About Erie

Erie is a city in Erie County, Pennsylvania, on the coast of Lake Erie. Erie is named after the adjacent lake, which is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore before European contact. Erie was also called the “Gem City” because of the sparkling lake.

Erie County Map - Click for larger image.

Erie was first settled by the French, who built Fort Presque Isle in 1753, as part of their effort to garrison New France against the encroaching English. Presque Isle means "almost an island" in French. The fort was surrendered to the British, along with the rest of New France, at the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763. The city of Erie was founded in 1795.

As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 103,717. It is the fourth most populated city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown. Recently, due to large revitalization projects and other factors, Erie is expected to have gained people by 2010. Erie has become a popular home because of the beautiful beaches, revitalized downtown, and a suburban feel, even though Erie's population is over 100,000.

As of 2004, the city's largest single employer is the locomotive builder GE Infrastructure-Rail, formerly known as GE Transportation Systems, located in neighboring Lawrence Park Township to the east. Smaller, high-precision companies are growing in size and scope. For example, the Lord Corporation, which specializes in shock- and vibration-damping products, has a plant in Erie. The plastics industry is also a significant employer, although most of these companies are small to medium-sized. Over 10% of the nation's plastics are manufactured or finished in Erie-based plastics plants. These plants are supported by many locally-owned CNC machine tool job shops.


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