Xtine’s 20 Questions: Whose Business is it Anyway? Erie, PA Historical Trivia Quiz


Standing in majestic silence, the Boston Store in the center of downtown Erie, PA was a place where local people worked 50+ years before retiring. Now it is an apartment building.

Calling All Erieites…Just How Much Do You Know About Your City’s Colorful Commercial Past? Test Your Knowledge Here and Find Out

Christine Lorraine

Hello Erieites! Plug in your memory generator and take this 20-question challenge to see how much you remember about your hometown’s background just a few short years ago. To make it more interesting, the answers and a rating key are located at the bottom of the quiz.


1. What was the name of the drive-in movie theater that was located off of West 12th Street near Pittsburgh Avenue?

a. The Shea
b. Skyway
c. The Star
d. Dipson Theater

2. Can you finish the missing words to this musical advertising blast from the past?

“You’ve tried the rest now try the best, ___________ and _____________ Tire.”

3. In the 1800s, what was the name of the area around East 28th and Parade Streets where Herman’s tavern was located for many years?

a. Uppityville
b. Marvintown
c. Pulakosburg
d. Osieki Corners

4. When it was in its heyday, what was located in the basement of the Boston Store?

a. Boiler room
b. The ghost of Oliver Hazard Perry
c. Ball room
d. Discount merchandise

5. What was the name of the Volkswagen dealership that was located in Millcreek on West 26th Street near Loveland Avenue?

6. Complete this musical jingle from yester year: Call 4-5-2-6-8-3-1
Erie _____________ ______________ .

7. Name three “five-and-dime” stores in downtown Erie in the 1960s.

8. What was the name of the department store located off of West 26th Street near
I-79 in the 1970s where Champion Ford presently sits?

a. Miller’s
b. Stan’s
c. Ziffel’s
d. Lou’s Lollapalooza

9. Fill in the blanks to this 1960s local jingle: “When the hungries hit, when the hungries hit, hit the ___________ ___________ .

10. What was the name of the electronics store that was located at 14th and Peach Streets into the 1980s?

a. Mace Electronics
b. Big Boris Worthington’s
c. Zap Shack
d. Warren Radio

11. What grocery store could be found at West 26th Street and Brown Avenue in the 1980s?

a. S & H Green Stamp Grocery
b. Dandy Lion’s
c. Paul Bunyan
d. Rudy’s Red River Grocery Group

12. Fill in the blank of this well-known slogan from the 1970s: “Good prices, good service, and no _________________ .”
13. List four pharmacies that previously conducted business in Erie.

14. What was the name of the business that originally operated out of the large building near the southeast corner of West 12th and Pittsburgh Avenue in the 1970s?

a. Erie Fossil Museum
b. Headliners
c. Pat Crawford’s Jukebox
d. Grant City

15. ________________ is the low-cost living, anti-inflation department store.

16. Speaking of department stores, what was the name of the establishment that was situated on the northwest corner of 10th and State Streets in the 1950s and 1960s before a hotel was built there?

a. Erie Emporium
b. The Downtowner
c. Fisher’s
d. Tenth Street Surplus Store

17. Which obsolete grocery store started out in the middle of the Liberty Plaza and opened a huge mega store across the street that was open 24 hours?

18. “You get the ____________ _______________ in Koehler Beer.”

19. What was the name of the restaurant previously located on East 38th Street and Maxwell Avenue that was staffed by Mercyhurst College students?

a. Mercyhurst Laker Inn
b. Hallow Haven
c. Mercy Smorgasbord
d. Student Union Dinor

20. “School bells ring and children sing it’s back to _________________ ________________’s again.”

1. c – The Star drive-in was one of Erie’s most popular spots in the 1950s and 1960s, and many local residents can remember begging their parents to get there early so that they could play on the swings before the movie started. The Skyway drive-in was located in east Erie County near Lawrence Park.

2. Ross and Copus Tire

3. b – Marvintown, which was named after Elihu Marvin who moved to Erie from Ripley, NY in 1842.

4. d – Discount merchandise. During the bustling Christmas season many local children told Santa what they wanted by visiting him on the 6th floor of the Boston Store.

5. Ben Fresch Volkswagen

6. Erie Insurance Exchange

7. Murphy’s, Woolworth’s and Kresges. The latter eventually morphed into Kmart.

8. a – Miller’s, which evolved into Super Duper, then Autoland.

9. Red Barn, a fast food burger-oriented chain with numerous locations around Erie.

10. d – Warren Radio

11. c – Paul Bunyan, an innovative grocery entity that even hosted an event designed to help single people meet each other. There was a second Paul Bunyan store located on East 38th Street near Pine Avenue.

12. “Good prices, good service and no baloney” was the well-known slogan for Hallman Chevrolet in the 1970s.

13. Some pharmaceutical names from Erie’s past are: Eckard’s, Arrow, Pal, Rexall, Edward’s, PharMor.

14. d – Grant City, which expanded from its original downtown Erie location to the busy West 12th and Pittsburgh Avenue intersection, and offered the “Bradford” brand of appliances.

15. Hills is the low-cost living, anti-inflation department store, and one store was located at 2323 W. 38th Street before the now-defunct West telemarketing company operated out of the same building.

16. c – Fisher’s, which was a stylish store for its time.

17. Loblaws, the first grocery store to be open around the clock in the Erie area.

18. “You get the Dutch touch in Koehler Beer” was a famous marketing hook used by Erie’s largest brewery back when it was thriving, and anyone who walked outdoors through the center of the brewery at 21st and State streets might have found themselves doused in a fine hops-and-grain mist.

19. a – Mercyhurst Laker Inn, which later became Panos Passport restaurant. Neither establishment still exists.

20. “School bells ring and children sing it’s back to Robert Halls again, mother knows for all their clothes it’s back to Robert Halls again.” This catchy singing advertisement referred to a store which was located near East 26th and Parade streets.
Rating Key

17 – 20 correct: ErieSistibly Excellent – There’s no doubt about where your roots developed. Chances are you had an account at Marine Bank, purchased a car from Pete Otis Ford and had a relative who worked at Marx Toys. You know your way around town, and probably bugged the Public Dock at some point in your illustrious existence. Pat yourself on the back for a job truly well done.

13 – 16 correct: ErieItis Infectious – Good job, you Erie Weary Warrior. There’s a distinct possibility that you fed peanuts to Eva the elephant, after eating lunch at the Liberty Plaza Restaurant before picking up your child from Erie Central High School at 11th and Sassafras streets. Good job answering these tricky hometown trivia questions.

9 – 12 correct: Eloquently ExpERIEnced – There are probably remnants of Firch’s bread stored safely away in your memory banks. Your ancestors shopped at Kraus Department Store and raved about the pierogies at Stan’s Dinette. Lake effect forces point to the fact that you may have known someone who worked at the Boston Store with the outside possibility that one of your forefathers remembered the great flood of Mill Creek in 1915 where Erie’s fire chief and over 30 others were killed. Your knowledge about Erie’s formative years is truly admirable

4 – 8 correct: Erieily Entrenched – It seems as though you could have shopped at Sears when it was on 10th Street downtown, or recall how east Erie was draped in the seamy aroma of Hammermill. It bears to mention that your mouth waters when reminiscing over Majestic Bakery, and in your childhood you probably saw your mom wear a dress from London’s, and your dad probably purchased a magazine or two from Candyworld/Book City. You know enough about your hometown to get around and answer random tourist questions.

0 – 3 correct: Eriesistibly Challenged – If you scored this low, one might wonder if you were born in Erie, and chances are you weren’t. That’s okay, there are plenty of local experts to help fill the void where your hometown knowledge should be. You most likely aren’t even aware of the fact that Bob Hope was married in Erie in 1933, and probably never shopped at May’s in the Central Mall. That’s okay though, there’s plenty of Erieitis to spread around.


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About xtinethewriter

* Freelance Writer Xtraordinaire * Producer of 300+ youtube videos * Cellist and bassist * Over 4,000 photos on Google maps viewed 300,000,000 times * Army veteran stationed in Bangkok, Thailand * Creative director for trainumentary.com and pugrealitytv.com * Former Advertising Executive, REALTOR, TV Producer, and Majority Inspector of Elections for Millcreek's 5th Ward, Erie County, PA. Also check out trainumentary.com and pugrealitytv.com * See her complete video collection at: https://www.youtube.com/user/fishiesswimming
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1 Response to Xtine’s 20 Questions: Whose Business is it Anyway? Erie, PA Historical Trivia Quiz

  1. I loved it. Got any more similar. Small discrepancy in pharmacy section. Eckerd’s is spelled hat way. There were 3 of the downtown –1109 832 and 706 State st. Brown -Jones stores were on 8 th and 10th & /State. Also your list left out Fischer and Scheller, Erie’s oldest existing pharmacy in the ’50s, at N.Park Row & State Streets

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