Hagen History Center

Hagen History Center, Erie: Address, Phone Number, Hagen History Center Reviews: 4/5

Hagen History Center
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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17 reviews
Very good

Livonia, MI47 contributions
Glad to have gone, wished they had a tour
Oct 2019 • Couples
Beautiful mansion. Grounds and interior kept up well. Great museum items to see and read about. Would be better with a guided tour or better self guided materials. Felt it was missing a ton of historical facts about the times, the people who resided there and basic workings and expenses of the house, including how much it was to build or purchase. It had some furniture and belongings of the residents, but it would have been better if fully furnished. Still a great find and glad we went.
Written 6 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anthony L
Mifflinburg, PA154 contributions
A display of noteworthy historical pieces in a well-preserved mansion
Aug 2019
A couple of friends and I attended the Tall Ships event in Erie and received a flyer inviting us to visit the Watson-Curtze Mansion at the Hagen History Center, some distance away. The only link to the Tall Ships event seemed to be the opportunity to see Oliver Perry's sword on display at the mansion. But, it was a good break from the crowded waterfront activity, particularly since the flyer indicated that there would also be free hot dogs and beer available. In fairness, it was an enjoyable visit. The building itself is in remarkably good condition, with period furniture and indications of how some wealthy early 20th century Erie residents lived. There were displays of artifacts from the Civil War, from WWII, the Women's Suffrage movement, cultural activities of the early 20th century, and Perry's sword. But, there was no docent or self-guiding signs to lead us to Perry's sword. We were left on our own to explore the three-floor building at leisure (without touching, of course). So, a nice place for American history buffs to visit, a commendable effort to raise interest and donations for support of the History Center and preservation of the mansion. But, without a tour guide, we concluded our visit with only appreciation for what was there (including a warmed-up hot dog and a beer), but none of the educational benefit that might have made the long trek away from the harbor area much more worthwhile and memorable. The staff and volunteers tending to reception of visitors thanked us for coming, encouraged us to visit again, but seemed to have little interest in recording our visit or offering literature to solicit future donations,
Written 25 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Washington DC, DC78 contributions
A Historic Gem
Dec 2018 • Friends
Growing up in Erie, I always found the Watson-Curtze Mansion to be magical - the stone turreted building, the wonderful fireplaces, the tiles and mosaics, the vaulted ceilings, the woodwork and, of course, the stained glass. I loved my childhood visits to the site. Now returning as an adult, I better appreciate the craftsmanship that went into constructing the building and its fine touches. The mansion now comprises the heart of the history center.

The holidays are a wonderful time to visit as the mansion is decorated for a Victorian Christmas, complete with trees loaded with period ornaments. (Many in the area make such a visit a holiday tradition.) Visitors get to tour the three floors of the mansion. The first floor introduces visitors to the life of a well-to-do family beginning in the 1890s and extending into the next century - you visit the dining room, parlor, the den, kitchen, pantry and, one of my favorite spots - the solarium. You also see the first elevator in a private residence in the city. The former bedrooms on the second floor now house special galleries focusing on Erie's ethnic heritage, the Civil War (featured is a film on the conflict that also highlights local military leader Strong Vincent), and local manufacturing. In the room which served as bedroom for the family daughter, look for the round stained glass window representing small flowers. The third floor includes the ballroom - you can still view the loft for the musicians and it's easy to imagine the parties held here.. Other special exhibits are on such topics as Native-Americans, the military (including local figures who served) and Marx toys, featuring many toys both young and old will recognize from their childhoods (who knew there was an Untouchables play set as well as one of the White House, complete with miniature presidents) The exhibits are well crafted and informative and there is something of interest for all ages. However, the house alone with its wonderful craftsmanship is well worth the visit.

There is a fee and the tour is self-guided (however, you can refer questions to the staff in the neighboring building where you buy tickets). There are steps to climb but there is an elevator for handicap use.
Written 2 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Altoona, PA127 contributions
Extremely well preserved
Aug 2018 • Family
Beautiful old mansion house preserved. Upon paid admission you get to explore 3 floors of the house. 2nd floor has special exhibit about the Civil War. Dining room recently acquired the original table service and it is displayed in glass front cabinets. Entry hall and grand staircase are amazing.
Written 9 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alene A
2 contributions
Watson-Curtze Mansion
Jul 2018 • Friends
Being interested in the Victorian period i loved this House. It was clean and cool (for a very hot day) so beautiful. The downstairs was authentic in its furniture and decor but the upper floors were not. The former bedrooms were turned into mini museum displays as were the rooms off of the third floor ballroom. It was very odd, not in keeping with the beautiful downstairs rooms. It would have been wonderful to see all the rooms with authentic furniture from that period. A tour guide would have been nice as well as we had many questions to ask.
Written 6 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wayne B
Brampton, Canada1,056 contributions
Beautifully Mansion and Coach House - Tour A "Millionare's Row" Mansion and Two Separate Museums
Nov 2017 • Couples
The Watson-Curtze Mansion is truly spectacular - A three storey structure, constructed of stone with rounded turrets on it's corners, each turret having a cone shaped roof. It is an architectural masterpiece, with a huge matching coach house and garage beside it.

The downstairs level is fully decorated and furnished with period correct furniture, lighting, draperies and other artifacts of the era. The extensive and rare woodwork throughout the home is truly outstanding. It alone is worth the price of admission.

The elaborate arched ceilings are one of a kind - the huge dining room china cabinets, filled with period pieces is without compare.

The office area is also completed in exotic woodwork,with it's custom built collectors cabinet. Each main room has an ornate and unique fire place and hearth.

This home truly illustrates the opulence that a well-to-do family in19th century could aspire to. It is a very regal residence indeed.

The upstairs floor, accessed via an elaborate wood finished staircase, shows the same elegance as the lower level, however the floor space had been allocated to interesting museum displays, encompassing early military items, turn of the century Erie industries, vintage children's toys and playhouses, products invented and/or produced in post-war Erie and other interesting and well displayed items of historic interest.

Taking the tour, one learns of the importance of Erie to the war effort and the large work-force its industries once employed. It is likely, you too, will find this mansion and museum of special interest.
Written 27 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Willoughby, OH166 contributions
Beautiful historic building
Aug 2017 • Friends
The staff member from the gift shop walked us over to the mansion and gave us a brief intro. Unfortunately then we were on our own with the little brochure which offers only brief info. It's too bad there's no guide or docent to provide more detail.
Written 12 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pamela R
21 contributions
"A tube of toothpaste? Really?"
Dec 2016 • Couples
The Watson Curtze mansion was one of my favorite places to visit when I was a kid, especially during the holidays. When I visited last year, I was dismayed to see they had removed the antique toys, dolls, and decor and replaced it with obscure relics of Erie. The quaint, historical rooms are gone and have been replaced with garish rooms that have displays with items such as a toothpaste tube made at Plastek. I get the Erie theme, but I was a little upset I paid admission to see a tube of toothpaste. I am extremely disappointed and dismayed to see that one of my favorite places to visit has been ruined.
Written 25 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Erie, PA227 contributions
Watson Curtzie museum
May 2017 • Family
What a fantastic place, needed a place to take prom pictures and they were so nice! And what beautiful pictures! Thank you for everything!
Written 6 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Margaret D
Erie, PA33 contributions
Beautiful Mansion Houses Historic Museum
Apr 2017 • Solo
The beautivul Watson-Curtze Mansion houses the newly restored Hagen History Center. The building itself gives visitors a peek into the splendor of these amazing mansions that, at one time, were home to many wealthy families on West Sixth Street in Erie, nicknamed "Millionaires Row."

Currently, the featured presentation is appropriately titled, Erie County in the Civil War. Sons of Erie County plated a prominent role in the Northern Army during the Civil War. Included were three of my great-great uncles, the three oldest brothers of ten children of Wilson and Jane Caldwell. Two of them joined the Pa. 111th Volunteer Regiment in 1861, while the third joined the Navy. It's great to view artifacts from so many Erie County families, and ponder their sacrifice as they defended the Union and fought to end slavery.
Written 10 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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