History

Serving Immigrant Communities Since 1870 

While the superb caliber of our programs differentiate us, our history defines us. This incomparable experience has helped us build an organization that has not only learned from its past but is prepared to take on the future.

As the demographic and economic landscapes have shifted, Erie has served as a stalwart in the immigrant community.  Beginning with the Ukrainian diaspora at the turn of the 20th century to today's vibrant Mexican community, Erie's commitment to service and education has never waivered.  

Uncovering Erie's History

So deep is our history that in 2002, Erie lifetime trustees and board members formed a Heritage Council to rediscover Erie’s past and begin recording its present. The Council worked with Erie staff and Loyola University Chicago history graduate and Ph.D. students to collect more than 40 oral histories from current and former Erie staff, participants and board members.  

The culmination of these efforts is featured in a timeline and four themed essays (linked at right). The original research and photo collection can be found in our archives at 1701 W. Superior St. and at the Chicago History Museum.

Photo: Florence Towne served as Erie Chapel Institute’s kindergarten and girls’ group leader from 1914 until 1926, when she became the head resident. Towne earned a special place in the hearts of many for her wise counsel, generous nature, vigilance against crime and deep religious faith. She was dubbed an “angel of the alleys” by Reader’s Digest and lived at Erie House until her death in 1951. She is pictured here giving dolls to Erie children during the holidays.
Erie Neighborhood House is immensely grateful to Loyola faculty Dr. Maureen Hellwig, Dr. Christopher Manning, and Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin, as well as Loyola alumni Dr. Catherine Maybrey and Rebecca Banks, who provided valuable guidance and focus to this project. We would also like to thank the following Loyola University Chicago students who contributed to this project: Theresa Bianchi, Thomas Campion, Liora Cobin, Catherine Griffis, Kent Haag, Elizabeth Hoffman, Mike Hollander, Dejan Kralj, Laura LeMone, Carrie Maciolek, Sara Nau, Vanessa Nava, Lori Osborne, Neal Parker, Hilary Pavlock, Stella Ress, Maria Reynolds, Leigh Ann Ripley, Jennifer Samble, Amanda Shock, Kelly Sieracki, Bjorn Skaptason, Heather Stecklein, Kristin Sundbeck, Carrie Tarasuk, Elizabeth Tjoelker, Jamie Toal, Lisa Tyminski and Nathan Whittom.
 

See Our Timeline

Share this Page