Chandlery Corner consists of three historical buildings constructed in
the early nineteenth century: The Peter Rockwell House, Fredrick
Schneider House, and Schneider/Kessler Chandlery. The first building
constructed on this corner was the Peter Rockwell House at 405 State
Street. Constructed in 1832, the structure was originally used as a
residential rental property, as well as a boarding house for naval
officers during the Civil War. In 1865, Pelton Marble Works moved into
the building, operating there until the business closed in 1904.
Christian Kessler, who later operated a grocery store next door,
purchased the property that same year. After Kessler sold the property,
the property served as headquarters for the Erie County Milk
Association until 1924, a restaurant from the 1930s until the 1950s,
and in subsequent years, a bar, lounge, and sub shop. In 2016, the
building now houses the offices for Hardinger & Clement Opticians.
In 1846, the second structure, the Frederick Schneider House, was
constructed at 3 East 4th Street. Frederick Schneider, who established
Erie’s first candle business, was a leading member of Erie’s German
community. In 1851, Schneider erected a commercial building adjacent to
his home at 401-403 State Street. This building was used by Schneider
as an outlet for his soap and candle production. Prior to this,
Schneider operated his chandlery from his home. In 1870, Schneider sold
his home and chandlery to Christian Kessler, who would later purchase
the Peter Rockwell House in 1904. Kessler was a grocer and prominent
member of the community, serving on both the Select and Common
Councils, as well as the License Board. He and his family occupied the
Frederick Schneider House until 1913, when the building was converted
to a boarding house. The chandlery remained in operation until 1919,
expanding into a grocery store sometime during Kessler’s ownership.
After the chandlery closed, the property remained in the Kessler
family, who rented the property to various businesses. In 2016,
Northwest Savings Bank occupies the former Schneider/Kessler Chandlery,
and the Frederick Schneider House has been converted into apartments.
Chandlery Corner was placed on the National Register of Historic Places