Mansion District Walking Tour Brochure
Tucked away in the Pennsylvania Wilds, where the Nunundah Valley and Marvin Creek Valley converge, Smethport offers a glimpse of its opulent past to visitors with the release of a self-guided walking tour brochure of its Mansion District.
The Smethport Mansion District Walking Tour brochure features photos and descriptions of historic mansions and other distinctive properties within Smethport. A numbered map guides you easily along the village streets to 30 featured properties.
You can enjoy the walking tour anytime. There’s so much to see in the Mansion District.
Properties featured include the home of Henry Hamlin, once the wealthiest private banker in the United States, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a premier example of English Gothic architecture designed by William Halsy Wood. The Melbury House, once used as a stopover on the way to freedom for slaves escaping to the north via the Underground Railroad, the residence of Dr. S.D. Freeman a famed surgeon during the American Civil War of 1861, along with the Bucktail Civil War Monument, bring to light the importance of the village of Smethport and its residents during the Civil War era.
Smethport was first surveyed by Dutch land surveyors in 1807 who selected it as northwest Pennsylvania’s most perfect town site. In 1880, several factors propelled Smethport into the forefront of the Pennsylvania Wilds.
The combination of vast lumber assets, oil reserves, and the railroads beginning in the 1870s caused McKean County’s economy to skyrocket. Vast amounts of money flowed into Smethport, the governmental seat and financial center of the county. By the 1880s Smethport’s Mansion District was in full construction.
A joint project of the Smethport Chamber of Commerce, the Smethport Heritage Council, the Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau and the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, the Smethport Mansion District Brochure is just one of the revitalization projects being undertaken by the community following the designation of Smethport as the first heritage community along Pennsylvania Route 6. An
informational kiosk will be constructed along Main Street within Smethport featuring the map and the brochures in the near future.
To obtain a brochure, stop by the McKean County Courthouse or the Smethport Visitors Center on Main Street. Brochures are also available at Hamlin Memorial Library and the Smethport Motel.
Or you can get a copy of the walking tour map right now… Download a copy here, then print !
Visitors who take the walking tour are invited to send feedback on their experience by using this form.
If you’re planning a visit to Smethport or the region, you can have the brochure mailed to you by contacting the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau at 800-473-9370 or info@visitANF.com.