Published Books from the Jefferson Educational Society

The Jefferson Educational Society has a variety of published books available for sale. Learn more about each of the books below, and stay tuned for more books to be published in the future. Contact us for additional information about any of the books listed below.

Accidental Paradise 13,000-Year History of Presque Isle By David Frew and Jerry SkrypzakAccidental Paradise: 13,000-Year History of Presque Isle

By: David Frew and Jerry Skrypzak

Inspired by an October moonrise that was viewed from Presque Isle, this amazing story, published by the JES in cooperation with the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation, reaches back into geological time, and traces the history of a place that locals and visitors have come to know as their "peninsula."  Dr. David Frew and Jerry Skrypzak combine story-telling and amazing photography to create a stunningly beautiful book. 

"Accidental Paradise" answers questions as it details natural and human history.  Where did the sand come from?  Did Eriez Indians live there? How did the process of succession grow the peninsula and what happened on Presque Isle before it became a state park?  Who decided how and where the roads should be engineered and why did Erie's Water Department own much of the center of the peninsula? Were War of 1812 sailors really buried in Graveyard Pond?

The book arrives at the 100th anniversary of Presque Isle State Park (1921 to 2021) and as the title suggests, it documents the good fortune that has repeatedly saved the peninsula from disaster.  Early on, the Army Corps of Engineers almost made Presque Isle into an island by establishing a navigable channel through the western arm.  Later, while no one was paying attention, market hunters, trappers and loggers denuded forested regions, which could have destabilized the fragile sand base and caused Presque Isle to wash away.  Then city fathers tried to sell Presque Isle to Andrew Carnegie who intended to build a steel mill there.  Imagine a nasty, smoke-belching factory with railroad bridges, taconite and coal piles in place of paradise.  But then, just as the fate of the fragile sand spit seemed most at risk, the State of Pennsylvania made Presque Isle into a state park, assuring that it would be protected for generations to come. Struggles continue, however. Recent high lake levels have been eating away at the park, eroding beaches, flooding interior trails and toppling trees.  As the book goes to press, a freak November 2020 storm has closed Presque Isle, covered roadways with tons of sand, and flooded Waterworks.  Has Lake Erie changed?  Is the climate warming?  The answers are explored in the book. 

While "Accidental Paradise" identifies contemporary threats and concerns, it is essentially a story of hope and promise. Beautiful images, poetry, and wonderful stories percolate from the pages, as the prose traces a legacy of history and details the partners who have grown with the park: Waldameer, Erie Water Works, Algeria Farms, Sarah's, the Coast Guard and more.  

Enjoy the book, then go to Presque Isle.  Wander beaches, roadways and trails.  Visit TREC and attend programs.  Feel the wonder as you honor the history.

For more information, including how, where, and when to purchase the book, please visit

Erie, Pennsylvania Mayors: 150 years of Political History

Erie, Pennsylvania MAYORS: 150 Years of Political History

By: William P. Garvey, Ph.D.

What do millionaire oil man Orange Noble, rascal lawyer Miles Kitts, and football star and coach Lou Tullio have in common?

It's the same thing shared by "Coal King" William L. Scott, political boss Michael Liebel, and glass ceiling-breaker Joyce Savocchio.

All are characters in the real-life story of Erie, Pennsylvania, told through the eyes of Erie's mayors and the events that helped shape them, from the incorporation of the city in 1851 to the 21st century.

MAYORS, written by the late Founding President of the Jefferson Educational Society William P. Garvey, Ph.D., is no ordinary history, as it leads the reader through the political reasons why, not just how, a city on the Great Lakes grew to become what it is today and the challenges it faces tomorrow.

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Erie, Pennsylvania Mayors: 150 years of Political History

Lou Tullio: A Real Erie Guy

Lou Tullio: A Real Erie Guy is the most comprehensive book to date on Erie, Pennsylvania's 6-term Mayor, Louis J. Tullio (1916-1990). Published by the Jefferson Educational Society, this book - written by Cory Vaillancourt - offers a revealing look at the life and times of one of the most significant and heavily mythologized politicians in the history of Erie.

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Erie, Pennsylvania Mayors: 150 years of Political History

Victory: Erie, The War of 1812, and the Battle of Lake Erie

by Cornell Green

In partnership with the Perry 200 Commemoration, the Jefferson Educational Society published this written and illustrated history of the War of 1812, and the Battle of Lake Erie and Erie’s heroic role in shaping the nation. Five thousand copies of this work have been dispersed in the community with an additional 5,000 still available for sale at the Jefferson Society. (30 pp.)

Erie, Pennsylvania Mayors: 150 years of Political History

Victory: Erie, The War of 1812, and the Battle of Lake Erie: The Young Readers Edition

by Cornell Green

Due to the demand by young readers (3-6 grades), their teachers and parents, the Perry 200 and the Jefferson Society wrote and illustrated a young readers edition of the Victory book to make sure that more of our young learn about our community’s awesome past. Five thousand have been passed to young readers all over the county and copies are available at the Jefferson Society. (38 pp.) 

Erie, Pennsylvania Mayors: 150 years of Political History

Fortune and Fury - A History of Commercial Fishing in Erie

by David Frew, Ph.D. and Jerry Skrypzak, B.A. (Published 2011)

A story of history and hope, Fortune and Fury details the lives of the people who earned a living on the shores of the greatest of the Great Lakes while revealing errors made as well-intentioned fishermen struggled to earn a living. The stories illuminate an amazing history as well as a hopeful future for a sustainable fishery and a pristine lake.

Available at the Jefferson Educational Society and the Erie Historical Society

An Economic History of Northwestern Pennsylvania

The book will cover the economic history of Northwest Pennsylvania, covering Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Warren Counties including separate chapters on the major economic figures and the economic growth and uniqueness of each county from their birth to the 21st Century. Includes a special essay on the future of the NWPA region. (Approx. 200-250 pp.; scheduled for publication in Fall 2016)