Who can imagine a time when E. 28th & Parade Sts. looked like this (facing south). Check out this oil painting of “Marvintown” by Ida Heibel, who created the image from her memory of when she lived there as a child. Here’s the story, as told by Marian Fromkneckt:
“Marvintown was the farm of Elihu Marvin, 1791-1878. He lived in the Sennett place which formerly stood on the northwest corner of 28th and Parade Streets. Mr. Marvin moved here from Ripley, NY, in 1842. About 1864, he built a residence on Tenth Street, where he resided until his death. Mr. Marvin’s wife was Ann Humphreys, a niece of Gen. David Humphreys of Derby, Connecticut. Their granddaughter, Sarah L., born 1840, married Matthew Griswold. Sarah L (Olmstead) Griswold died 1871.
Since Marvintown was the intersection of two roads, one Pine Avenue or Rte. 8, leading to Wattsburg, and the other the Old French Road, leading to Waterford, a small village sprang into existence, and in 1852-53, Mr. Marvin employed Samuel Low to lay out the land in lots. The lots were sold principally to Germans, and finally Mr. Marvin disposed of his home to Pardon Sennett.
In the early part of 1977, the Erie Historical Society received a ten by eight foot oil painting representing a view of 28th and Parade Streets and the area south. The artist was the late Ida Heibel (1890-1965). This painting is still hanging in the Historical Society. The painting and description are Ida’s recollection of the area as she knew it, about 1895. Her maiden name was Ida C. Emling. She and her sister, Marie, were orphans at an early age and they were brought up by Mr. J.R. Rinderle, whose farm was at the southeast corner of 38th & Pine Avenue. She was accustomed to a daily walk from this point to school at St. John’s 27th & Wallace Streets, so that the details of her walk through this area became firmly etched in her memory.
Mrs. Heibel left handwritten notes about the scene of her painting – “with its cherry and apple orchards – prim ladies and sociable old gentleman, happy children and many dogs. Pine Avenue was one of the most beautiful streets, at that time, in the city of Erie. Many, many cherry trees grew there and the whole territory was like a beautiful garden.”
At the five corners were Albert Steimer’s grocery store, Ohmer’s restaurant and Gloth’s grocery and on the northwest, the Sennett home. The old J.R. Rinderle farm lay where Mercyhurst College campus is now. The old Brewery Cellar was at what is now called 38th and Pine Ave. Here the Rinderle Brewery stood, later razed by fire. It was formerly the Weschler Brewery.”