Peter Erwin Papers

Cover Image:
Sepia photo
Full Length Portrait of Peter Erwin in Uniform - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:

Scope of Collection

This collection contains correspondence, photographs, and artifacts related to Peter A. Erwin (1910-1944), his wife Marjorie L. Walker (1915-1995), and daughter Effie Marie Erwin (1940-2021). Peter Erwin lived in Arbor Hill, an Albany, NY neighborhood prior to his death while serving in the U.S. Navy Seabees, U.S Naval Construction Battalions, during World War II. Marjorie Walker and Effie Marie Erwin continued to live in the City of Albany and Albany County for the remainder of their lives.

The collection is arranged into four series: (1) personal correspondence, (2) official correspondence, (3) photographs, and (4) artifacts. The bulk dates are 1923 - 1972/73 with the majority between 1943 and 1945. The photographs are undated, but are all prior to 1944. The artifacts are personal effects belonging to Peter Erwin and Marjorie Walker from the 1940s.

The correspondence largely relates to Peter Erwin’s service in the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II and his death while serving in North Africa, and includes censored correspondence and a personal correspondence code sheet. The photographs are of Peter Erwin with his family, Peter Erwin in uniform, a portrait of Effie Marie Erwin, and portraits of unidentified family and friends. Included in the artifacts are a rosary, souvenir handkerchiefs, and prayer books.

Note on names used:
Peter’s wife Marjorie remarried after his death to a man named George Avery after which time she took his last name. Throughout the collection, Marjorie’s maiden name Walker is used for clarity. Peter’s daughter Effie Marie Erwin likewise took her husband’s name, Musella, when she married but for clarity
is referred to by her maiden name throughout the collection.