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Penn State University Libraries

John M. Lilley Library @ Penn State Erie, The Behrend College


  • John M. Lilley Library
    Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
    4951 College Drive
    Erie, PA 16563

    Main Number: 814-898-6106
    Reference Desk: 814-898-6058
    Interlibrary Loan: 814-898-6259
  • Staff Directory

Behrend Family Collection

Schilling farmhouse

With the success of the Hammermill Paper Company, the Behrend family became prominent Erie citizens.  In 1932 Ernst Behrend and his wife, Mary Brownell Behrend,  purchased several farm parcels adjacent to Wintergreen Gorge in nearby Harborcreek and named the property Glenhill Farm.  After hiring prominent Philadelphia architect R. Brognard Okie to remodel the Schilling farmhouse in the "colonial revival" style, the family enjoyed their retreat until the death of Mr. Behrend in 1940.  Eventually, Mrs. Behrend returned to her New England roots and in 1948 she donated the farm to the Pennsylvania State University for use as an Erie campus. 

The Behrend Family Collection consists of:

  • Personal papers  

  • Family photographs including several albums from their world travels and a rare daguerreotype

  • Behrend family films, including footage of the arrival of the yacht Amida in the United States and footage of the Panama Canal  

  • Artifacts reflecting the life of the Behrend family, including china, Westminster Dog Show ribbons, and numerous antiques

  • Books from the Behrend’s personal library  

  • Scrapbooks highlighting the history of the family and their travels

  • A model of the U.S. Brig Niagara crafted by Mrs. Behrend’s brother, Alfred Brownell  

  • The Behrend Archives Oral History Collection