Historical Timeline of Presque Isle

  • Period: Jan 1, 1400 to Jan 1, 1500

    Erielhonan, original Indian tribe settles in the Erie area

  • The Erielhonan are victorious in the first of many Indian wars over the Seneca tribe

  • The Erielhonan’s largest village, Risque is destroyed by 1,800 Iroquois warriors

  • The Erielhonan are annihilated and absorbed into the Iroquois and Seneca

  • Period: to

    The French name the land now known as Presque Isle meaning “almost an island/peninsula”

  • Fort Presque Isle is built; two additional outposts, one at the mouth of the peninsula and one at the eastern point are constructed

  • Period: to

    The French and Indian War begins

  • The French abandon their outposts and burn their fort

    The British reconstruct Fort Presque Isle
  • The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the French and Indian War

  • Dissatisfied with British control of the region, Pontiac’s War begins, uniting various Native American tribes to expel the British.

  • Fort Presque Isle falls to Indian forces

  • Pontiac’s War ends with signed treaty

  • Period: to

    American Revolutionary War

    Americans take Fort Presque Isle
  • Treaty of Fort Stanwix: Iroquois sell their rights to the land containing the peninsula to the US government

  • Pennsylvania acquires undisputed title of the land from the US government

  • General Anthony Wayne builds a new “American” Fort Presque Isle

  • The town of “Presqu’ Ille” is renamed to Erie and laid out nearby

  • Erie County is formed from Allegheny County

  • Period: to

    War of 1812 breaks out

    Presque Isle played a decisive role in the Battle of Lake Erie, as Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of American forces prevented British control of the Lake
  • Period: to

    An outbreak of smallpox leads to infected bodies being dumped in what is now known as “Misery Bay” and “Graveyard Pond”

  • The Brig Niagra, suffering from damages, is intentionally sunk in Misery Bay

  • The Erie Harbor North Pier light, Lake Erie’s first lighthouse is constructed

  • The Presque Isle Light, the second lighthouse is constructed

  • The predecessor to the United States Coast Guard, known as the United States Life Saving Service is opened

  • The third and final lighthouse is constructed by Erie Waterworks

  • In an effort to provide freshwater to the city of Erie, a waterworks is constructed

  • The State Legislator authorizes the creation of the “Pennsylvania State Park”

  • The first paved road in the park is built

  • The Perry Monument is constructed

  • The Park is renamed to Presque Isle State Park

  • The Peninsula is expanded to accommodate new roads and additional parking

  • Presque Isle is named a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service

  • The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is built at the entrance to the park

  • A small tornado touches down and causes damages to the park, wrecking power lines, trees, and an observation platform