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Wesleyville, Pennsylvania




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Revised: November 11, 2023
Photos and commentary by Charles A. Bliley


This Web page contains a real family treasure. On these pages, you will find over eight hundred photos of your Bliley and Wagner ancestors from Erie, Pennsylvania, the people in their lives and the places they frequented. Several photos date from the Civil War Period—circa 1862—of the Charles A. and Mary Jane Mead Bliley’s family who were living on Station Road in Harbor Creek Township (Wesleyville), Pennsylvania. These are our great grandparents. And, do not overlook the photo of great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Mead on Page 5 of the Fourth Album.

The site is principally photos, but you will also find some family genealogy information in text files and in maps. Some photos are repeated as the collection represents many photo albums assembled over decades for the use of more than one person.The data files have long file names as used in the original Windows OS version and is a mirror image of what was on Wallace Venable's hard drive. It does contain a few misidentifications, but on the whole is good to use. Where ever possible, I have made corrections to these identifications.

A majority of the photos on this Web site were taken by Sam C. Wagner and reflect his life-long love affair with the camera that began in his teens and his deep love of the Bliley family. Sam at the age of five, along with his mother Mary Agnes, and siblings, moved in with the retired Bliley grandparents shortly after his father's death from "consumption". He and his siblings spent their formative years in the Bliley household. As a result, you will see many photos of the Bliley family at home, at play and occasionally at work.

A special note: The contents of Albums 1 through 8 (451 pages) were scanned by Wallace "Wally" Venable in 2003. I am indebted to Wally for this major contribution to this site. Wally put in hundreds of hours doing the scans of these albums and many other family history resources not on this site. He is the husband of my cousin, Norma Jean Kennedy Venable.

About Sam and Inez  Top of Page


Sam appears to have taken an keen interest in photography at an early age, perhaps in his middle teens. By the age of 19, he was highly accomplish doing not only indoor and scenic photography, but also "trick" photography built from multiple exposure. Sam would cary this interest in photography throughout his life, but choose a career in sales.

Inez, his older sister, developed an interest in art, drawing and painting from her teens into adulthood. She simultaneously pursued a career as an architectural illustrator. Inez was a real tomboy and appears to have traveled with Sam on his adventures on a regular basis. Inez also supported Sam's work by taking his prints and putting them into the traditional black paper photo alums of the period and penned captions for most photos in white ink. She often included dates and names in the captions, a real blessing for those of us looking at them a hundred years later.

This wonderful collaboration is what you will see in this Web page's contents.


An in-depth personal history of Sam and Inez's live, and their families, s is available online. Please click here to read about their lives.

Use of These Images  Top of Page

These photos are copyrighted 2009 and restricted to personal use and research. You are free to reproduce any photo that is exclusively of Bliley or Wagner family members that are deceased. If you need higher-resolution versions of these files, I will consider providing them on a case-by-case basis for not-for-profit use.

What Can You Do?  Top of Page

Enjoy the view of the past of the Bliley and Wagner families of Erie, Pennsylvania. But, a warning is necessary! Set aside an hour or two for your first viewing. This collection is captivating.

I consider it a blessing to the Bliley family to have these photos available to us. I hope you find the joy in looking at them as I have since I received them.

Best regards,
Chuck Bliley
Top of Page


NOTE: Names, locations and subjects follow the album name. This is a crude index of sorts, but better than nothing. Hopefully someday, there will be a real index.

Primary Albums  Top of Page


This page is of photo albums created by Sam later in life Scanning where the original "black" albums end, and a new set of "spiral" bound albums begin. These spiral albums cover the later part of his life up to the late 1940s. Click here to view online.Top of Page


Sam's Trick Photography Examples (5 Photos)

Apparently, In his early days of experimenting with photography, Sam experimented with "trick photography" using double-exposure techniques. It would appear he pretty well mastered the technique. Five photos in the collection are examples of this work. The subjects are not identified in all cases but they still are fun to view.

Sam's Glass Plate Collection Preview

I have begun work on the large glass plate collection of photos taken, by or copied by, Sam Wagner. This small sample of eight photos provides some insight to Sam's photographic duplication techniques and an apparent experiment with Ambrotype positive imaging. (Caution: These are large images.)

Sam's Trolleys and Trains Group

Gallery of photos with the subject of trolleys and trains from Sam and Inez's galleries. Same content as found in the numbered galleries. Focus on trolleys in the Erie County, Pennsylvania and a couple from Ripley, New York.


Bliley Photo Albums of the Boulder Family Archives new -- Here are 10 family photo albums of the Bliley, Wagner and Dawson families found in the Bliley family archives in Boulder, Colorado in October 2010. There are many "new" photos by Sam and Inez in the Number 2 album. The image quality range from hand-held camera versions that simulate "reading" the albums on your lap, to full-page and detailed photos of each album. There are almost 2,000 unique images in this collection from the 1960s to 1939.Top of Page

This site and associated images are Copyright 2009, by Charles A. Bliley, Webster, NY, U.S.A.

Permission granted for use in personal genealogy work and non-profit distribution with copyright and source credit.