When Erie Was the Freshwater Fishing Capitol of the World

January 24th,2022 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: David Frew Ph.D.

During the early 1900s, Erie, Pennsylvania earned a national reputation for being the Freshwater Fishing Capital of the World. Tons of Lake Erie fish were delivered to downtown (and neighboring) docks each day from early spring until late winter. Before becoming a state park in 1921, Presque Isle played a significant role in the industry, housing a huge outdoor hatchery, several fish processing companies, and an ice-harvesting operation. This installment of the "Accident Paradise" programming series will outline those glory days and present the reasons for their demise.


This JES Satellite Program is at: 

Lincoln Community Center Library

1255 Manchester Rd. 

Erie, PA 16505

David Frew Ph.D.
Scholar-in-Residence, Jefferson Educational Society

Historian and author David Frew, Ph.D., is a JES Scholar-in-Residence. An emeritus professor at Gannon University, he held a variety of administrative positions during a 33-year career. He is also emeritus director of the Erie County Historical Society/Hagen History Center, where he had previously served as Executive Director for five years, and is president of his own management consulting business.


After beginning with a five-year career in engineering, Frew took a teaching fellowship at Kent State University, where he earned a doctorate in Organizational Behavior in 1970. His love of Lake Erie brought him back to Erie where he became a faculty member and the founding director of Gannon's MBA Program. His career at Gannon included administrative posts as Director of the Health Services Administration and Public Administration Programs, as well as Dean of the Graduate School. In 1982 and 1983, he took a leave from Gannon to complete a post-doctorate at Kent State University where he completed advanced coursework in psychology and research design. He was also a visiting professor at Mercyhurst University for four years.


Dr. Frew has authored or co-authored 40 books, most recently “Accidental Parade: A 13,000-Year History of Presque Isle,” and more than 100 articles, cases, and papers. His work has appeared in publications ranging from refereed journals such as The Journal of Applied Psychology to popular magazines such as Sail Magazine and Cruising World.


Growing up on Erie's lower west side as a proud "Bay Rat," Frew was known to join neighborhood kids playing and marauding along the west bayfront. He has written for years about his beloved Presque Isle and his adventures on the Great Lakes. In the “On the Waterfront Series” for the JES, the Scholar-in-Residence takes note of life in and around the water.