960 E 21st St :: The Wakefield House

This was once the home of W.W. and Flora Wakefield. W.W. began his career as a manager at Warner Brothers Dry Goods and Carpets on the northwest corner of 10th and State. He quickly got into other ventures and eventually took over his brother-in-law’s company, The Carey Roofing Company/Carey Manufacturing. Flora was an active suffragette, often using the couple’s home as a meeting place for organization.

They first moved to this area of the city after purchasing the old Martin Warfel Homestead, which was a tract of land extending from Buffalo Rd to 28th Street and from East Avenue to Elm Street. Apparently, an Eriez burial ground was unearthed in the gravel banks between 25th and 28th Street east of East Avenue. According to “The History of Erie County” by John Elmer Reed: “Just beyond Warfeltown, in Erie, used to be a famous place for school children, and others, to search for skulls and other human remains. Many burial mounds were to be then found thereabouts, which when disturbed yielded many a treasure as a reward for efforts of the searchers. It is said a very large human skeleton was found there, and with it two copper bowls which had been perforated around their edges and held together with a buckskin thong laced in and out of these perfo- rations. The bowls held about a pint of beads each ; but what has become of either bowls or beads, we have been unable to learn.”

Photograph of Martin Warfel, who initially settled the land this home was eventually built upon.

This home was built in 1914 and the Wakefield family lived there through the 1930s. They also owned a summer home on Lakeside Drive, on the bluff overlooking the lake, which was demolished in the 1960s.

Published by olderieonfoot

I run the Instagram @olderieonfoot about the beautiful old places in my town, Erie PA

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