johnny Johnson gives a PowerPoint presentation on the Ada Lawrence Collection to highlight through pictures family life in the African American Community.


Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #45

Wednesday Feb 17th, 2021

Have you ever experienced some of the new 3D technology?  Here at home, we have special software and a headset that you wear.  Putting it on I feel like I am in an alternate reality and want to duck if something comes flying in my direction!  It is amazing to experience being somewhere you’re not, but this isn’t a new visual concept at all!  It all began in 1833 in England.

UAF Celebration

Celebrating A Successful Campaign!

Tuesday Feb 16th, 2021

The 2020 United Arts Fund raises $794,934 for Erie Arts & Culture, Erie Philharmonic, Erie Playhouse, expERIEnce Children's Museum, the Flagship Niagara League, and Hagen History Center. 


Happy Birthday President Lincoln!

Friday Feb 12th, 2021

In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 212th birthday, the Hagen History Center would like to honor one of our donors, Mr. Robert P. King.  Mr. King donated his Lincoln “everything” collection in 1944 and I do mean everything …coins, plaques, badges, anything with Lincoln on it or about it.  Here are some of the highlights!  We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the President.

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Long Life & Happiness for All its Residents #44

Wednesday Feb 10th, 2021

An Act for the gradual abolishment of slavery in Pennsylvania passed in 1780.  What it stated was that the importation of slaves from overseas into the Commonwealth would cease.  People in slavery born before this date could remain in slavery until they died or were freed. People born of slave parents after that date would remain “indentured servants” until the age of 28, then would be free.  Erie County was settled around 1795; were there slaves here at that time?


The Beauty of a Colorful Mind - Poetry Hour

Monday Feb 8th, 2021

As a tribute to Black History Month, Hagen History Center is hosting The Beauty of a Colorful Mind; Honoring the Past while Inspiring a Brilliant Future, Poetry Hour. The purpose of this event is to pay homage to famous African American Poets and Artists of the past.

This project also gives local poets and word artists an opportunity to use their creative talents to honor the past, appreciate the present and inspire a bright and brilliant future through recorded words.

food trucks

Seeking Food Trucks Vendors

Sunday Feb 7th, 2021

We are starting to plan for summer activities and need your help! What food truck is your FAVORITE? Who would you want to see on our campus!? Let us know by contacting Shelby at sgraml@eriehistory.org
John S. Hicks

John S. Hicks-Erie Confectioner and Ice Cream Manufacturer

Friday Feb 5th, 2021

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 that housed his ice cream “factory” in the basement, an ice cream parlor on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor he shared with his wife Frances and  daughter Ida.