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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Grandma's Scrapbook

Contributed by Barb Seyler

Below are just random page items from my Grandmother, Goldie Fullerton Way's scrapbooks.  

Happy reading of these stories of life in the past-lane at Erie.

July 10, 1925


Vice, according to two newspapers, one in Conneaut and the Dispatch-Herald in Erie, is rampant in Springfield Township. The latter paper calls upon Judge Rossiter (by name) and Sheriff Brown (by name) to remedy this deplorable condition.

Now we don't pretend to know whether there are "bootleg resorts, gambling games and red light houses" running unmolested in Springfield Twp., but we do know that if there are, the district attorney should get the evidence to prosecute these places. It is his sworn duty so to do.

For the information of the two newspapers making the charges of sinful and unholy conditions in Springfield Township, the sheriff of the county has no authority or power in the matter. True, Judges Rossiter and Hirt (for both are equally responsible), might usurp the powers of the district attorney and donning their gum shoes and firmly clutching their dark lanterns, go forth into the highways and by-ways of Springfield Township obtaining the evidence, if there is any, that vice is rampant there. Just as any other citizen might do the same, including the editors of the two newspapers that make the charges.

It is political flub-dub on the face of it. If there are terribly sinful conditions in Springfield Township, why doesn't the district attorney get evidence against the illegal resorts, close them up, prosecute them, and then go before the voters next fall in his campaign for the judgeship and say, "Vote for me! I cleaned up Springfield Township."

June 28, 1919


The retail price of gasoline in Erie is now 27 cents! The retail price of motor gasoline in Cleveland is 25 1/2 cents. The retail price of motor gasoline in Buffalo is 26 cents. In North East, this county, the leading garage retails motor gasoline at 25 cents a gallon. Following repeated complaints, inquiries were made of local dealers as to why they charged 27 cents for motor gas, brought the answer that they do not fix the price. Isn't this a matter for the Erie Motor Club to take up? Certainly Erie autoists ought not to be compelled to go to North East to get gasoline!

April 16, 1912


Would have gone on later trip had steamship not met disaster - no residents of this city on fateful maiden voyage.

Erie was overlooked in the disaster of the Titanic, the leviathan of the seas. No one from this city was on board. However, there were some Erie people who had been laying plans to sail on her within the next two months.

Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Binns, 654 East Seventh Street, had engaged passage for May 11 and Mr. and Mrs. Gust Olson and daughter, planned to take the newest steampship on June 22. When Mr. Olson heard of the accident to the Titanic, he immediately cancelled his passage. At that time, it was thought that the steampship was only disabled, but he was satisfied that some of the other greyhounds would be more preferrable. Now that the Titanic is completely lost, Mr. Binns and wife will also have to make other arrangements.

December 7, 1941


Two Erie naval officers on duty in the Philippine area are Lt. D. Knoll, USN and Lt. Charles Weschler, USN.

Lt. Knoll has been attached to the U.S.S. Houston, while Ft. Weschler has been attached to the Naval Construction Corps. They are cousins.


 December 13, 1927
While searching for stolen property Tuesday morning, city police came across one of the biggest and most complete moonshine distilleries ever discovered here.  The disclosure was turned over to federal prohibition agents for further actions.  Detective Sergeants Louis Salise and Stanley Kubja and Detective car driver Paul Luthringer found the alleged huge still in a two story frame building at 541 1/2 West 2nd St.  The still reported to be one of 100-galln capacity was located in the cellar of the building and connected with a huge galvanized container on the floor above.  Many water pipes ran through the building and police found 30 barrels of mash on the second floor, it is alleged.  Scalis and Kubeja were of the belief that the still had been in use Monday night as indications were that it was just cooling off.  No one was found on the premises.  Scalise, Kubeja and Luthinger, acting on a "tip" had gone to the W. 2nd St. place in search of 1200 pounds of sugar stolen recently from the West End Feed store, 26th and Elmwood Avenue.  It was alleged that the sugar had been disposed of there for the manufacture of moonshine.  None of the sugar was found.

March 1926
Plans to change parking regulations of several downtown streets and action to compel garage owners to stop the practice of placing automobiles on the streets to advertise them for sale, were discussed at a meeting of the City Traffic committee in Mayor Joseph C. Williams' offices.  With traffic problems becoming of more concern every day and hundreds of complaints being received daily, Mayor Williams said this morning that he had called the meeting of the trafic committee so that ways and means of relieving downtown traffic congestion and parking might be outlined and the plans enforced a soon as possible.  Numerous complaints have been received by Mayor Williams about garage owners parking machines that are for sale in front of their places.

December 1927
A crowd of huge proportions attended the formal opening of the new Twelfth Street Market at 12th and French Streets Thursday, and from early morning until close to midnight, the building was thronged with people who were anxious to get a first glimpse of the fine new two-story building devoted to market products.  There was entertainment aplenty during the day of the formal opening for Campbell's band of 16 pieces played in different locations in the building throughout the afternoon while Willis Connoly's dance orchestra of 15 pieces played for the public dance at night.

July 1939
Hundreds of Erieites saw a huge meteor flash through the sky over Erie at 9:49 p.m. Monday and then apparently disappear somewhere over Canada.  Telephone lines in newspaper offices were choked with hundreds of calls as scores called to tell various stories of seeing a flaming airplane tumble into the lake or that a large boat was on fire.  Coastguard James Fox, in the lookout tower of the Coastguard station, saw the huge meteor and recognized it as one.  The meteor, a giant ball of flame with a brilliant tail of fire and gas trailing, appeared to disappear between the anchored lake carriers in the harbor and the peninsula or that general vicinity, according to calls received.  Thousands of people from Detroit east to Buffalo, south to Cincinnati and north to Ontario, believed it had struck the ground.

May 1936
The new type of calculating gasoline meter pump being put on the market by the ERIE METERS SYSTEMS are both beautiful and efficient.  Stream lined, modernistic and graceful, they are time savers and accurate.  They show the quantity of gasoline delivered and at the same time the total cost of any given price per gallon.  This feature saves laborious, time-consuming calculations on the part of the attendant and protects the customer as well.  Service is speeded up, avoiding irritating delays to the motorist.  By their use, customers may purchase even money quantities, thus increasing sales.  Totalizing devices indicate the total quantity and cash value dispensed during the day.

November 1939
Skilled craftsmen of the GENERAL ELECTRIC were rushing motor replacements on Admiral Richard E. Byrd's massive snow cruiser Monday with the belief expressed that it would be ready to resume its trip to Boston late today or early Tuesday.  Under careful supervision of tall and tireless Dr. Thomas C. Poulter, designer and pilot, mechanics began working on the enormous landship at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, two hours after it lumbered through the city and into the plant's grounds. The thousands who lined W. Lake Road and E. 12th Street as the giant craft hove in view Saturday afternoon were overawed by its enormity.  They had seen pictures of it, read of its dimensions but marveled when they actually saw it crawl past them, dwarfing everything else in it's shadow.  Some six months ago construction of the monster of iron and steel, rubber and glass started.  When completed it weighed 75,000 pounds, was 55 feet long, 20 feet wide and almost 15 feet high.  The cruiser cost $150,000 to bu!
ild.  Both motive and auxiliary power for the snow cruiser is supplied by two 15 horsepower Diesel engines, each directly connected to a traction-type generator.

October 1934 (price:  two cents)
Buffalo College Instrument Reveals Tremor Here; All parts of City feel shock:
Canisius seismograph record 'quake in Erie Area; disturbance most rare in this section; high buildings shaken, dishes in homes rattle; theatre patrons seek street for safety.
The earth tremor which rocked Erie at 3:08 this afternoon was unquestionably an earthquake, a rare disturbance in this part of the country.  Father J. F. Delaney, S.J., seismologist at Canisius College, Buffalo, so described the occurrence to The Times this afternoon when he revealed that instruments at the school had recorded the shock.  The shock was felt within an area of from 15 to 20 miles from Erie in all directions  Although buildings were shaken no appreciable damage was done.  Householders received the shock of their lives when dishes in the cupboards began to dance and rattle.


Few people realize that a valuable work of art exists in Erie.  It's Lincoln's portrait, done in stained glass.

The portrait is part of a huge stained glass window in the chapel of the Soldiers & Sailors home.

The Erie home was established in 1885 and first opened a year later in 1886.  This was the year that ex-President Arthur died, the year President Cleveland was married and 21 years after Lincoln's death.  The U.S. Senate appropriated $25,000 for a  monument to ex-President Grant to be built in Washington, D. C. It is also the year the House passed a bill to increase the pensions of widows and dependent survivors of Union Soldiers from $8 to $12 a month.

My note: Very little changed in the old Home over the years.  Probably one of the warmest memories I have is the year my grandfather, Clyde Way, took us to celebrate Mother's Day by going to the Soldiers & Sailors  Home and walking the l-o-n-g boardwalk that was behind there.  I don't think in my 45 years since (give or take a few <g>) there has been a Mother's Day roll around, that someone in our family hasn't brought forth that memory again.

This page was originally submitted in November 2000. A new background and slight format change was made in January 2002.

This page was last updated on  Thursday, January 10, 2002 .

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