Hagen History History Center Honors the Battles Family: Community Gem
This week's Community Gems segment takes us to West Erie County where there's big plans for the public to learn more about a Girard family.
The Girard Family is typically celebrated during the community's Dan Rice Days.
This week's Community Gem takes you inside the Battles Estate on Walnut Street, and what we found was amazing to see.
Cars pass by this sign on main street in Girard every day, it carries the name of the Battles family.
"One of the greatest stories of philanthropy in Erie County history," said Cal Pifer, Executive Director.
From the late 1800's and into the early 1900's: "The Battles family were a prominent West County family initially starting in farming then getting into manufacturing and banking," said Cal.
The family patriarch: Rush Battles founded the Webster-Battles Bank. His life is chronicled in a room on the first floor.
Charlotte Elizabeth Battles, who inherited the estate and carried on his local legacy, a legacy that the public can enjoy by going room to room.
The public can take in original items from that time in history.
Cal Pifer is the Executive Director of the Hagen History Center, formerly known as the Erie County Historical Society.
The society became the property steward in the 1980's, and includes a public trail.
"We have the extension of the Erie canal that runs through the property with hiking trails that the public can access," said Cal.
The unique property can also be rented out.
"Rustic Farm Weddings and they can use the seasonal apartments and stay for a week a month or the whole season," said Cal.
He's talking about the Yellow house also being an AirBnB. Two bedrooms, including a living room, and updated kitchen.
But while there's plans to also update the first floor, the second home on the battles property
called the White House is a time warp.
Decades old spices remain in the pantry, as do furnishings in each room.
There's 5 bedrooms in this home now museum. Charlotte Elizabeth was a world traveler and much of the stuff remains in tact as it was from the 1950's when she passed away.
But there's future plans for this White House too, Cal says the History Center has pending grants for various improvement projects.
Projects that will showcase the rich history of a family that carries a name on display for all to see.
With the plans this summer to refresh the property volunteers are needed. Civic and youth groups are also welcomed to reach out.
Our Lisa Adams will have more on the the Battles Estate and Hagen History Center this weekend on her show The Insider.