While running around doing errands (Drivers License photo and taking my car in for a check) the morning of May 17, 2005, the first thing I noticed was the abundance of trees in bloom. So having not much else to do, I decided to take a photo safari of the city and Presque Isle State Park. It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. With the weather patterns in Erie, I didn't know how many days like this would come about in the Spring. I spent all afternoon, about five and a half hours driving around photographing everything I could. I divided the photos into three groups and they are on three pages here. This one of Erie, one on Presque Isle Park and one of Presque Isle Bay and the waterfront. I hope, you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the day taking them. Erie was incorporated in 1851 and soon developed into an important industrial city. The natural harbor, formed by Presque Isle, served as a magnet that drew economic prosperity to Pennsylvania's only lake port. The Industrial Revolution brought remarkable economic growth to Erie. Immigrants flocked to Erie for work in the brass, iron, and steel industries. By WWI Erie had more than 500 manufacturing plants mass-producing engines, boilers, stoves and tools for distribution across the country. In the early 1900s Erie was known as the boiler and engine capitol of the world. From National Geographic in 1919: "[Erie] has the largest horseshoe factory and largest pipe organ plant in the world, and makes more baby carriages, gas mantles, and clothes wringers than any other city." Although Erie's industrial growth leveled off after WWII, the skyline still shows evidence of that era. Soon after WWII the industial picture changed from metals to plastics. Gas mantles became TV cabinets, and baby carriages became air conditioner fans. With the "outsourcing" of so many of our maunfacturing jobs to cheap markets around the world manufacturing has become a "thing of the past" in Erie. Our once pearl of industry, Hammermill Paper, which made some of the finest quality writing papers in the world, was bought by International Paper, and soon closed farming those jobs to cheaper labor. In many cases the labor unions in Erie shot themselves in the foot. The Bayfront, which once teemed with steam boats and fishing boats now serves as a tourism gateway to Presque Isle and the Great Lakes Region.
Erie, PA as seen from Presque Isle State Park across the Bay.
I started on West 26th Street at the Erie Cemetary. The blossoms there were at peak. Across the street is the Sigsbee Reservoir where trees and tulips were in bloom.
The Erie Cemetary was incorporated the year before the city itself incorporated in 1851. The Sigsbee Reservoir, which holds 33 Million gallons of water for the City Water Works, is the largest in Erie. It was built in 1873.
Tulips at the reservoir
The Sigsbee Reservoir
Left to Right: A tree in full bloom in the cemetary. The Watchkeepers house at Sigsbee Reservoir. Erie is full of tree lined streets. The city had the nickname of the City of Trees at one time. It was also known as the Gem City. But most common while I was growing up was "Dreary Erie, the Mistake on the Lake". That was never true, but when you're young and bored, you have to blame it on something. Why not the city?
Erie is also known for its numerous and beautiful parks, a couple of which are shown below.
The bandstand in a park
The Korean War Memorial
The Civil War Memorial
A church bell tower
A couple of light poles in the parking lot of an out of business Quaker Steak and Lube.
State Street, our main drag
A couple of views of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Erie.
The County Court House
The Federal Building
Below you will see many of the historical old homes in Erie. Many of them are well over 100 years old.
On the Left is OLd Main. It was the Adminstration Building of Gannon University, when I attended. I'm not certain of its use now. On the right is one of Erie's B&Bs. Most of the homes shown here are on West Sixth Street. It was THE PLACE to reside.
One more stately home
Then we have THIS!
Below are photos of Erie taken from across the bay at Presque Isle State Park