WhYErie: Corry, Erie County’s second city

Why Corry VOSOT_09381232-159532

As we explore Erie County, and ask WhYErie is a great place to live, we turn our focus this week to Erie County’s second city: Corry, about 30 miles southeast of downtown Erie.

Established in 1866, Corry began thanks to the intersection of several railroads and the proximity to the oil boom in nearby Titusville.  Visitors might be surprised to learn that Corry was another area city that has a history of building locomotives. Climax locomotives were built in Corry.  There’s even one on display at the Corry Historical Society.

With 6400 residents, Corry has half the population of Meadville and is a little larger than Titusville.

Corry is also close to everything.  A short drive to adventure on Presque Isle State Park, Allegheny National Forest, and the Chautauqua Institution and Peak n Peek Resort in Clymer, NY. 

Long-time Corry business leader, Hoop Roche, said Corry has all the virtues of a small town.

“It’s safe, it’s convenient, we don’t have traffic jams, we don’t have very much violence and the cost-of-living is low,” said Roche. “As far as a business leader, if I was coming to Corry I would want to know if the school was good and it is, I would want to know about healthcare – we have a new hospital that is state of the art. We have probably the best developer in the state, in Rick Novotny. He is very active in all of the industrial development of this region. If you have a small business that you want to move or an idea for a start up, Rick is the guy to see in Erie County. He really can get it done; he is always providing good loan packages, buildings or support.”

Roche is quick to dispel the myth that Corry is geographically isolated and “too far out there.”

“I am in Erie almost every day and it takes me 45 minutes to be in downtown Erie, so I don’t consider that very much of a long drive,” he said. “People need to come down and see it for themselves. It’s a pretty little town and it works; Corry is a town that works.”

Beyond manufacturing or business, Corry also has extensive boating, hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities as close as Lake Erie, Findley and Chautauqua Lakes, and the Allegheny Reservoir.

Corry also has cultivated a vibrant downtown, where you will find vintage antique storefronts, knick-knack stores and mom’n’pop shops. One rather new business to downtown’s Center Street, the Purple Peacock Candle Company, sells locally-crafted items.

“I just want to focus on the local talent, there is a lot of talented crafters and things here in town,” said owner, Alice Muir, who also sells her own products in the store. “I make hand-poured soy candles, incense, sweet tarts, different things like lotions, lip balms. I just like being able to have people that you know every day come in. The downtown is getting to become kind of a family we all help each other out.”

Corry also has an airport, a LECOM-affiliated hospital, a YMCA, public library, good schools, a new hotel, golf courses, a major retailer, the 50-acre Mead Park, a local newspaper, and a growing number of businesses filling an Industrial park and incubator space in the former Erie Plastics plant.

For more information on Corry, CLICK HERE!

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