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   Addison Leech House


Historic Name

Addison Leech House


462 W 6 ST


City of Erie

Tax Parcel


Historic District

West 6th Street HD


Class 1 (Definitions of Classes)

State Key Number


Historic Function

Domestic - single dwelling


Second Empire







Barn Type on property


Last Entry Update



The Addison Leech House is located along Erie’s historic Millionaire’s Row. Built in 1870 by Buffalo architect S.R. Barry, the home was one of the last residences constructed west of the Erie Extension Canal before its closing in 1871.

Born in 1824 to a family of staunch colonialists in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, Addison Leech was a man of modest beginnings. Educated at Allegheny College, he followed in the footsteps of his father, David Leech, the founder of Leechburg, Pennsylvania and a major force in the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal. In the midst of his early entrepreneurial adventures, Addison Leech married Mary Watson of Lycoming, Pennsylvania in 1852. The couple would raise nine children throughout their forty- seven-year marriage. Prior to his marriage, Leech became involved in Leechburg’s flour mills. He became known as an innovative flour miller, operating multiple mills in the small town. However, during the Civil War, Leech left the mills to serve as a major in the United States Army. Once the war had ended in 1865, Leech returned to Leechburg’s flour mills for a short period of time. Throughout his twenty-year stint operating the flour mills, he received several awards for his technological innovations and superior flour-milling techniques, which were showcased in exhibitions from London to Philadelphia. Seeking new opportunities, Leech left Leechburg in 1868, spending some time in St. Paul, Missouri before relocating to Erie the following year. Leech became manager of the grain lines at Anchor Line Transportation Company, located on Holland Street in the heart of Erie. Anchor Line provided freight and passenger transportation, specializing in the handling of grain during the height of Erie manufacturing. It was during his early years in Erie that Leech commissioned the construction of this beautiful Second Empire style home. Construction was completed in 1870, and the family would maintain it as their primary residence until 1880.

A decade after moving to Erie, Leech sought to expand his entrepreneurial affairs westward. Upon visiting Fargo, North Dakota, he purchased over thirty-five thousand acres of wheat lands. Leech and his family then decided to spend their summers in Fargo and winters in Erie. After selling a hefty portion of his land a few years after the initial purchase, Leech’s sons managed the remaining three-thousand acres of North Dakota farmland. Leech passed away in 1899, and his widowed wife, Mary, lived out the rest of her life in their Erie home. After her passing in 1921, the home remained empty; however, as of 2016 it serves as an apartment building.

Sources: Northwest Institute of Research, Historic Survey 1982; Frew, David, et al. Journey Through Time: Erie’s Best Downtown Walking Guide. Erie, PA: Erie County Historical Society, 2006.; Miller, John. A Twentieth Century History of Erie County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1909.




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Photo courtesy, Erie County Assessment Office



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