F. W. Knox Villa

Under construction
Also known as: Old Hickory
4 N. High St.; Coudersport, PA

Former home of the president of the Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad


Photo taken by Brian Manville on May 9, 2019




This Italianate home was built in 1880 by prominent Coudersport businessman Franklin W. Knox. On a visit to Pittsburgh, Knox spotted an intriguing Italianate home. He decided he wanted one of his own.

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 of birch and maple were used to create the dining room floor. The outdoors were also brought in through other details. Flowers were incorporated in the form of detailed plaster moldings which decorated the ceilings. The large bay windows in the parlors were topped with keystone arches supported by capitals with fern fronds. The parlors contained icy blue marbleized fire places. The tower offered stunning views of the Allegheny river and surrounding mountains.The cost of F. W. Knox’s elaborate Villa was estimated to be at least $10,000 upon completion.

Many years later the house was turned into a bar and hotel called the "Old Hickory" and was open for over thirty years before falling vacant again. It is said that famous Prohibition Agent Elliot Ness used to hang out here.

The home was purchased in 2016 and is being remodeled to one day be used as an inn/wedding location.

Update Log 

  • May 9, 2019: New photos from Brian Manville
  • May 9, 2019: Added by Brian Manville