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History & Heritage

History of Erie

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. 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. At the Battle’s climax, Perry raised his battle flag emblazoned with the words “Don’t Give Up the Ship” and ordered “close action”, severing the British line and leading to the enemy’s surrender.

HIstory and Heritage Niagara

Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara

The Erie Maritime Museum tells the story of the maritime history and heritage of the Greater Erie region, the War of 1812 narrative, civilian activity and innovation, military service, and Pennsylvania’s contributions to the maritime industry and stewardship of the Great Lakes. Its centerpiece exhibit is the U.S. Brig Niagara, a floating maritime museum and active sailing vessel docked behind the museum.

Take a video tour to learn more about the exhibits inside the Erie Maritime Museum.

Watch video

History and Heritage Hagen

Hagen History Center Campus

Formerly known as the Erie County Historical Society, the Hagen History Center Campus showcases the history of Erie County over the past 200 years in addition to special exhibits, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s original San Francisco Office. The museum features exhibit buildings, archival and curatorial collections, educational classrooms and the Battles Estates located in nearby Girard, PA.

History and Heritage Lighthouse

Erie Lighthouse Tours

Erie’s three lighthouses are picture-perfect spots for exploring Erie’s maritime history at your own pace. Get more details on VisitErie’s Self-Guided Tours page. 

History & Heritage Self Guided Tours

There are several self-guided walking and driving tours that tell the story of Erie’s history.

Explore Erie's Self Guided Tours

Ridge Center provided by TREC

The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC)

TREC is an educational center dedicated to teaching visitors about the unique 3,200 acres of Presque Isle, the history of how the peninsula took shape and the many different forms of life that inhabit the peninsula. Called the “gateway to Presque Isle”, TREC is a free facility that features two floors of interactive exhibits, Presque Isle Gallery and Gifts, an orientation movie and a glass-enclosed observation tower with panoramic views of Lake Erie. TREC also serves as a center for research -- contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle. TREC is open year-round. 

Learn more about TREC from a park naturalist by watching the following video tour. 

Watch video 

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Brig. Gen. Strong Vincent Statue

In front of Blasco Library/160 East Front Street
Erie, PA 16507

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ErieArtMuseum

Erie Art Museum

814-459-5477
20 East 5th Street
Erie, PA 16507

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Erie County Historical Society & Museums

814-454-1813
356 West 6th Street
Erie , PA 16507

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Erie Maritime Museum/U.S. Brig Niagara

814-452-2744
150 East Front Street
Erie, PA 16507

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erie yesterday

Erie Yesterday

356 West 6th Street
Erie, PA 16507

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ECM Building

expERIEnce Children's Museum

814-453-3743
420 French Street
Erie, PA 16507

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Firefighters Historical Museum

814-456-5969
428 Chestnut Street
Erie, PA 16507

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Goodell Gardens & Homestead

814-734-6699
221 Waterford Street
Edinboro, PA 16412

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Grape Discovery Center

716-326-2003
8305 West Main Road
Westfield, NY 14787

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Hagen Campusphoto3

Hagen History Center Museum

814-454-1813
356 West 6th Street
Erie, PA 16501

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Lake Shore Railway Museum

814-725-1911
31 Wall Street
North East, PA 16428

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Land Lighthouse

1200 Lighthouse Street
Erie, PA 16507

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Lettie G. Howard

814-449-9012
150 East Front Street - Erie Maritime Museum
Erie, PA 16507

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National Comedy Center v2

National Comedy Center

716-484-222
203 W. Second Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

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Visiterie

Presque Isle Lighthouse

814-833-3604
Presque Isle State Park, east of Beach 6
Erie, PA 16505

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The North Pier Light

814-833-7424
Presque Isle State Park
Erie, PA 16505

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The Sturgeon House

814-474-5855
4302 Avonia Road
Fairview, PA 16415

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Ridge Center 3

Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC)

814-833-7424
301 Peninsula Drive
Erie, PA 16505

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Partner Spotlight

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John Russell Brewing Company Brew House & Restaurant

Local Craft Beer Brewery & Pub in Erie, PA! Featuring a large selection of craft beers, a wood-fired brick oven featuring fresh dough specialty pizzas & our open-view brewing environment makes for a unique experience! Reservations // Call 814.866.BEER (2337)
:: Full Menu, Wood-fired Brick Oven & Casual Pub Dining
:: Brewery & Craft Beer Pub
:: Craft Beers on Tap & Beer To-Go
:: Indoor & Outdoor Dining & Bar
:: Online Ordering & Takeout
:: Beer To-Go
:: Conveniently located of I-90 on Peach Street

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the cork

The Cork 1794

The Cork 1794 is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion! Indoor and outside seating available with amazing food.

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dobbins landing

Dobbins Landing

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, the Port of Erie has been promoting industrial, commercial, and recreational opportunities on the waters of Lake Erie since 1959.

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u pick 6 spotlight

U Pick 6 Craft Beer Pubs & Restaurants

Erie’s own local craft beer pubs are a must-visit! With 4 great locations, just pick one that’s convenient for you! A casual, family friendly dining experience with something for everyone! To view our menu, check out what’s on tap, or get to directions to our pubs, learn more now!”

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Make memories all year at Port Farms!

Bring your family to Port Farms this summer, fall and winter! Port Farms is a fun-filled family destination located in Waterford, PA (30 minutes outside of Erie). The farm features many activities for all ages including a NEW Flower Festival, animal exhibits, slides, pedal carts, wagon rides, 8-acre corn maze, jumping pillows, pumpkin picking, Christmas tree picking, visiting with Santa, and much more. Options for wedding venues, corporate events, birthday parties, and school field trips are also available. To learn more, purchase tickets, or book an event visit www.portfarms.com.

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upmc

UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 423-bed hospital in Erie, PA, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services, and serves as a regional referral hub and Level II Trauma Center.

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millcreek mall

Millcreek Mall

The Millcreek Mall features more than 160 stores, restaurants, and fun for the whole family on Upper Peach Street, Erie’s most popular shopping district! Shopping in Erie means no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Choose from a variety of hotels located on the Mall property and just minutes away at the intersection of Peach Street and Interstate 90.

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When you have an opportunity to fly, give Erie a try - support your hometown airport!

Direct Daily Flights to Charlotte and Chicago.
Erie International Airport is serviced by American Airlines and United Airlines with daily flights to Charlotte and Chicago with connections across the country and around the world. Book your flight today at www.aa.com or www.united.com

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The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

Join us today! The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern is sure to give you an unforgettable and care-free dining experience. Enjoy a nautical atmosphere with a beautiful view of Presque Isle Bay.

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bayfront grille

Outdoor Dining at the Bayfront Grille

The Bayfront Grille Restaurant at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel is excited to announce that our Bayside Patio is open for Lunch and Dinner. Please check Open Table for reservations or contact the restaurant directly at 814-454-2005.

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partner mazza vineyards

Mazza Vineyards and the South Shore Wine Company

Local wine is great for holiday entertaining, plus it makes a great gift! Stop by to try (and pick up) award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA.

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