Smethport Mansion District

The Smethport Mansion District

The Houses

McKean County Courthouse & Bucktail Civil War Monument
500 West Main Street

The Grand Army of the Republic Monument designed and erected in 1886 by the St. Johnsbury Granite Company, St. Johnsbury, Vermont, pays tribute to the Bucktail Regiment which was formed at this very location in April 1861 and gained national fame in the bloody battles of the American Civil War.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
602 West Main Street  Built 1891
English Gothic

Henry Hamlin hired already nationally famous William Halsey Wood to design the magnificent English Gothic church which was completed in 1892. Most owners of the homes in the mansion district were active members of this church at the time of its construction.

John Forrest, Mansion
620 West Main Street Built 1880, Victorian Stick
John & Mary Forrest, active members of the St. Luke’s congregation completed their Victorian Stick home in 1880.

In 1877, John came to Smethport and entered the law and land office of Bryon Delano Hamlin. John & Mary Hamlin, daughter of Byron Delano and Harriet (Holmes) Hamlin, were married in 1878.

Byron Delano, Hamlin Mansion
619 West Main Street Built 1856

State Senator Byron Delano Hamlin, railroad and land entrepreneur and his wife Harriet Holmes Hamlin, broke ground on their iconic Italianate mansion in 1856. In 1874 Byron began the McKean & Buffalo Railroad to haul coal for the Buffalo Coal Company which opened up the mineral rich frontiers of the Allegheny Plateau especially for the coal-rich deposits in the Clermont area.

Charles Sartwell,  Mansion
708 West Main Street Built 1848

The Charles Sartwell home was designed by his brother and renowned Smethport architect-builder Solomon Sartwell. Over the years the home has under gone extensive renovations transforming it from a Greek Revival to a 1890s style Victorian Eclectic. In 1910 Smethport magazine tycoon, Scott F. Redfield, publisher of The Boys Magazine, a predecessor of Boy’s Life Magazine, purchased the mansion.

State Senator, H.H. Redfield, Mansion
703 West Main Street Built 1900
Victorian Queen Anne

Entrepreneurial genius State Senator Horace Hamlin Redfield, grandson of Byron D. Hamlin, served in a myriad of business interests including president and director of numerous regional and state banks, president of the McKean County Refining Company, a director of the Great Southern Lumber Company of Bogalusa, Louisiana, vice-president and director of the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad, as well as a director of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad. In 1900, he married into the noted McCoy family, early pioneers of Smethport.

Judge Joseph Bouton, Mansion
707 West Main Street Built 1905
Victorian Queen Anne

Innovative Judge Joseph Bouton served with distinction and gained wide recognition as McKean County President Judge for 31 years. His mansion featured Ridgway, Pa., Hyde & Murphy golden oak woodwork with wall panels of leather, imitation elephant skin, and hand painted designs.

W.J. Milliken, Residence
716 West Main Street Circa 1872
Colonial Revival

Innovative Henry Hamlin, nephew of Byron Hamlin commenced banking in 1863 in what would become Hamlin Bank and Trust Company. In 1892 Henry was reported to be the wealthiest private banker in the United States. Henry’s financial vision would transform the future of Smethport.

Original A.N.Taylor/D.C. Young, Mansion
807 West Main Street Circa 1860, Italianate

Successful pioneer merchant A.N. Taylor, met an untimely death in 1876 after falling off the home’s rear porch. His son-in-law, Dewitt Clinton Young, succeeded him in business and acquired the family home, which was noted for having a central heating system and multiple indoor bathrooms with hot and cold running water.

Delano R. Hamlin, Mansion
820 West Main Street Built 1881
Victorian Queen Anne

Byron Hamlin’s only son, Delano R. Hamlin, was a partner in his father’s law and land business when his house was built in 1881. Delano was a prominent lawyer and financier who was noted for his public spirit.

Delano R. Hamlin, Mansion
820 West Main Street Built 1881
Victorian Queen Anne

Byron Hamlin’s only son, Delano R. Hamlin, was a partner in his father’s law and land business when his house was built in 1881. Delano was a prominent lawyer and financier who was noted for his public spirit.

John C. Hamlin, Residence
904 West Main Street Circa 1878
Colonial Revival

John was the younger brother of Henry Hamlin and was a merchant who opened the first store exclusively for hardware in 1865. He also served as Senior Warden of the Episcopal Church where he taught Sunday school for many years.

McCandless, Mansion
905 West Main Street Built 1891
Architect, E.N. Unruh (Solomon Dresser mansion, Bradford, 1902) Victorian Queen Anne

John H. McCandless, who married Henry Hamlin’s daughter Emma, served as the priest of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church when his mansion was built in 1891. Natural gas provided heat and light while fancy cherry and golden oak woodworking wrapped the interior walls. The house was greatly enlarged in 1903 to appear more prominent next to her brother Orlo’s house, next door.

Orlo J. Hamlin, Mansion
911 West Main Street Built 1902
Victorian Queen Anne

Robert Rose arrived in Smethport in 1873 and married Laena Hamlin, another daughter of Henry. Robert served as attorney and agent for the Bingham land estate, who were the original owners of most of early McKean County. Rose served as attorney for the McKean County Commissioners. He was also an active businessman, financier and oil trader when, in 1890, they moved  to Binghamton, New York.

R.E. Burdick, Residence
1002 West Main Street Circa 1900
Architect, E. N. Unruh Victorian Queen Anne

Hamlin Bank officer Ralph E. Burdick was an early amateur photographer and early automotive owner in Smethport. Mr. Burdick was also active with industrial, real estate and philanthropic endeavors.

Delano R. Hamlin, First Residence
1109 West Main Street Circa 1875
Victorian Queen Anne

1871 was a big year for Delano Hamlin. Delano married Eugenia McCoy, became a partner in his father Byron’s law firm, and built this impressive home, the first home for the newly wedded couple. In 1880 Delano and Eugenia completed their second mansion and moved to 820 West Main Street.

Christian Herzog, Residence
1199 West Main Street Circa 1905
Victorian Queen Anne

Hamlin Lake gristmill owner Cyrus Barrett sold the lot where this home stands to attorney and judge Thomas Morrison in 1905 which was subsequently purchased by Christian Herzog. Electric wiring on ceramic insulators was found throughout the house.  This was typical of homes built about that time in anticipation  of electricity which finally arrived in Smethport in 1922.

Chester King,  Residence
1225 West N. Main Street Circa 1881
Victorian Italianate

The home was constructed about 1881 by Smethport resident Chester King. The low pitched roof and emphatic eaves supported by corbels are classic examples of Victorian Italianate architecture.

Reverse direction and travel to Byron Street.  Proceed up the hill to King Street, and turn right.

David Sterrit/John Nevin Apple, Mansion
802 West King Street Built 1872
Victorian Stick

Noted Smethport attorney, David Sterrit’s home was built in 1872. The property changed hands several times until bought by Attorney John N. Apple in 1891 and has since remained in the Apple family. The elegant dining room has eight doors framed in golden oak and is decorated with wainscoting of the same pattern.

C.D. Comes, Mansion
608 West King Street Built 1900
Victorian Queen Anne

Lumber magnet C.D. Comes built this outstanding mansion from his fortunes. He had always lived with his parents until the completion of this very fine home. He and his father operated a large sawmill in Keating Township where he milled four million feet of lumber in 1890, along with 2,500 cords of hemlock bark.

United Methodist Church
Corner of Church &  King Street
Built 1838
Architect, Solomon Sartwell Greek Revival

The United Methodist Church, originally the Episcopal-Methodist Church, is the oldest church in Smethport. Although the steeple has been rebuilt and reinterpreted at least three times in its 170 year history, much of the original structure remains the same.

The Upper Tavern
407 Church Street Circa 1830
Early Tavern &  Boarding House

One of Smethport’s early, colorful businesses was the celebrated “Upper Tavern”. Parties and regular “pub” gatherings helped establish the Upper Tavern in early Smethport history. Now a private home, the structure looks nearly identical to the original tavern.

McKean County Jail Building
502 West King Street Built 1875
Old Jail Museum, McKean County Historical Society

This structure replaced an earlier frame construction jail that was due east of the courthouse. Since 2003 the Old McKean County Jail has served as the headquarters and museum for the McKean County Historical Society.

Sheriff Roswell Sartwell, Mansion
412 West King Street Circa 1880
Victorian Italianate

McKean County Sheriff Roswell Sartwell built this outstanding residence following the death of his father, Solomon Sartwell, Smethport pioneer and architect who had also served as sheriff  for many years.

Brownell Mansion
309 State Street
Circa 1900, Victorian Queen Anne

Brownell family, pioneer merchants of Smethport built this mansion during the 1890s to replace their original homestead. The original Brownell General Store, the oldest surviving commercial building in Smethport, is located at 420 West Main Street below the Brownell residence.

Taylor Residence
402 West Green Street Built 1877
Victorian Gothic

The Taylors were wealthy pioneer merchants that had multiple business interests throughout early Smethport. In 1902 popular former County Sheriff William B. Clarke purchased the property. Later the home was the residence of Dr. Ralph Hockenberry.

F.D. Gallup, Mansion
306 West Green Street Circa 1902 Edwardian

Frederick Gallup was an attorney with the firm, Gallup, Potter and Gallup. Ernest and Marion Potter bought the house in the early 1920s. Mr. Potter also engaged in various business interests including oil and gas production.

W.D. Gallup, Mansion
302 West Green Street Built 1875
Victorian Queen Anne

Frederick Gallup’s father, W.D. Gallup, lived just east of his son. His family were early Connecticut pioneers that settled in Norwich in 1815 via canoe on Potato Creek. He started his successful business merchant career as a clerk in Henry Hamlin’s store.
He served as a commissioner and treasurer for McKean County.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church
Corner of Franklin & Main Built 1906

Just before Christmas, 1904 a tragic fire totally destroyed the original 1876 wooden sanctuary. The present handsome brick structure was consecrated in 1907. In 2005 extensive architectural renovations were completed. The church currently has Smethport’s largest active congregation.

Robert King, Residence
110 West Main Street Circa 1859 Georgian-Italianate

Robert King was the direct descendant of Francis King, the surveyor who laid out Smethport in the early 1800s. This residence features massive wooden beams fastened with wooden stakes. A mapmaker and surveyor, Mr. King drew maps in his office facing Union Street immediately behind the house.

Charles McKean, Mansion
102 West Main Street Built 1904
Colonial Revival

Charles McKean was a wealthy lumberman and owner of McKean County’s only natural gas company at that time. He spent his early life working on the Marvin Creek area farm of his father who was one of the areas first pioneers. The interior of his home was decorated by designers from Buffalo, New York. McKean also served as a Pennsylvania legislator.