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James Smith House

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c. 1786, Elihu Hall, carpenter. E. Main St.

Reputed to be the oldest house in Pennsylvania's Northern Tier, the small one-and-one-half-story clapboarded frame house is built on grade, yielding another full story on the river side. A one-story shed-roof addition was built later, probably before 1850, and the south porch was added in 1990. The off-center chimney, asymmetrical three-bay facade, and four-room plan suggest Germanic origins. Some Dutch families lived in the vicinity and Germans were a few miles down the river at this time, but local lore names Elihu Hall as its carpenter. English-speaking settlers moved into this area in growing numbers in the mid-1790s. When the settlement got its own post office in 1841, the community was named for Henry Lacey, a local resident, but it grew slowly, not becoming a borough until 1903. The Smith House has also served as a general store, ferry stop, and post office. It is now a house museum.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "James Smith House", [Laceyville, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 547-547.

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