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Local Drug House Marks 200 Years of Business

eriedrughouse

A well-known local drug house on Erie’s lower west side is marking the 200th year of drug activity at that location.

The house at 520 Cascade has been providing patrons with illegal substances since the previous building, a simple log structure, opened in 1819. This is according to local historian Ken Hartley – Reed, citing a study of an archaeological dig done at that site in the late 1800s, prior to the construction of the current edifice. “We found evidence of laudanum use by visiting sailors in the decade following the war of 1812.”

Evidence also shows that opium from China was sold out of that house in the middle 1800s most likely brought by ships from Asia and then through the recently completed Erie Canal.

Starting in 1920 with Prohibition, the house served as a speakeasy, providing illegal liquor until 1933.. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, the house met the needs of its clients with a never ending variety of substances. Marijuana in the 40s and 50s, LSD in the 60s, cocaine in the 70s, crack in the 80s all the way up until its current incarnation as a meth house.

Said Hartley – Reed, “We even have evidence that the Eriez tribe used psylosibin mushrooms on that site as far back as 1619, so really you could say it’s been a drug house for 400 years.”

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Comments

  1. Karen Keene says:

    Back in the mid-1960’s I rented an apartment in a house at 636 West 3rd Street. The owners, an older couple, lived downstairs—and I had the upper flat. The house is gone now (razed) but long after I lived there I heard that it had become a drug house.

    Like

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