Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Home For The Friendless in Erie PA

The Home For The Friendless, at 2208 Sassafras Street in Erie, PA, was a home for orphaned or unwanted children. State Senator Morrow B. Lowry donated a frame house located on the old Gaggin property at West 22nd and Sassafras in 1875. Architect D. K. Dean designed the brick home shown above (he also designed Longfellow School, which still stands at 509 West 8th St.). Neighbors and donors were able to visit the home during an open house on February 22, 1876. Look closely and you'll see a number of kids standing at the corner of the building near the opening in the fence. Children were educated at the home for five hours each day. 

The Home For The Friendless was later renamed the Sarah Reed Children's Home. This charity exists today and is known as the Sarah Reed Children's Center in Millcreek.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com


  1. Is this still there today? I remember it.

  2. I started working at Sarah Reed in 1986 and still working there today. In 1871 30 woman founded Sarah Reed. The original house was donated to Sarah Reed in 1871. The house still remains on the corner of 23rd and Sassafras.I think the house above did sit at the corner of 22nd and Sassafras. Later the house that sits on the corner of 23rd and Sass was called the Home of the Friendless. In the late 1890's the house on 23rd and Sass became The Old Ladie's Home. Sarah Reed eventually separated the houses for kids and old ladies. In 1986 the 2 centers were incorporated as separate non profit organizations. The current house on 23rd and sassafras was added on to in 1970 a building was added to the old house and went along Sassafras Street known as Reed Terrace. In 1994 we added on to the back of the old house and added more residential apartments. In 1990 we added on a new building that sits along 22nd Street known as Reed House which is our Skilled Care Building. We are currently in the planning stages to build a new 2 1/2 story building that will come off the end of our skilled care building and go over to Myrtle Street and across 23rd Street. The building should be started later this year into 2016. The new building will all have private rooms and our current killed Care will be remodeled into private rooms as well. We will remain to house the same amount of residents. Sarah Reed now owns the entire block from 22nd to 23rd Street and Sassafras over to Myrtle. So if you ride buy and see construction, you will know we are adding on. We we'll continue to carry on Sarah A. Reed's legacy.