A little over 200 years ago, the Corry area was a swampy valley with three creeks meandering through dense woods of towering hemlocks and pines. Settlers began to arrive in the late 1700’s. Michael Hare was one of the first to stake his claim on land given to him by the newly formed government of the United States. He and his wife, Elizabeth, built a log cabin in 1795 on the banks of a creek now known as Hare Creek, one mile north of Corry.
On September 13, 1858, Amos Harrington purchased 93 acres of land, on which the city of Corry is presently located. The same year, he sold 63 acres to Hiram Cory, for whom the city is named. Cory built his home on West Washington Street.
In 1861, one of the most significant buildings in Corry’s history was built: a small ticket office and eating house. This building was built at the junction of railroads known as the “Atlantic and Erie Junction”. That year, the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad (A. & G.W.) intersected the Philadelphia and Erie (P. &E.) railroad at a small town which was named Junction. In that year, the A. & G.W. Railroad Company purchased a piece of land from Cory. My. Hill, the general superintendant, named the station Corry, in honor of the man’s generous business deal. Unfortunately, he misspelled it on the station name, and the name of Corry was born.
The railroad growth and oil discovery in nearby areas contributed to Corry’s growth. In 1863, Corry was chartered as a borough and in 1866 it was designated as a city. By 1870, the small railroad junction spot had turned into a city of 6,809 people: about 200 more than in the 2010 census.
Throughout its growth into the 20th century and beyond, Corry was recognized as an important railroad center and shipping point. It had direct access to many oil regions and coal fields. Because of this, many manufacturing companies sprung up in the late 1800s, including the Gibbs and Sterrett Manufacturing Company, the Corry City Iron Works, the Corry Lounge Factory the Corry Novelty Works, and the American Writing Machine Company, among others.
Corry is located at the junction of three counties- Erie, Warren and Crawford. During the past 150 years, Corry has grown from a railroad boomtown to a nice, stable place to raise a family and run a business. Corry is the second-largest city in Erie County.