Dank Erie

Hosted by DANK Chapter 71 and Lake Erie Fanfare


By on May 23, 2016

  • Chartered in 1990, we are known as DANK Chapter 71, Inc., The German Heritage Society of Erie
  • Our goal is the preservation of our German heritage, the language, traditions, culture, and music.
  • Meetings are generally held the 3rd Wednesday of the Month at the Erie Mäennerchor Club, 1607 State Street. Erie, PA. at 7 pm. Free and open to the public.
  • In 1996, the German Heritage Festival was established to provide more insight into the German culture through music, food and dance.

blue logo

Become A Member Of The Schmidt Familie

  • To help people identify with the German heritage, person who are 2nd or more generation of German Heritage (or of other ethnic backgrounds) are invited to become a member of the Schmidt Familie
  • In a special ceremony, held twice a year, the candidate is given a German first name and the last name of Schmidt (i.e. Beverly Pochatko is known as Klara Schmidt)
  • There is a “family song”, and a toast wishing them good health and long life.
  • It’s a lot of fun and provides Gemutlichkeit!
  • Applicants only need to make their desire known to any member of the Chapter Board. Not a member of DANK? Simply fill out an application and give it to a Board Member along with $30 head of household / $40/couple prior to the gathering.

Links You Won’t Want To Miss

Would You Like More Information?

  • You are always welcome to stop by our meetings to see what we are about.
  • For a Membership Application, print the application form from our national website (http://www.dank.org) and send with check to DANK Erie, 750 East 10th St, Erie, PA, 16503
  • Call: 814-456-9599
  • Email: ErieOma@verizon.net

Erie's German History
Elizabeth Pfeiffer

Erie German Settlers & Facts

From early records, we have determined that the 1st German settlers in Erie County in all probability came from the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany and had been settled in America for almost a century before coming northwest.  It was their letters to the families in the fatherland that brought even more settlers. Not all the […]

St. Marys School

Early Erie German Churches and Schools

St. Mary’s R.C. Church When the new Church was built, the graveyard had to be relocated. The remains of those early pioneers where placed in a mass grave at Trinity Cemetery marked by this monument. St. Mary’s School (1897) St. Mary’s School was originally a school for boys only! St. Mary’s Home St. John’s Lutheran […]

Kraus’s Original Store

Early Erie German Businesses

Valentine Heidt, Undertaker A. Schultz Company Edward Gredler in his Butcher Shop Karsh’s Grocery Photo taken in 1905 – Store was opened in April 1898  five years after their arrival in Erie and remained in the family until 1985. Peter Wehan’s Grocery Store Schloss Meat Market Schuldebuckel Hill & Ohmer’s Hardware Store Kraus’s Original Store […]


Erie’s German Mayors

Mayor Phillip Becker 1883-1884 Provided electric street lights for the city and built a new City Hall. 1907-1911 Michael Liebel, Jr. was perhaps one of Erie’s most popular mayors. He owned and operated the Liebel Hotel.   Originally the West End Brewery, he formed the Cascade Brewery in 1889 and sold it in 1906 to Fred […]


German Heritage Festival

WILLKOMMEN to the 20th Annual Erie German Heritage Festival – A Family Friendly Event September 3rd & 4th (Labor Day Weekend) Rain or Shine! All activities under tents! Handicapped facilities / Parking with displayed ID Pets are not permitted in the park. Properly identified Service Dogs are permitted. No outside food or alcoholic beverages are […]