Walk Danville

A self-guided walking tour for the historic district of downtown Danville, Pennsylvania.

Danville walk A self-guided walking tour for the historic district of downtown Danville.

Danville walk Danville’s West Market Street Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. A second area, shaped in an irregular grid oriented toward the river and the major Streets of Mill, Market, and Bloom, was added in 1994. Because of its location, Danville was a market town in the early 1800’s. By mid- century, it became an iron town and remained so for the next 100 years. The town’s modest beginnings were centered close to the Susquehanna River. Many of the homes that stand in that area today began as log cabins. In November 1774, General William Montgomery purchased 180 acres to bring his family from Chester County to the frontier. He erected mills along Mahoning Creek and built a log cabin. In 1792, Montgomery built the Federal stone home at the corner of Mill Street and Route 11. His home and barn (which no longer stands) were built away from the other settlers so he could develop his orchards and farm land.

As early as 1814, Montgomery recognized the value of the iron ore in the surrounding mountains and he predicted Danville’s future as a successful iron town. When his vision was realized, entrepreneurs came to Danville to mine iron ore, erect the furnaces to smelt it, and build the rolling mills to produce the finished products. The Montour Iron Works rolled the first iron T-rail in America on October 8, 1845. For a time, Montour was the largest iron mill in the country. The iron industry brought new wealth to this town and many of the buildings on this tour are a result of the wealth iron created in Danville. As you stroll on Danville’s Mill Street, please take note of the ornamental iron work on some of the downtown buildings, many of which were produced by talented local ironworkers. There are also decorative iron fences throughout this historic district. A walk through the streets of Danville is a study of 19th century architecture: Federal, Second Empire, Italianate, Colonial, or Classic Revival, Victorian, and Queen Anne.

Please respect the privacy of the property owners. Residences are not open to the public.


Tour 1: Upper Mill Street & West Market Street This tour is approximately one mile in length.

Tour 1 Map on pages 14-15.

Starting on Mill Street at the Borough Building, traveling South toward the Susquehanna River.

Notice the park and interpretive sign next to the Danville Borough Building. The historic Pennsylvania North Branch Canal passed through the center of Danville at this location.

463 Mill Street


Built in 1922 as a Masonic Lodge, this building demonstrates the Classical revival style of architecture. Since 1995, the offices of the Borough of Danville have occupied this building.

453 Mill Street 2.

The City Hotel, built in 1872, occupied this building. Between 1957- 2019 it was the home of the Danville Police Station and the Mayor. At one time, the White Swan Hotel, owned by the Cornelison family, stood

on the site. Abigail Geisinger was a descendant of this family. The Montour Trust Company added the massive concrete façade in the 1920s.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

407 Mill Street


In 1919, Lucien Jouvard and Jean Lavigne constructed this building, which once had a basement swimming pool, for use as a recreational facility for the female employees of their silk mill purchased from

F. Q. Hartman in 1914. It was also home to the Odd Fellows Organization for many years.

363 Mill Street


This building, c. 1920, is an example of the Art Deco style. Notice there are several stone engravings on the building.

325 Mill Street


The fan-lighted entrance on this ‘brick’ home, first to be built in Danville, is typical of the Federal style that was built in the early 1800s. Notice the mansard roof, larger windows, and bracketing. This residence was at one

time the home and office of James Scarlet, a local attorney who became famous for representing the state in exposing the Capitol Graft Cases in 1907 and attaining convictions in 1908. Mr. Scarlet served as an advisor to Abigail Geisinger while planning her hospital.


Turn to pages 14-15 for Map Guide

315 Mill Street


The Bank of Danville, Danville’s oldest bank,

opened for business in 1850. In 1865, it became the Danville National Bank and in 1881, workers constructed the main part of the stone building that stands today with additions in 1952 and 1966.

Turn right on to West Market Street

43 West Market Street


This Second Empire Vermont stone and granite 3.5 story house was built by Charles Hancock in 1872. His father, William, was one of the men involved in the development of the T-rail at the Montour Iron Works in Danville.

61 West Market Street


This house was built by Edward Baldy in 1872. He was the son of Peter Baldy, Sr. Edward succeeded his father as president of the Danville National Bank. Originally, the house

was a mirror image of the property at 43 West Market Street, Second Empire Style. It was remodeled in the Colonial Revival Style early in the 20th century, with a hip and gable-roof.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

107 West Market Street


The original house on this site was built by John Gallagher Montgomery. Constructed in the

Queen Anne style, this structure is noteworthy for its gables, dormers and extensions. It was remodeled by Mrs. L. E. Wells, Thomas Beaver’s daughter, in 1913.

135 West Market Street


This Federal style house was built in 1814 by Mary Magill, mother of Dr. William Magill, one of Danville’s earliest physicians. He was also the first burgess of Danville. The house, the second ‘brick’ home built

in Danville, is a 2.5 story, brick, gable-roofed, 5x3 bay, Federal style dwelling with parapetted double-end chimneys, Palladian gable windows and a fan-lighted entryway.

11 147 West Market Street

This is a 2.5 story, gable- roofed, log and frame, 5x2 bay, Federal-era dwelling. It was once occupied by Robert C. Grier, who was appointed an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court by

President Polk in 1846. It was later occupied by Dr. Solomon Schultz, inaugural superintendent of the Danville State Hospital.


Turn to pages 14-15 for Map Guide

171 West Market Street


This Italianate-style residence was built by the Rhodes family in 1869. It includes a central façade pavilion and a 2.5 story rear extension. William Benneville Rhodes was a Danville native

and a European-trained artist with a national reputation. His well-regarded work includes portraits of Thomas Beaver and George and Abigail Geisinger.

181 West Market Street


This is a 2.5 story, frame, cross gable-roof, Queen Anne/Shingle style dwelling. It was built in 1911 by Theodore R. Angle. He became the editor of The Morning News following the death of his father, Frank C. Angle in 1918.

203 West Market Street


This building has been on this site since 1855. It underwent extensive remodeling in the early 20th century and a restoration/reuse in 2011-

2012. It was originally The Danville Academy established by William Montgomery in 1819 and continued as a house of learning until 1897.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

317 West Market Street 15

Built early in the mid-19th century by a Montgomery, this home was later owned by Thomas Beaver. The widow of Thomas’ only son, Arthur Beaver, lived here until her death. It was sold to the

Marks’ family in 1908, and has been occupied by a member of the family since then. It is a 2.5 story, brick gable-roofed dwelling with 5x2 bays and Italianate detailing.

339 West Market Street


Onetime residence of William Faux, owner of the Danville Iron Works, this Italianate style building is distinguished by a façade wall dormer and rooftop belvedere.

326 West Market Street


This Georgian Revival style residence was built by Jean Lavigne c. 1916. He owned the Danville Silk Mill along with Lucien Jouvard. Note the gable roof and the fleur-

de-lis ornamentation on the shutters. The Boy Scout camp near Benton, PA is named Camp Lavigne due to J. Lavigne’s contributions developing it as a scouting camp.


Turn to pages 14-15 for Map Guide

208 West Market Street


This home was once the residence of Dennis Bright, who was a member of the State legislature and partner with Colonel Charles Eckman in the Atlantic Oil Refining

Company. William Ward Watkin who designed Rice University and later became the head of the Architecture Department along with his mother lived at the Bright home. Watkin was the grandson of William Hancock and graduated from Danville High School in 1903.

202 West Market Street


This 2.5 story home was built on the original site of the Speiser Bottling Company, one of Danville’s earliest bottlers. Defining elements

from the Shingle style include steeply pitched roof, undulating shingle detail and multi-light casement windows.

158 West Market Street


This is a 2.5 story, frame gable-roofed, Federal Era dwelling with 6/5 bays, 2/2 windows and a small late Victorian porch. It was once home to Dr. Strawbridge, a Civil War surgeon, who was a prisoner of war in Richmond, Virginia. He was elected to served in Congress after the war, 1873-1875.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

108 West Market Street


The early structure built on this site was the home of Peter Baldy, Sr. , an early merchant and industrialist. He helped found the first bank in Danville and served as its first president. At the turn of the 20th

century, the home was purchased by William G. Pursel. He was a self-made man who rose from day laborer to a place of prominence as a civic leader and manufacturer. The Victorian Eclectic structure we see today is the result of an extensive renovation in the early 1900s.

62 West Market Street


William Colt built this brick, gable-roofed, 5x2 bay, Federal style structure in 1831. Colt was an original stockholder in the first river bridge at Danville, a major contractor on the North Branch canal,

involved in railroading in Schuylkill County, an officer in the Columbia Guards, and a local merchant. His daughter Elizabeth married Dr. Clarence H. Frick, who served with the Columbia Guards in the Mexican War. They became the owners of this home. There were many distinguished guests at this home through the years, including Thomas Edison.


Turn to pages 14-15 for Map Guide

52 West Market Street


This house was built by Evenuel Haupt, who operated a tanning yard behind the property. In 1869 the home was occupied by the widow and children of Alexander W. Rea, who

had been the manager of the Locust Mountain Coal and Mining Company. Rea was killed in 1868 by robbers who believed he was transporting the mining company’s payroll. Three members of the “Molly Maguires” were hanged for the crime. This building is a 2.5 story, brick, mansard-roofed Italianate/Second Empire style dwelling with a semi-hexagonal façade pavilion.

46 West Market Street


Originally occupied by William Jennison, an early iron manufacturer, this house later served as the parsonage for the Methodist Episcopal

Church for approximately 100 years. This building is a 2.5 story, brick, mansard- roofed Second Empire style dwelling with a semi- hexagonal 2.5 story façade bay window.

42 West Market Street


This home is a 2.5 story brick gable-roofed 3x2 bay Italianate/Federal style dwelling, built by Simon P. Kase prior to 1840. Kase built railroads, iron mills, and threshing machines. Please take note of the

iron fence which was produced by Wood & Company of Philadelphia.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

253 Mill Street


Designed by Charles Wetzel and built in 1871, the Montour County Courthouse features

quoins, brackets, arched windows and a cupola of the Italianate style. This was Montour County’s second Courthouse, the original building also stood on this site.

Continue to East Market Street


58 East Market Street

G. W. Miles, owner of the Glendower Iron Mill, lived in this Second Empire Style stone and granite mansion which was built circa 1870.

Continue to 317 East Ferry Street

317 Ferry Street


Designed by Charles Wetzel; the cornerstone was laid on July 5, 1886 on the site of the former Danville Hotel. The Thomas Beaver Free Library and the YMCA cost $195,000 to build. All of the funding was

donated by local industrialist Thomas Beaver. The library now also occupies the portion of the building that was once the YMCA. It is built of Ohio gray stone with granite trimmings and Scotch granite columns.


Turn to pages 14-15 for Map Guide

Continue to Mill Street

338 Mill Street


Paired brackets and quoins distinguish this four-story Italianate-style building known as the “Baldy House.” First built as a dwelling house in 1870 by Peter Baldy, Sr. , it was converted into a hotel by

William C. Williams in 1891. At the time it was built, it was the tallest building in Danville.

362-364 Mill Street


Restored by Bob McWilliams to its early 20th century appearance, this Italianate style building, often referred to as the Keystone Building. Valentine Best, the State Senator noted for his influence in the separation

of Montour County from Columbia County, lived in a building that previously occupied this site. Many local organizations were tenants in this building and from 1904 to 1939 it was home to the Danville Post Office.

410 Mill Street


The Danville Post Office, which opened in 1939, was built on the site where Danville’s famous Opera House stood from 1873 to 1937. In the lobby you

will find a W.P.A. cast aluminum relief mural, “Iron Pouring,” created in 1941 by Jen de Marco.

This concludes Tour 1


Architecture Key

Ginger Bread Trim

Victorian builders used “gingerbread trim” fancifully cut and pierced frieze boards, scrolled brackets, sawn balusters, and braced arches to transform simple frame cottages into one-of-a-kind homes.


A corbel or bracket is often used to describe the thing that supports a structure, like the bottom bracket on an oriel window, which can be a highly decorative corbel or bracket.

Iron Fence

First brought to America from England

during the colonial era, iron fences guarded only the finest houses, churches, and public buildings. But by the early 19th century, domestic blacksmith shops were turning out architectural iron to compete with the imports.

Iron Facade

This is a form of architecture developed through the use of cast iron. It was a prominent style in the Industrial Revolution era when cast iron became relatively cheap and modern steel had not yet been developed.

Mansard Roof

This is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterized by two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope, punctured by dormer windows, at a steeper angle than the upper.


Turn to pages 14-15 for Map Guide



25 24 23 22











1 2

Tour 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

463 Mill St. 453 Mill St. 407 Mill St. 363 Mill St. 325 Mill St. 315 Mill St.

107 W Market St. 135 W Market St. 147 W Market St. 171 W Market St. 181 W Market St. 203 W Market St. 317 W Market St. 339 W Market St.

43 W Market St. 61 W Market St.




19 18


10 11

12 13

15 16



Map Guide 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 326 W Market St. 208 W Market St. 202 W Market St. 158 W Market St. 108 W Market St. 62 W Market St. 52 W Market St. 46 W Market St. 42 W Market St. 253 Mill St. 58 E Market St. 317 Ferry St. 338 Mill St. 362-364 Mill St. 410 Mill St.


Tour 2: Lower Mill Street & Bloom Street This tour is approximately 1/2 mile in length.

Tour 2 Map on pages 20-21.

Starting on Mill Street traveling North.

615 Mill Street


The Huber Ironworks manufactured the cast iron features of this Italianate style building in Danville, c. 1869. Formerly the Union Hotel, it was purchased by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1984.

608 Mill Street


Built in 1870, this Italianate style building was the site of Cole’s Hardware for near 100 years. Cole’s Hardware store on Mill Street opened by Jacob Cole in 1890 became the “Old Hardware” restaurant

operated by his great-grand-daugher in 1982. At that time, the hardware business moved to its present location on Ferry Street.

630 Mill Street


This structure housed the First National Bank which was chartered in 1864. It is an example of the Classical Revival style. The building was erected in 1923 on the site of an earlier structure, built by Alexander Montgomery.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

From the corner of Mill Street, use the cross walk to reach the corner of Bloom Street.

11 Bloom Street


Built in 1792 by William Montgomery, the founder of Danville, this dwelling is now referred to as the Montgomery House Museum and the office of the Montour County Historical Society. This 2.5 story

stone Federal three-bay structure has a simple projecting cornice with returns. The house contains original 8-over-12 and 6-over-9 window sash, and pedimented entrance. A log home was once located at the rear of the home. To arrange a tour, please call (570) 271-0830.

From the corner of 11 Bloom Street, continue North then turn right on Center Street.

40 Center Street


Abigail Geisinger, the founder of Geisinger Memorial Hospital, lived in this Queen Anne style house, distinguished by a three-story turreted tower c. 1850.


Turn to pages 20-21 for Map Guide

Make a right onto Ferry Street, and continue to the corner of Ferry and Bloom Street.

115 Bloom Street 37

This c. 1830 Federal style home is a brick painted 2.5 story, three-bay side hall residence. The entrance features sidelights and a multi- light transom. The

windows are 6-over-9 on the first floor and 6-over-6 on the second. All windows retain their original shutters.The double end wall chimneys are linked with a low parapet wall. The last residents of the home were William Henry (Harry) Cole and his family.

From the corner of Ferry Street, look South to see 116 Walnut St.

116 Walnut Street 38.

This house was built in the late 1800s and was once the residence of Rufus K. Polk and his wife Isabella, a descendant of William Montgomery. Polk was a U.S. Congressman from

1899 until his death, at the age of 35, in 1902. He was a descendent of President James Polk.

Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key


From the corner of Ferry Street, turn right on Bloom Street until you reach Mill Street.

51 Bloom Street 39

This was once the home of William Chamberlin, an entrepreneur who was married to Thomas Beaver’s daughter, Emily. This stone Second Empire Style dwelling is noted for its massive central tower. The building was restored

by St. Joseph’s Church and is used as an annex to their school. Built c. 1870.

19 Bloom Street 40

This house is a well- preserved example of the Queen Anne style, which features a variety of architectural details including corbelled chimneys, a projecting oriel

window, bracketing and a pyramidal roof. Built between 1880-1885 by Daniel Montgomery Boyd, grandson of Danville’s namesake, it was also home to the Danville Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks for 77 years (1923-2000). It was purchased by the Montour County Historical Society in 2010 and is now the Boyd House Museum. To arrange a tour, please call (570) 271-0830

This concludes Tour 2


Turn to pages 20-21 for Map Guide




Tour 2 Map Guide



32 33 34 35 36

37 38 39 40

615 Mill St. 608 Mill St. 630 Mill St. 11 Bloom St. 40 Center St.

115 Bloom St. 116 Walnut St. 51 Bloom St. 19 Bloom St.


Tour 3: Points of Interest It is recommended to drive to these locations.

Tour 3 Map on page 27.

Head Northwest from the corner of Ferry and Bloom Street.

151 Bloom Street 41.

This Second Empire style home features paired bracket and quoins, c. 1865. Jacob Cole, whose family once lived in this home, was the founder of Cole’s Hardware.

Memorial Park Bloom Street 42.

This site was formerly the Presbyterian Cemetery, which was Danville’s first cemetery. The park now contains the only ‘object’ nominated for inclusion in the Danville Historic

District—a 73’ stone obelisk that was dedicated to the Veterans of the Civil War on May 31, 1909. There are also monuments throughout the park remembering and honoring those who served in other wars. This park occupies part of “three-acres and seven perches of land” conveyed in 1775 by Amos Wickersham for a church, school, and burial ground to the trustees of the Presbyterian church of Mahoning (Grove Presbyterian Church). After 130 years, the ground was no longer used as a cemetery, and, through the efforts of a group of citizens, this park was created. Over 400 bodies were removed and reinterred at other locations. A few still rest herein. The park was opened in 1908.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

358 Bloom Street 43.

Built in 1875, the Grove Presbyterian Church combines round arches and stone detail of the Romanesque style with Gothic features. A tall, narrow stone structure with steeply pitched

roof, buttresses, polychrome arched entrances and windows and corner tower, reflects the massing of the Gothic period. It is the site of Danville’s first church and school.

Make a right onto Jefferson Court, and continue to the corner of Green Street.

538 Green Street


Built by Daniel Frazer in 1819, this stone dwelling is a good representation of the Federal Style. Frazer owned 100 acres of farmland in this vicinity: much of it would have been in today’s Danville borough limits.

Continue straight towards Spring Street then turn right and proceed to A Street. Turn left on A Street, and continue to Nicholas Avenue where you will turn left. Continue on Nicholas Avenue until you reach the corner of Railroad Street and Nicholas Avenue.


Turn to page 27 for Map Guide

Nicholas Ave & Railroad St


The Grove Brothers, who owned the Columbia Iron Furnaces, built this expansive mansion in 1867. This magnificent home is a “double” house. The beautiful grounds of the

mansion are surrounded by an enormous brick wall. It became the motherhouse of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius in 1919.

712 Railroad Street


The Reading Railroad Station was originally built in Philadelphia to accommodate the large crowds in Fairmount Park in 1876 for the nation’s Centennial Exposition. This expo

celebrated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the late 1800s, it was dismantled and moved to Danville.

Make a right onto Walnut Street (Route 11) and continue to Pine St.

236 Walnut Street 47.

This brick church was built by the Emmanuel Baptist Congregation in 1893 for its 62 members. It disbanded in 1908. The AME (African Methodist Episcopal) congregation purchased it in 1914.


Turn to page 13 for Architecture Key

217 Pine Street


This Italianate-style building with arched windows, brackets and quoins was erected in 1872-1873 as the Danville High School. It housed both elementary and secondary students

throughout the years but became a grammar school in 1928 when a new high school was built on East Front Street. It was owned by the school district until 1989 when it was sold to a private party who restored and renovated it.

Continue down Pine Street and turn left onto Water Street.

318 Water Street


In 1898, F. Q. Hartman, built this home in the late Queen Anne style, which was

popular from 1880- 1910. It has all the elements of the style:

asymmetry, variety of form, irregular roof line, tall chimneys and a tower (turret). It also has a turret that includes a second story balcony that faces the Susquehanna River. Hartman built three local silk mills and 18 additional mills throughout the state. He was an area philanthropist, re-constructing the unsightly river bank near his home, naming it Montgomery Park. He donated land for an early Boy Scout camp along the Susquehanna River. Most notably he donated the ground for a sport field that still carries his name.


Turn to page 27 for Map Guide

Heading West from Bloom Street (Route 11), continue straight and pass Continental Blvd until you reach 175 Northumberland Street on your right.

175 Northumberland Street 50.

Alexander Montgomery, son of William Montgomery, the founder of Danville, built this home circa 1816-19. The North Branch of the Pennsylvania Canal once

passed in front of this house that was built from brick manufactured near the canal. Alexander and his family lived in the home until Iron Industry entrepreneurs purchased it in the early 1840s. Furnaces to smelt iron ore were erected nearby. Thomas Chambers, known throughout the iron industry and an original owner of the mill, lived in the home while he built the mansion on the hill above this building. For nearly a century, this house was home to those associated with the iron mill that was located across the road. George and Abigail Geisinger lived in the home in 1878 when he was secretary and treasurer of the Kingston Coal Company. The house was sold in 1938 by the Reading Iron Company, the last owner of the iron mill. Edward and Frederick Waltman purchased it for a restaurant, named Maple Hall, and sold it to the American Legion Post #40 in 1942.

This concludes Tour 3





Tour 3 Map Guide 151 Bloom St. Bloom St.

41 42 43 44 45

46 47 48 49 50

712 Railroad St. 236 Walnut St. 217 Pine St. 318 Water St. 175 Northumberland St.

358 Bloom St. 538 Green St. Nicholas Ave & Railroad St.


Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau 121 Papermill Road Bloomsburg, PA 17815 1-800-847-4810 www.itourcolumbiamontour.com

Visit the Apple/Android app stores to download a digital version of this walking tour!

Check out our other historic walking tours.

Berwick walk A self-guided walking tour of historic Berwick and the surrounding historic districts. Bloomsburg walk

A self-guided walking tour for the historic district of the Town of Bloomsburg.


Danville Business Alliance 620 Mill Street Danville, PA 17821 570-284-4502 www.visitdanvillepa.org

This brochure was made possible by funding provided by the Columbia County Commissioners, the Montour County Commissioners, the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau, and by Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Research & Sponsored Programs and the Provost’s Office. Although every effort was made to ensure the correctness of content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information printed in this guide. The CMVB is not responsible for misprints or mistakes.

Photos: Mark W. Brehm Jr. and Robert Brown

Special thanks to Diane Zamboni, curator of the Montgomery and Boyd House Museums and Helen “Sis” Hause for their expertise.

Designed by: Mark W. Brehm Jr. Printed 2019

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