Early History

   Coudersport was chartered on February 7, 1848, at the forks of the Allegheny River. The village had grown on the site set aside by John Keating to be the county seat of government. The streets were laid out several years before anyone lived on the land.
    Growth was slow. At the time of incorporation, the borough had less than 230 citizens. This number increased to only 677 in 1880, when a boom seemed to take place and the population more than doubled during each of the next two decades.
    Early industries were small consisting of sawmills, grist mills, and asheries. In 1880, Francis Hammond built a large tannery and a few years later, the railroad came to town. After the advent of the railroad; several others industries, including the glass plant, a hub factory, a condensed milk company and a clothespin factory located in Coudersport. Each of these brought more people, and it was predicted that a great metropolis was in the making. The population of this metropolis reached its height at just over 3,200 in 1900. Unlike the other county towns, the population of Coudersport has remained rather stable over the past eight years.
    The railroad, the tannery, and all of the other industries are gone. Replaced by a few small companies and Pure Carbon, inc. which began production in 1959. Next to Pure Carbon, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, a spacious and modern facility is the biggest employer in the area. We now have Adelphia employing a large number of people as well.
    Coudersport is one of the smallest towns in the nation with a Consistory. which confers the first thirty-two degrees in Freemasonry. The Consistory. was constituted in 1899 and has remained an important part of the community since.
     Coudersport Fire On May 18, 1880, occurred the great fire which laid waste nearly all of the business section of Coudersport. The building on the west side of Main Street, between First and Third Street were totally destroyed as well as the building on Second Street, between West and East Street, with the exception of the court house. Temporary building were erected at once and immediate measures were taken to replace the destroyed wooded building by those of brick, many of which were ready for occupancy the following autumn.

Return to Coudersport Page