Sunday, November 26, 2023

Update on an amazing house in Coudersport, Pennsylvania

From the Facebook page, posted November 23, 2023.

During a fun trip that Joan and I made to northern Pennsylvania in May 2013, I snapped a photo of a dilapidated house in Coudersport, Potter County. I added some filters and posted it here as a quickie snapshot of a "creepy old house." Later, I made it available as a postcard on Redbubble.

But it's no longer creepy!

Thanks to a post by On the Road in Pennsylvania that showed up in Facebook feed in early November, I learned that this house is undergoing an amazing renovation. 

The restoration is being documented on Facebook, Instagram and a blog so that everyone can follow along. I'm so glad I found out about this! Without that out-of-the-blue Facebook post, I probably wouldn't have known any of this. Now I want to help spread the word in my small way.

It turns out that there is a good bit known about this house. Located at 4 North Main Street in Coudersport, it's an Italianate house built in 1880 by Franklin W. Knox, a prominent lawyer and businessman. It was also formerly the Old Hickory Tavern.

According to the blog, "Construction began in 1878 and was completed in May of 1880, only a few weeks before a fire swept through the town." Knox had seen a similar house in Pittsburgh and wanted one for himself in Coudersport, built with locally sourced "maple, cherry, black birch, pine, oak, hemlock, chestnut and butternut." The estimated costed was $10,000, which would be a little north of $310,000 today (though I suspect using so much valuable wood would send the price far higher).

The house was electrified around 1905. After a couple of transfers of ownership, it became Coudersport's second Old Hickory Tavern around 1928. After a string of additional ownership changes over the decades, it was purchased by those who are currently renovating it in 2016.

Writing on the blog in 2021, co-owner Holly Mauser states, "I’m thankful for that, that so many people can see the beauty in an old house. They saw that beauty years ago when it was really not looking it’s best. I’m thankful that they saw potential like we did. I hope more people keep seeing the potential in these amazing buildings wherever they live." (The full post is quite wonderful.)

If you're interested in learning more, I highly recommend checking out all that's been documented on Facebook and Instagram about this epic renovation. I think we're all looking forward to the day when its 1880 beauty is restored as fully as reasonably possible. Coudersport is already a great place to visit, and the restoration of the old Knox house is just one more reason to take that road trip.

1 comment:

  1. When I worked for Farm Credit, one of our branches was in Coudersport. I can't believe I didn't spot this :)