6.19.2008

Joe Root's Misfortune

We ate at Joe Root's grill last night with Josh & Bethany. Have any Erie folks ever eaten at Joe Root's Grill? Here's the real question: Have you ever read the story of Joe Roots on the back of the menu? Let me give you the Readers' Digest version:

Joe Roots was a teenage runaway who lived on Presque Isle, killed animals with rocks, showed up uninvited to peoples' picnics and made his hat talk to their children (He dabbled in ventriloquism). He also wandered into bars and shared his business ideas (a balloon factory that could transport people to Canda and a feather factory being amongst his most famous) for a free drink. Eventually, he got into some trouble and ended up in the Mentally Insane Institution, I believe they called it. He died there longing to be reunited with his beloved Presque Isle.

Delightful story! Let's eat!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joe Root's Fortune is to have the
best perch dinner in town.
I go there to eat it often, not to read the menu.

He also has ox roast on the menu at lunch. It ain't ox roast. It is really a crock-pot roast, like pulled beef pot-roast.

Ox roast is shaved tip sirloin and comes with au jus always. Add some horseradish and mustard to the dripping beef slices on your bread (rye) or buns. Good food.

Pass on the walleye at Joe Roots too, but get the perch always.

Lora said...

Aren't you glad that you are from the South where we keep all of our "Nuts" behind closed doors and only whisper about them-NEVER publicly announce their craziness!

Danielle said...

i know...lol..i almost lost it while i was there once reading that. weird.

The Allen Family said...

I am glad you learned the Joe Root story! Josh and I ate there once, but weren't too impressed. We probably just didn't order the good stuff. I will have to read the back of the menu next time!

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Been there, done that

I love ox roast....greenburgs market has good ox roast.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Hey Camille~can you send me your blueberry smoothie recipe...do you use any protein powders etc. in it??? staceyswan31@hotmail.com

Lorie said...

Camille: I have faithfully read your blog every day since you were featured in the Erie paper when you moved here. Your enthusiasm and love for life show through in your posts, and I love to see an outsiders view of Erie, which really is a great place to live. I could kiss Powers (I am a HUGE dog person) and I love to read about your mom and dad. My son is just a couple of years younger than you. I was in Joe Root's for dinner last night, also, and can't believe I was that close meeting you in person!

npsinboro said...

One thing to note Camille is that the story has some what of a dark side.

You could speculate that Joe Roots was placed into a mental institution so as to avoid his potential "squatters rights" to Presque Isle.

The story goes as such...

Given that Joe had spent so much time on the land he may have been eligible to claim it as his. See the ideas of Homesteading or "Squatters rights"

The local government wanted nothing of the sort and as such migrated him off the land just in time to not evoke squatters rights over the land.

the Jennings secede from the South said...

Thanks, Lorie! I wish we could've met!

Anonymous said...

I am originally from Texas. I moved here in 2001. I chose to remain here because I found Erie to be a wonderful city in which to raise a child. And although the story of Joe Root, is tragic it's a part of the city's history. The fact you can find it on the back of the menu provides you with insight to the reason the restaurant is named, "Joe Roots" as well as a brief history lesson all in one while paying tribute to perhaps the rightful owner of the Peninsula. I've eaten in many restaurants in Texas where you could read the background information on the restaurant, as well as their guest list in an effort to impress. Typically, it was far less interesting to say the least then the story of Joe Root. And I still carry a Longhorn keychain to this day. S ~

Anonymous said...

The Sad thing about Joe Root is that we totally lost track of him. He was boarn in 1860 and sent to Warren State Hospital June 14, 1910 and died October 29, 1912. However I have been unalbe to find his final resting place. Recently the WSH Cemetery was restored however I could not find his name among those layed to rest there.I have no indaction thus far if Joe was ever released. In those days a trip to WSH was a one way trip I am told. I check the local area thinking he might have retirned home. He is not listed. One theory I have is that he might have returned to the alms house or poor house as he and his mother sought shelter their during his youth. However in 1977 the grave yard of the alms house was moved...I have little confidence that all were acounted for. Also some bodies where left as they could not be easily gotten at...train tracks built over them etc.