At the turn of the 20th century, Union City was a manufacturing center that called itself “The Chair Capital of the World.” The population was nearing its peak of almost 4,000 people, nearby Erie was a major commercial hub, and Main Street boasted no fewer than three opera houses. But by 1920, Union City’s boom times were nearing an end. Over the next ninety years the economy slowed. One factory after another closed its doors for good, and the population set into a gradual but implacable decline.
In 1997 a community committee established the Union City Family Support Center in order to provide support services to struggling families in this semi-rural and relatively isolated community. It faced formidable challenges, then as now: high unemployment, no public transportation, and poor public education. In 1999, the UCFSC moved to its current address on North Main Street, where it continues its mission to empower families with literacy programs, human services, and support.