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A Dream

I’ve had a tough time deciding where to start in sharing the story of the house. I’ve decided to start with the part that involves me. I’m not from the small town of Coudersport, Pa. However, I had been making trips here my entire life. My family has a cabin in the nearby mountains. We would frequently stop in town on weekends to grocery shop or grab a pizza. I always loved looking at the houses when we drove through. However there was one house in particular that I loved to dream about. In my mind I had already enjoyed countless Thanksgiving dinners at the long dining room table I would purchase for it. I really wanted that house which led to one of my favorite hobby’s...checking the local real estate postings. I looked for years hoping it would become available. Then two summers ago I was walking around town enjoying a bag of popcorn from the movie theater when I saw a for sale sign. I looked at the house in front of me and it was bathed in a beautiful light as the sun slowly began to set. It was spectacular. Old Hickory, the most mysterious house in town, was for sale. I had driven past this house thousands of times but I never really saw it until that moment. Faded and peeling paint had never looked so good. This was not the house I had dreamed about, it was the house that had always seemed untouchable and now it was within reach. To be continued...


  1. I, too have loved this house from the first time I saw it. I couldn't b happier that you are restoring it. I enjoy seeing the pictures of what you have done so far. I honestly can't wait to see the finished product. I look forward to reading more of your journey to bring his house back to it's glory!!

  2. We have a camp near there also. I've taken a picture of this house for years when we go through town. When For Sale sign went up, I jokingly took a picture with it. I am so happy you are restoring this amazing house! Congrats! I would love to see the inside sometime! Great work!

  3. So glad it’s coming back to life! I love seeing the pictures of all the updates. It’s wonderful that she finally has someone showing her some love...

  4. I have always admired this home when in Coudersport. I am so happy you purchased it and are bringing it back to its glory. I was afraid that someone would tear it down.

  5. I live in Coudersport & remember the restaurant and bar as they were in the 1970's & 80's until it closed. It was sad to see the decline & deterioration. I am so happy to watch the renovations progress!


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The Beginning

The story of the house really begins with Franklin W. Knox, a prominent Coudersport lawyer. On a visit to Pittsburgh, Knox spotted an intriguing Italianate home. He was so fond of its style that he decided he needed to have one just like it. In the Spring of 1879, he had the two story house where he had been residing moved from Main Street to Water Street. His new home would sit prominently in its place with views of the Allegheny River. Construction began quickly and in the Spring of 1880, his very own Italianate Villa was move in ready.      A wide variety of timber was locally sourced from the forests of Potter County. Butternut, chestnut, cherry, maple, black birch, pine, oak, and hemlock would all have a place in the home. These species were incorporated into the trim, moldings, floors and staircases. All of the interior woodwork was to be left unpainted. Oak was used to construct the stunning double spiral staircase which curves up the 55 foot tower. Alternating strips o