The Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home was constructed to care for ailing veterans of the Civil War. The Grand Army of the Republic chose the site of the old Marine Hospital as the perfect spot to care for military veterans. The first inmate entered the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at 560 East 3rd Street in Erie, PA on February 22, 1886.
The facility sits on a beautiful sixty acre plot at the foot of Ash Street. Former residents are buried in a cemetery behind the home, which is visible from the Eastside Bayfront Connector near the railroad track crossing. The Wayne Blockhouse is on the northwest part of the property.
The following is a description of the home written in 1888:
"The place is in no sense a charitable institution...The men gathered under the roof of the Home are worthy of its care and protection, and a careful study of its record-book shows that the services rendered to the government were such as ought to be rewarded in a fitting manner...Some of them were on the gunboats of the Mississippi and went through the fire and smoke when the fleet ran the gauntlet of the rebel batteries at Vicksburg; some of them...climbed the steep sides of Lookout Mountain, fought their way to Atlanta, marched with Sherman to the sea, were cooped up with Burnside at Knoxville...charged at the murderous cannon at Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor, or were with Grant when he received the sword of the leader of the Rebellion."-Souvenir of Erie, PA.
Enjoy more fun and fascinating facts about historic Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie.