Sunday, November 4, 2012

25th and Ash Boot Factory Built 1871 Still Stands

Erie Boot and Shoe Factory at 25th and Ash Streets. Photo by Weber.

Erie was a well-known leather manufacturing site in the late 1800s

The Erie Boot and Shoe Company at the corner of 25th and Ash Street in Erie, PA was one of six companies that manufactured leather goods in 1878 in the City of Erie. This building still stands at 602 East 25th Street, and is just south of Serafin's Market. The J. H. Bennett Storage & Carting was located in this factory for a number of years, and Stanganelli's currently occupies this site.

The Erie Boot and Shoe Company formed in 1871 with $100,000 capital. It's annual output in 1882 was 1,800 cases of boot and 2,800 dozen shoes, with an annual value of $225,000 in products. Joseph Eichenlaub, who was born in Germany, was president and general manager of the company, and J. W. Ryan was treasurer. By 1882, the company employed between 75 and 100 people, a slight drop from the 120 people who worked there in 1878. The factory was 35 feet wide on the East 25th Street side, and 150 feet deep along Ash Street.

Erie Boot made ladies, misses, mens and youths boots and shoes. "The factory is divided into several departments, comprising that for cutting of upper leather, the cutting of sole leather, the crimping, bottoming, treeing, stitching, finishing, packing, etc...The trade extends over Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, and wherever introduced at once gains a reputation for superior workmanship." -Manufacturing and Mercantile Resources of Erie City and County.

Gunnison's Tannery was located at 134 West 18th Street in Erie, PA. Charles E. Gunnison and John B. Gunnison established the business in 1859. The company increased from 12 to 16 employees between 1878 and 1882, producing $50,000 worth of goods annually, and used 7,500 hides, 1,500 calf skins and 600 cords of hemlock bark annually. (Gunnsion's was located where the Central Mall was later built.) This building no longer stands.

"The tannery consists of a large brick building, partly two and partly three stories in height; the three-story part 53x54 feet, and the two-story part 22x70 feet in dimensions. Attached to this building is their office 20x20 feet, besides an engine and boiler room 30x75 feet. They use a 20-horse power engine and boiler much larger in capacity...and have a capacity of about 250 sides per week.

They make rough harness and rough leather principally, and find a ready market for all they produce, the harness leather being sold to the general trade here, while the rough leather is shipped to Boston."

Keystone Boot and Shoe Works was located on East 12th Street. William Himrod was president of the company and J. F. Downing was treasurer. Keystone had $40,000 in capital. The business had 75 employees and produced $100,000 in boot and shoes annually.

Henry Mayo was located at 709 State Street in Erie, PA. His business had $5,000 in capital and produced $10,000 worth of harnesses, whips, saddles and bridles annually. He employed five people. The Mayo Leather Shop was still in business in 1922 at 709 State Street and was owned by Maxwell Mayo. (The Erie Sports Store was located at 709 State Street at one time.) This building no longer stands.

Richtscheit's Tannery was located at 197 East 11th Street in Erie, PA. Joseph Richtscheit established the tannery in 1860 with $5,000 in capital. In 1878 he had two employees and the business consumed 1,000 hides and skins and 100 cords of bark annually. The business was not operating in 1878.

Streuber's Tannery was located on State Street between 18th and 19th Streets in Erie, PA. The business was founded in 1861 by John Streuber. His sons, Emil and George Strueber, took over the business in 1871, a year before John died. The Streubers were born in France. The tannery had $40,000 in capital and had an annual use of 6,000 hides, 5,000 calf skins and 600 cords of hemlock bark.

"The premises occupied are a brick building, most of which is five stories high, covering an area of 100x165 feet. The establishment gives employment to 34 men, and turns out finished calf, kip, upper, harness and sole leather, besides some unfinished light stock, which is worked into carriage leather, etc. The total value of the product reaches $120,000. The stock is shipped to all sections of the country, principally to the West, but sales are not confined to any locality."

No comments:

Post a Comment