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Erie County (PA) Genealogy


Contributed by Marian Fromkneckt

Marvintown was the farm of Elihu Marvin, 1791-1878. He lived in the Sennett place which formerly stood on the northwest corner of 28th and Parade Streets. Mr. Marvin moved here from Ripley, NY, in 1842. About 1864, he built a residence on Tenth Street, where he resided until his death. Mr. Marvin's wife was Ann Humphreys, a niece of Gen. David Humphreys of Derby, Connecticut. Their granddaughter, Sarah L., born 1840, married Matthew Griswold. Sarah L (Olmstead) Griswold died 1871.

Since Marvintown was the intersection of two roads, one Pine Avenue or Rte. 8, leading to Wattsburg, and the other the Old French Road, leading to Waterford, a small village sprang into existence, and in 1852-53, Mr. Marvin employed Samuel Low to lay out the land in lots. The lots were sold principally to Germans, and finally Mr. Marvin disposed of his home to Pardon Sennett.

In the early part of 1977, the Erie Historical Society received a ten by eight foot oil painting representing a view of 28th and Parade Streets and the area south. The artist was the late Ida Heibel (1890-1965). This painting is still hanging in the Historical Society. The painting and description are Ida's recollection of the area as she knew it, about 1895. Her maiden name was Ida C. Emling. She and her sister, Marie, were orphans at an early age and they were brought up by Mr. J.R. Rinderle, whose farm was at the southeast corner of 38th & Pine Avenue. She was accustomed to a daily walk from this point to school at St. John's 27th & Wallace Streets, so that the details of her walk through this area became firmly etched in her memory. Mrs. Heibel left handwritten notes about the scene of her painting - "with its cherry and apple orchards - prim ladies and sociable old gentleman, happy children and many dogs. Pine Avenue was one of the most beautiful streets, at that time, in the city of Erie. Many, many cherry trees grew there and the whole territory was like a beautiful garden."

At the five corners were Albert Steimer's grocery store, Ohmer's restaurant and Gloth's grocery and on the northwest, the Sennett home. The old J.R. Rinderle farm lay where Mercyhurst College campus is now. The old Brewery Cellar was at what is now called 38th and Pine Ave. Here the Rinderle Brewery stood, later razed by fire. It was formerly the Weschler Brewery.

Mr. John Heibel had a seven acre farm, small but very productive at the corner of 28th and Parade, with the only bee swarm and hives in this district. Just above the Steimer grocery was John Schneider's blacksmith shop and, across the street, Florian Muntz' shoe shop. Shoes cost 45 cents a pair and always some good advice went with the purchase. During the grape season, he and his good wife pressed some very nice red wine. Next to Muntz' was the Miller home and south of that the Auer homestead. Mr. Auer as always such a jolly man. Then came the Gieslers and three Fromknecht brothers in a row, Mr. John May, George and Joseph Becker, and the homestead of Peter Becker, next to Monsignor Heibel's - a Mrs. Towmey and daughters and Mr. & Mrs. John Stroub and their daughters, the Behringer home and the John Semlers. Next in line was the Bauman homestead and another Mr. Fromknecht. The "Spencer Farm" was tenanted by John Hess and family; and then came the J.R. Rinderle peach orchard and home. Above that was the George Davison place.

West on 38th Street, then known as the "Old Mill Road" or "Cooper Road" was the original Rinderle farm on which Sebastian Rinderle built a log cabin, long, long before this date (1895). (Note: Sebastian Rinderle came from Germany in 1833 and settled on a farm that adjoined that of his son, J.R. Rinderle.) There was also a large bank barn and another house replaced the cabin, and his house still stands. West of the Rinderle farm was the Dickenhart farm and just north of that was the Haibach's. Mr. Ben Haibach was a cattle dealer, chiefly Texas steers.

On the west side of the street, known as Pine Avenue, was a house owned by a family unknown to this writer. The name Pine Avenue was given by Mr. & Mrs. John Schneider, naming it after the lone pine tree in their front yard. Next on the street was the Peplinski home and across a lane from this home was a piece of property owned by Mrs. Beltz, the house thereon long ago torn down. Frank Ohmer and his brother, George, were next and across Goose Alley from them another house whose occupant I don't know. Then came the beautiful cottage home and apple orchard of Joseph Rupp and next the Fickenworth home with a very nice truck garden adjoining lot. A tiny dear old couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Hirt occupied the adjoining tiny cottage. South of the Hirt's was the large George Schlindwein home, formerly a "road house" (tavern?). Mr. Schlindwein was a harness and saddle maker and had a very interesting family.

Plot Map of Marvintown extracted from 1876 Atlas of Erie County

Photograph of Oil Painting by Ida Heibel displayed in Erie County Historical Society

This page has been designed, and is being maintained by Bill Klauk.

This page was originally created on  Friday, May 25, 2001 .

This page was last updated on  Friday, February 16, 2007 .

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