Benjamin Whitman.

Nelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r online

. (page 85 of 192)
Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 85 of 192)
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Peach and Eighteenth streets, 1875.

McCarter block, 1511 Peach street, 1894.

Morton House, about 1849 or 1850.

Mayer (Henry) block: State street, be-
tween Twelfth and Thirteenth. South build-
ing in 1855, remodeled about 1880; North
building, 1888.

Metropolitan Hotel, State street, near Six-
teenth, 1892-3.

Meehan block, Peach street, between Tenth
and Eleventh, about 1864.



Magill block, Peach street, near Tenth,

McCallup block, 7, 9 and 11 East Seventh
street, 1888.


Neubauer block (Colby Hall), State street,
near Thirteenth, 1892.

Neimyer block, 1108 State street, 1892.

Nicholson (formerly Boyer) block, State,
near Fourteenth, 1873-4.

Nicholson block, 422 and 424 West Eighth
street, 1890.

Newberger block, State street, between
Fifth and North Park Row, 1857.

Nagosky block, northwest corner Parade
and Tenth streets, 1891.

Nick block. Seventh street, between State
and Peach, 1876.

Neid block, 1208 Parade street, 1875.


Olds block. State street, between Seventh
and Eighth, 1870.

Ostheimer block, 1006 State street, 1891.

O'Brien block, southwest corner Chestnut
and Eighth streets, about 1870.

O'Brien block, 404 and 406 West Eighth
street, 1887.

Perry block, State street, between Seventh
and Eighth, 1837.

Park Opera House, remodeled from Farrar
Hall in 1872-3 ; partially burned September
23, 1894; reopened March 17, 1895.

Penn building (formerly Noble block),
southeast corner State and Eighth streets,
built in 1866 ; remodeled in 1894-5.

Palace Hotel, southeast corner Sassafras
and Fifteenth streets, 1891.

Pfleuger block, 1216and 1218 Peach street,

Parade Street Market House, Parade and
Tenth streets, 1895.

People's Market House, State and Fourth
streets, 1895.

Pinney block, 1520 and 1522 Peach street,

Pfister block. Peach street, between Twen-
ty-fourth and Twenty-sixth, 1893.

Park View Hotel (brick part), in 1834.


Rosenzweig (L.) building, South Park
Row, built in 1885, remodeled in 1886.

Reed House (burned three times), rebuilt
in 1839-40, 1864-65, 1872-73.

Rindernecht block, southwest corner State
and Fifth streets, 1858.

Riblet block, 926 State street, 1869;north-
west corner Peach and Twelfth streets, 1886-7.

Rees block. State street, between Seventh
and Eighth, 1856.

Reed block, northeast corner State and
Seventh streets, 1871-2.

Reidel block, 1324 State street, built in
1880, remodeled in 1894.

Reaveley block. Parade street, between
Ninth and Tenth, 1891.

Rauper block, 1517 and 1519 Peach street,
1866 ; northeast corner French and Seven-
teenth streets, 1894.

Rosswog block, southeast corner Peach and
Fourteenth streets, 1892.

Rastatter (L.) block, northeast corner Pa-
rade and Fifteenth streets, 1870.

Selden block, 920 and 922 State street, re-
modeled from residence in 1880.

Simon block, 1014 State street, about 1875;
1022 State street, 1890.

Smith (Z.) block, 815 State street, 1870.

Suerken block,810 State street, 1855-6 ; 924
State street, 1869.

Scott block, northwest corner State and
Tenth streets, 1878-5.

Schaaf & Knoll block. State street, be-
tween Eighth and Ninth, about 1860.

Sevins block. State stieet, between Ninth
and Tenth, 1884; Seventh street, between
State and Peach, 1878.

Seigel (E. C.) block. State street, between
Eleventh and Twelfth, 1894.

Schlosser block, 1220 State street, 1892;
State street, opposite Central Market House,

Schneider block. State street, near Four-
teenth, north building about 1867 ; south
building 1879.

Strieker block, 1104 State street, 1856.

Schlaudecker (Geo.) block, northwest
corner State and Ninth streets, 1860; Ninth
street, between State and Peach, 1878.

StanclifF block, 1116 State street, 1870.




Shannon, (H. C.) block, 814 and 816 State
street, 1855.

Sterrett block, French street, opposite
Reed House, 1851.

Schlaudecker block (owned bv Giicken-
beil, Weiss, Rastatter) 908, 91(1 and 912
Parade street, 1868.

Siegel (Geo. L.) block, 1119 to 1123 Peach
street, built in 1881, remodeled in 1894.

Scarlett block, southwest corner Parade
and Tenth streets, 1894.

Second Ward Market House, southeast cor-
ner Parade and Twelfth streets, 1895.

Stern block. State street, between Seventh
and Eighth, 1870-71.

Strauss block, 1320 Turnpike street, 1873;
1822 Turnpike street, 1885-6.

Stuhlfad block, 1404 Turnpike street, 1886.

Swift block, 1501 Peach street, 1893.

Semel block, 1710 Peach street, 1869.

Smith (Ur.) block, northwest corner
Peach and Eighteenth streets, 1875.

Shannon (Mrs. J. W.) block, 1518 Peach
street, 1866.

Schultz Bros." block, northwest corner
Peach and Twenty-sixth streets, 1873.

Schulze block, northeast corner Peach and
Twenty-sixth streets, 1890-91.

Saltsman block. Peach street, near Twelfth :
first building, 1883 ; second building, 1889.

Schabacker block, northwest corner Peach
and Thirteenth streets, 1874.

Schuster block. Peach street, between
Thirteenth and Fourteenth, 1891.

Steiner block, northeast corner State and
Eighteenth streets, 1885.

Smith block, 1620 Parade street, 1878.

Shalkman block, 1210 and 1212 Parade
street, 1891.

Schneider block, 910 Parade street, 1885.

Sedelmver block, 90S Parade street, 1887.

Trask block, 817 and 819 State street,

Troy Steam Laundry, State street, be-
tween Fourth and Fifth, remodeled in 1892.

Tonson block, southwest corner Eight-
eenth and Holland streets, 1885.


Union block (Reed, Gunnison, Gallagher),
North Park Row, 1861-62.

Union Railroad Depot, 1864.
Ultsch block. Eighteenth street, between
Walnut and Chestnut, 1883.

Vollmer block, 1521 Peach street, 1861.

Walther (J. F.) block, southwest corner
State and Eighth streets, 1867.

Walther (F. ) block, southeast corner
State and Eleventh streets, 1867.

Walther (F. G.) block, 1620 Peach street,

Wilcox House block, two south buildings,
in 1873 ; north building, 1876.

Wheeler & Williams block. Eighth street,
between State and French, 1886.

Wright (now Harlan) block, northeast
corner State and Fifth streets, 1838-9.

Wayne block, 725 and 727 State street,
1870 ; remodeled in 1894.

Wilson House, State and Turnpike streets,

Wittich block, southwest corner State and
Tenth streets, 1890.

Walker rT.W.) block, 1305 State street,

Wetmore block (Kimberly House), cor
ner building, 1879; old Foster mansion re-
modeled in 1885.

Warfel (J.) block, northeast corner Peach
and Sixteenth streets, 1857.

Warfel (M.) block, 12 West Seventh
street, 1854.

Wingerter block. Peach street, between
Twenty-fourth and Twenty-sixth, 1895.

Willis block, 680 Parade street, 1884.

Yantzer & Greiner block, southwest cor-
ner Peach and Twenty-fifth streets, 1870.

Yochim block. Peach street, between
Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth, 1873 or


Zeigler block, 1012 State street, 1890.

Zuck block, southwest corner Peach and
Sixteenth streets, 1872; southeast corner
Peach and Sixteenth streets, 1892-3.

Zepfel block. Peach street; near Four-
teenth, 1887.


Hotels, Ancient and Modern — Markets and Market Houses — Public Halls — The
Military. — [See Chapter XV, General History.]

IT has already been stated that the first
public house in Erie was started by Col.
Seth Reed, the pioneer of the Reed fam-
ily, in a one-story log cabin which he

built at the mouth of Mill creek. This
was in 17y5, and the establishment was digni-
fied with the high-sounding title, " Presque
Isle Hotel." The following year the Colonel
erected a large two-story log house on the south-
west corner of Second and Parade streets,
which he placed in charge of his son, Rufus
S., who kept a tavern and store in it until
1799, when it burned down. The next season
Rufus S. Reed rebuilt it, and for some years
afterward carried on business at that place.

The third public house was built by George
Buehler, in 1800, at the northeast corner of
French and Third streets, which became
known at a later date as the Rees House and
the McConkey House, from the name of its
respective landlords, Thomas Rees, jr., and
Thomas McConkej'. This was the headquar-
ters of Perry during his stay in Erie.

Later hotels or taverns were as follows :

The Bell House at Sixth and French
streets, built by William Bell in 1805, and
kept in succession by himself, William Hughes
and John W. Bell. It was torn down in
1871, to make room for the Becker block.

The American Hotel, on the site of the
Dime Bank building, a stone structure, which
stood until 1875, built by Robert Brown in
1811, and kept by him 'until 1829, when he
was succeeded by Joseph Y. Moorhead.

Dickson's Hotel, at Second and French
streets, built by John Dickson just before the
last war with Great Britain.

The Dobbins House at State and Third
streets, in which Lafayette was entertained,
built by Capt. Daniel Dobbins in 1815, and
still standing.

The Farmer's Hotel, at Fifth and French

streets, built in 1820 by James Duncan, and
kept by Capt. Dewey, John Duncan, and,
in comparatively recent years, by John Boyle.

The Laird House, which occupied the lot
now covered by the Walther block, at State
and Eighth streets, built by Thomas Laird
in 1829, and removed in 1867.

The Park House, on the site of the City
Hall, built by John Morris in 1829.


The Erie House, at Front and French
streets, kept by John Zimmerly (now used by
the Bethel Association).

The Lafayette House, on the west side of
French street, near Fifth, kept by Mr. Dut-

The United States Hotel, a large brick
building, at the northeast corner of Second
and French streets, kept by George W. Reed,
Capt. D. P. Dobbins, H. L. Brown, sr., and

The Canal House, at Fourth street and the
canal, kept at various times by Mr. Diefen-

The Cronenberger House, on Fifth street
and the canal, kept by John Cronenberger.

The Franklin House, at Second and State

The Sunbury House, on the east side of
French street, near Second, opened by Mr.

Keefer's Hotel, on the site of the present
Liebel House, kept by S. W. Keefer, a fa-
mous landlord in his day.

The Western Hotel, kept by A. M. Tar-
bell, at Eighth street and the canal.

A hotel on the site of the present Park
View Hotel, which was built about 1838.

The Commercial House, near the depot,
kept by John Anthony (now the Pittsburg



In 1835, Hiram L. Brown came from
North East, purchased of Joshua Beers the
brick block erected by the latter in 1827-28,
and in the spring of 1836 opened the Eagle
Hotel. He carried on the hotel business in
that building until its destruction by fire April
1, 1851. Mr. Brown immediately erected a
five-story structure on the site of the old build-
ing. This was kept by Mr. Brown until his
death in March, 1853. It was long called
Brown's Hotel, but, on falling into the con-
trol of Col. Ellsworth, in 1869, the name was
changed to the Ellsworth House. Among
the managers during the interval between Mr.
Brown's death and Col. Ellsworth's purchase,
were Wm. Walker, Gen. H. L. Brown,
Loomis & Ross and Loomis & Tyler. Col.
Ellsworth sold the property in 1883, and it
was abandoned as a hotel. The premises
were bought by Wm. L. Scott, who had the
building torn down in the spring of 1891,
with the intention of erecting a handsome
structure upon the site. Unfortunately for
the city, he died before his plans were com-
pleted, and the lot remains vacant.

Of public houses in what may be called
the outskirts of the incipient city, there were
the American Eagle Hotel (afterward the
South Erie House), and the Western Pros
pect House, both on Federal Hill, and the
Saltsman House, kept by Anthony Saltsman,
at the elbow of the Buff'alo road, opposite the
John R. Saltsman place. The American
Eagle Tavern, or South Erie House, once a
famous hostelry, was built by Nathan Mc-
Cammons, on the northeast corner of Peach
and Twenty-sixth streets, in the winter of
1817—18. It was purchased by Capt. John
Justice in April, 1821, and in 1824 passed into
the hands of James Parks. It was subse-
quently kept by George Kelly, Abraham
Shank, M. B. Mills, James Gray, John
Wiley and George Tabor. During the specu-
lation of 1837 this property sold for $17,500.
The Western Prospect House was kept at
various times by George Moore, Thomas
Laird, Ira Glazier, George Kelly, Thomas
Childs, N. M. Manly, Simeon Dunn and

The Mansion Hou!-e, occupying part of the
site of the present Reed House, was built by
Rufus S. Reed in 1826, and immediately be-

came the leading hotel of Erie. On the 22d
of February, 1839, the town was visited by
the most destructive fire that had yet oc-
curred, and the Mansion House, together with
all the outbuildings, containing stage coaches,
horses, etc., also several frame houses and
stores, were consumed. It was all the prop-
erty of Mr. Reed, excepting the stages, stock,
etc., which were principally owned by Messrs.
Hart and Bird. With his usual energy and
public spirit, Mr. Reed covered the burnt dis-
trict with a new hotel, known as the Reed
House, which was burned in March, 1864, re-
built and again destroyed by fire in Septem-
ber, 1872. The present building, erected bj'
the Reed estate soon after the third fire, is
therefore the fourth hotel structure on the
site. Among its best known landlords have
been Messrs. Guild, Keith, Griswold, Elliott,
Upson, Wadsworth, Johnson, Ellsworth and
Coleman, the latter being in charge at present.
Col. Ellsworth, the veteran hotel manager,
came to Erie in 1869, as proprietor of Brown's
Hotel, the name of which he changed to the
Ellsworth House. After some seven years,
he went into the Reed House, but continued
to operate the Ellsworth House. He remained
in the Reed House until 1883, and was suc-
ceeded by D. M. Johnson, who was its land-
lord about five years. A Mr. Eldridge was
in charge a short time. He was followed by
Maj. W. B. Coleman, who has been the land-
lord some seven years.

The Liebel House, built by Michael Liebel
on the site of the old Keefer House (also
known as the United States Hotel), was first
opened to the public January 1, 1887. It was
originally called the Arlington, but, after sev-
eral years, the name was very properh' changed
in honor of its owner and builder. It is fitted
up with all of the modern appliances, and,
next to the Reed House, is the largest hotel
of the city.

The Wilcox House occupies the second
and third floors of three buildings on the
east side of State street, between Eighth and
Ninth, two of which were erected respectively
by Mr. Wilcox, of Girard, and Mr. W. E.
Hayes, of Erie, in 1878, and the third, or
north one, by W. B. & J. W. Hayes, in 1876.
The hotel was established by George B. Kim-
berly in 1880, who continued as host until
1887. One peculiarity of the house is, that,



although well patronized from the start, it has
never had a bar.

The Arcade Hotel, on State street, east
side, adjoining the Keystone Bank and Wayne
block, was built by Henry Neubauer, who re-
mains its owner, in 1870- After carrying on
a grocery business in the building for eight
years, Mr. Neubauer formed a partnership
with Jacob Geib, in 1878, and they opened a
restaurant and hotel. Mr. Geib withdrew
in 1882, and Frank Neubauer became asso-
ciated with his father, under the firm name of
Neubauer & Son, who conducted the business
until 1889, when Frank became proprietor,
which he still remains.

The Wilson House was built by M. Knob-
loch in 1887-88, on the triangle formed by the
intersection of State, Turnpike and Fourteenth
streets. It was opened by J. H. Wilson as
landlord, who remains in charge.

.The Kimberl)', originally known as the
Wetmore House, is kept by George B. Kim-
berl}', on the upper floors of the Wetmore
buildings, at Seventh and Peach streets. The
corner structure was erected in 1879 by J. W.
Wetmore, who enlarged and remodeled the
Foster mansion adjoining in 1886. Mr. Kim-
berly took charge as landlord in 1891, and
named the hotel as above. He has never had
a bar, and does not believe that one is neces-
sary to succeed in the hotel business.

The Moore House, at the northwest corner
of State and Eighth streets, was long con-
ducted by Darius Northrup. Arthur O'Don-
nell became landlord January 7, 1893, and as-
sociated John Delaney with him in 1895.

The Livingston, at Eighteenth and Peach
streets, is one of the oldest hotel stands in the
city. It was long known as the New Moore
House, but changed its name when Charles
Livingston became the landlord.

The Park View House, on South Park
Row, between State and French streets, has
been in charge of James D Allen since 1884.
Mr. Allen purchased the premises in the sum-
mer of 1895, and intends to put up a larger
building on the site.

The Union Depot Hotel, in the Union
Depot, has been in operation since the erection
of the latter structure in 1864. It was opened
by John Moore, and subsequently kept by D.
M. Johnson. Charles Kepner is its present
landlord, who has had control a number of

The Moiton House, opposite the Union
Depot, has been in existence since some time
previous to the opening of the Lake Shore
road, probably about 1849 or 1850. It
was built by Daniel Knobloch and opened
by a Mr. Sessions, and for many years
has been in charge of Charles • Holcomb.
Among its best known landlords, in the olden
days, was A. W. Van Tassel, best known as
" Sandy," who was an influential man twenty-
five or thirty years ago.

The Massassauga Hotel, the Tracy Point
Hotel, the Grove House and the Maples are
described under the heading of Pleasure Re-

The Metropolitan Hotel, on State street,
near Sixteenth, was built by David Schlosser,
and completed in April, 1893.

The Palace Hotel, at the corner of Fif-
teenth and Sassafras streets, was erected dur-
ing the spring of 1891, by A. Blenner, who
withdrew from its management in the sum-
mer of 1895. It was originally known as the
Central House and the name was changed by
the new proprietor.

The .South Erie Hotel, on Peach, near
Twenty-sixth street, occupies in part the site
of one of the oldest hotel stands in the city.

Other public houses are as follows:

Arlington, 149 East Eighth street.

Beck's Hotel, 502 West Twelfth street.

Brown's Avenue Hotel, Eighteenth and
Cherry streets.

Carpenter House, 1406 Turnpike street.

Erie and Pittsburg House, 949 West
Third street.

European House, 1219 State street.

East Erie Hotel, 249 East Sixteenth street.

Erie Hotel, 1321 Peach street.

Germania House, 1819 Peach street.

Globe Hotel, Fourteenth and Peach streets.

Grant Hotel, 138 West Fourteenth street.

Grabowski House, 1425 Parade street.

Herbert House, Sixteenth and Holland

Link House, 1128 Parade street.

Morgan House, 1117 Peach street.

Ninth Avenue House, 20 West Ninth

Pittsburg House, 1505 Peach street.

Railroad House, 1831 Holland street.

Sailors' Home, foot of State street.

Vollmer's Hotel, 1521 Peach street.



Weigeitown Hotel, Twenty-sixth street,
near Brown's avenue.

White's Hotel, Fourteenth and Sassafras


The principal public halls at the beginning
of the war for the Union were : Farrar Hall,
now the Opera House; Wayne Hall, on the
third floor of the building at present occupied
by Johnston & Brevillier, and Park Hall, on
the second floor of a frame building on the
French street side of Central Park. For a
number of years all lectures, dramatic enter-
tainments and political meetings on a large
scale were held in one or the other of these
places. Wayne Hall, though on the third
floor, was at one time quite a popular resort.
Edward Everett delivered his famous address
on Washington within its walls, and it was
the scene of Artemas Ward's first appearance
in Erie as a lecturer. At a later date, Dreisi-
gaker's Hall, in the present Wayne block, on
State street, near Eighth, and the Academy
of Music, now Gabel's Hall, took the place
of Wayne Hall and Park Hall as auditoriums
for gatherings of a public and semi-public

Previous to the erection of the above places,
all concerts, entertainments and public assem-
blies were held in the Court House or in the
dancing rooms of the Reed House and Ameri-
can Hotel. Forrest, the great actor, once gave
a dramatic performance in the large room of
the Reed House, under the management of
W. H. Harris.

Farrar Hall (named after F. F. Farrar),
which was a long, narrow room, with a stage
at the Fifth street end of the same, was con-
verted into the Park Opera House during the
winter of 1872-3. The latter was opened to
the public March 17, 1873, and, for the period,
was a handsome and creditable place of amuse-
ment. The owners and builders were F. F.
Farrar, A. H. Gray, John Clemens and Wm.
M. Caughey. The Opera House was seriously
damaged by fire on the 28d of September,
1894, promptly rebuilt in better style than be-
fore, and reopened as the New Park Opera
House, on March 17, 1895, the twenty-second
anniversary of its original dedication to the
use of the public.

The history of" Wonderland" is briefly as
follows : The idea of a place in Erie that

should furnish attractions for the public at a
low price of admission was conceived by
Walker & Gallagher, who were then together
in the printing busine-s. They opened in the
Claus block in the fall of 1888, and ran a
variety of cheap entertainments for about a
year, at a heavy loss. Some time after. Col.
McClure staited a museum in the store room
now occupied by Straus Bros. In the course
of a few months he moved to the Claus block,
and built up considerable of a patronage. The
institution passed into the hands of Joseph E.
Gerard and Frank E. Woods, who opened
during the first week in September, 1892.
They remained in partnership some time,
when the former became sole owner, which
he still continues to be. The same season Col.
McClure started a rival show, called the Crys-
tal Dime Museum, in the Cohen block, near
by, but was only able to keep it in operation
a few months.

Below are the principal halls for dancing,
concert and secret society purposes at present
in the city :

Becker's Hall, Becker block, Sixth and
French streets.

Brown's Hall, 21 North Park Row.

C. M. B. A. Hall, McGrath's block, State

East Erie Turn Hall, Tenth and Parade

Elk's Hall, Ninth and State streets.

Eichenlaub's Hall, 626 and 628 State street.

Gabel's Hall, Gabel block. State street.

Grand Army Hall, 1305 and 1807 State

Harugari Hall, 1118 State street.

Hays' Hall, State street near Ninth.

Jarecki's Hall, 728 State street.

Liedertafel Hall, Walther block. State

Mtennerchor Hall, State street, between
Sixteenth and Seventeenth.

Masonic Hall, 914 and 916 State street.

Metcalf's Hall, 726 State street.

Music Hall, Scott block. State street.

Nagosky's Hall, Tenth and Parade streets.

Odd Fellows' Hall, Tenth and State streets.

Penn Hall, Penn building, State and
Eighth streets.

Pythian Hall, Olds block. State street.

South Erie Turn Hall, Twenty-eighth and
Peach streets.

Sterrett's Hall, 515 French street.



Walther's Hall, Eighth and State streets.

Wayne Hall, Wayne block, east side of
State street, near Eighth.

Zuck's Hall, Sixteenth and Peach streets.


As long ago as 1807 slaps were taken by
the town Council looking to the erection of a
public market house. The building was not
completed, however, till late in 1814. It was
constructed under the supervision of Thomas
Laird, Robert Brown and Ebenezer Dwinnell,
a committee named by Councils, and the cost
was limited to $250. The ordinance provided
that Wednesdays and Saturdays should be the
market days, and that the Burgess should have
charge of the sale of stalls. A hay scales was
built by private parties at the corner of the
market house in 1819. That the business was
not very heavy in either case is proven by a
record in the Council books which shows that
the general market was leased to Jos. M. Ster-
rett in 1832 for the sum of twenty dollars, and
the hay scales for six dollars.

Online LibraryBenjamin WhitmanNelson's biographical dictionary and historical reference book of Erie County, Pennsylvania : containing a condensed history of Pennsylvania, of Erie County, and of the several cities, boroughs and townships in the county also portraits and biographies of the governor's since 1790, and of numerous r → online text (page 85 of 192)