Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Charles H. Strong Log Cabin

The Log Cabin, owned by Charles Hamot Strong, was an exclusive getaway nestled deep in the woods north of the present-day Frontier Park. Strong was a shrewd businessman and a member of a prominent family in Erie, Pennsylvania. He held and interest in the Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad, the Erie County Electric Company, the Erie Dispatch-Herald newspaper and a number of other entities. 

The 47-acre tract on which the Log Cabin sat was family owned for more than 125 years. President William H. Taft visited the Log Cabin on September 17, 1911 as a guest of the Strong family. Taft stayed at the Strong Mansion in Erie, PA. Charles Strong moved into this vacation home when he separated from his wife in 1918 and died there in 1936. The property was sold at auction many years after he passed. The Log Cabin, described in an ad for the auction, was incredible:

The living room and dining room, for example, have open beam ceilings using uncut tree trunks for the beams with a wood ceiling laid in a lateral pattern. The great center hall is A-shaped, with 2-story cathedral ceiling reflecting the same dramatic design found throughout. There is a log-burning fireplace and many windows offering panoramic views of the grounds.

Dining Room: has a brick wood-burning fireplace
Kitchen: is ample in size
2nd Floor: has a U-shaped upper hall, built-in bookshelves and hand rubbed wall paneling
Master Bedroom: has builtin-in cabinets and a bathroom
Basement: has two boilers for the hot water oil-based heating system
Extras: several family and guest bedrooms and baths and domestic quarters.

The Cabin was situated on a bluff overlooking Presque Isle Bay and was built of stone boulders and frame siding accentuated by the use of tree trunks inside and out.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: Old Time Erie


  1. What happened to the property and the cabin?


  2. The Strong Estate, at the east end of South Shore Drive, had a gated entrance and was always a place of mystery to us neighborhood kids in the early '40s. When the 1940 US Census became available, I discovered there were many live-in servants and grounds-keepers on the property.

  3. A friend of mine and I took a boat and came up on the property from the bay. There were two buildings on the bay. I was told that one was to pump water up and the other to generate electricity. We peeked into the windows and saw a grand living room. Dough and I wondered around the grounds and see a carriage house.
    That is all I can remember except I was very sad when they tore it down, What a loss to Erie..

  4. Some of the live-in servants (maids and butler) ended up living together across the street from me on W. 29th Street. They had fascinating stories.

  5. If I remember correctly, my Grandmother said that Charles Strong had red hair with a red beard.