Local History

Whether you are looking for the history of your house or an answer to a trivia question – Who is Joe Root? When were Climax locomotives made in Corry? Where along the lake shore was alcohol hidden during Prohibition? – there are many places to find local history resources.

The Erie County Public Library (Raymond Blasco Memorial Library, Erie) maintains the Heritage Room, a room dedicated to local and family history resources.

The Erie County Historical Society’s Library & Archives public research room and administrative offices are located on the second floor of the Erie County History Center at 419 State Street. Researchers and students of all ages will find community history and genealogy information from a treasure of published and primary sources.

Some vital records (birth, death, marriage and probate records) for Erie County are located at the Erie County Courthouse, while others are housed at the Erie County Historical Society or Bureau of Vital Statistics. To see a list of which records are kept where, please visit Erie County’s website.

The Erie Cemetery Association, which owns the Erie Cemetery, Laurel Hill Cemetery and Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery, offers an online, searchable database of individuals interred in these cemeteries.

Research libraries and/or archives can be found at Edinboro Area Historical Society, Fairview Area Historical Society, Fort LeBoeuf Historical Society, Goodell Gardens and Homestead, Harborcreek Historical Society, Lake Shore Railway Museum, West County Historical Association/Hazel Kibler Museum, Corry Area Historical Society, Museum of GE History, North East Historical Society, Union City Historical Society, Wattsburg Area Historical Society, Lawrence Park Historical Society, Mercyhurst College, PSU Erie – The Behrend College, Gannon University, Edinboro University, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. Access to these collections is limited, and advance notice is required.

The following are accepted references for the history and development of Erie County.  A few books are available online. Others may be found at through the Erie County Public Library system.

Anderson, Frank S.,  A History of the School District of the City of Erie, Pennsylvania, 1795 – 1970 (1976)
Boutwell, Coletta, History of Concord Township
Carney, John G., Saga of Erie Sports (1957)
Carney, John G., Tales of Old Erie (1958)
Carney, John G., Highlights of Erie Politics (1960)
Chaffee, John S., MD.,  Reflections on Erie County Physicians (1990)
Erie County Unit of Federal Writers’ Project of the WPA for the Commonwealth of PA, Erie: A Guide to the City and County (1938, 1975)
Freeman, Sabina Shields and Hetz, June,  History of Pharmacists and Pharmacies in Erie County, Pennsylvania (1978)
Freeman, Sabina Shields and Tenpas, Margaret L.,  Erie History – The Women’s Story (1982)
Miller, John. A Twentieth Century History of Erie County PA 2 Volumes (1909)
Nelson, S.B.,  Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary & Historical Reference Book of Erie County PA 2 Volumes (1896)
Pennsylvania Historical Survey, Erie County:  Miscellaneous History Transcripts from Early Newspaper Files (1936)
Pollifrone, Patricia J.,  Millcreek Schools Through the Ages (1982)
Porreco, Mary A.,  History of Erie County (1955)
Reed, John Elmer, History of Erie County, PA 2 Volumes (1925)
Reed, John Elmer, Our French Forts (1927)
Rosenberg, Max,  The Building of Perry’s Fleet on Lake Erie, 1812- 1813 (1974)
Sanford, Laura, History of Erie County, Pennsylvania 1 Volume (1894, revised)
See, Wavil,  Erie County Soldiers in the War of 1812 (1900)
Sons of the American Revolution, Erie Chapter, Revolutionary Patriots in Erie County, Pennsylvania (1995)
Spencer, Herbert Reynolds,  Erie… A History (1962)
Springirth, Kenneth, Erie to Conneaut By Trolley:  History of the Cleveland and Erie Railway Co. (1968)
Strausbaugh, Roy, Edinboro University, an Administrative History, 1963 – 1993 (1996)
Vance Jr., Russell E., Ph.D., A Portrait of Edinboro from Private Academy to State College, 1856 – 1976 (1977)
Warner, Beers & Co, History of Erie County, Pennsylvania 2 Volumes (1884)
Weber, Tom. Ed., Erie Style, Volume 1 (1982)