Erie County was formed in the 1800’s after Pennsylvania purchased the Erie Triangle from the U.S. Government in 1792 for approximately $151,000. Taken from part of Allegheny County, the new county was then named for Lake Erie and the Eriez Native American Indian tribe, which was destroyed by a combination of pestilence and the Seneca nation under Chief Cornplanter in the mid-seventeenth century. The first European settlers in the area were the French, who built Fort Presque Isle on the city’s site in 1753.
The French abandoned the fort to the English, who lost it in 1763 at the start of Pontiac’s Rebellion. When General “Mad” Anthony Wayne induced the native tribes to make peace in 1794, the area was opened to settlement. The city was laid out in 1795 and became a port in 1801. In 1813, in what is often referred to as Erie’s proudest historical moment, Commodore Oliver Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie.
Plus! Erie Art Museum, expERIEnce Children’s Museum, Firefighters Historical Museum, Grape Discovery Center, Land Lighthouse and various historical societies, memorials/tributes and historical markers.
Download the FREE Hello Erie mobile app and check out two GPS-based walking tours:
Take a self-guided driving tour through Erie's Little Italy, Center City and East 12th Street Corridor to view 11 murals depicting various aspects of Erie's history.
Chances are, you are planning your trip to Erie. Why not download your free guide that's been put together right here, by those who know the region the best!