Location: 26th and State
Electrical engineer Wendell Wilford King has the credit of starting the first radio station in Erie. Located on the northeast corner of 12th and State, WEDH was a station of the Erie-Dispatch-Herald.
As a student at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., King helped make the first college broadcast of a musical concert by wireless telephone in 1920. After studying under Charles
Location: 26th and French
Erie’s most well-known composer, Harry Thacker Burleigh, helped to bring Black spirituals to the world of classical music.
Burleigh was born in Erie in 1866. He had a deep baritone voice and went on to attend the National Conservatory of Music. There, he sang traditional songs his grandfather, Hamilton Waters, taught him. He soon befriended the school’s director, composer A
Location: 26th and Peach
Sam Jethroe was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1950, at age 32, having honed his skills for years prior. He remains the oldest person to receive the honor.
After Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Jethrore was the fifth Black player to join a Major League team.
The center fielder was a switch hitter and star of the Negro Leagues, playing for the Buck
Location: 26th and Holland
As the first Black teacher hired in the Erie School District in 1946, Ada Lawrence had a lifelong commitment to education and the betterment of her community.
In addition to teaching at Wayne Elementary School for 36 years, she served on the board of the Gertrude Barber Center and helped to found Erie’s Martin Luther King Center on Chestnut Street.
She also loved to bowl,
Location: 26th Street and German
With a lifetime of work, Mary Beth Kennedy continued to hold up “love” and “community” in everything she did.
With the help of her husband, Rev. Charlies C. Kennedy Sr,, she helped found the COmmunity of Caring, providing food clothing, and shelter to those indeed. They also launched the Community Country Day School and what is now known as Community Shelter Service
Location: 26th Street and Parade
John S. Hicks was an inventor and businessman, making and selling some of the best ice cream in the state.
Originally operating out of his location on Turnpike Street (now Griswold Park), Hicks moved to a three-story building at 1218 State Street in 1892. There, he manufactured ice cream using his own patented designs. The building was known as “Hicks Block,” and cou