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When Montrose was incorporated as a borough in 1824, thirteen years after it became Susquehanna County's seat, it already had a newspaper, agricultural society, and bank—Silver Lake Bank, which still stands at 75 Church Street with an 1850 addition and a 1921 front. Isaac Post, from Long Island, surveyed the village in 1812 and named it after a town in Scotland. He and Isaac Chapman transferred ten acres of their land to the village for the present green. Although Philadelphia's Cope and Drinker families had large landholdings in the area, the town's plan reflects less influence from Philadelphia's grid than from those of the New Englanders who settled here. Church Street is the principal street and four blocks of late-nineteenth-century stores, many with original storefronts, are grouped where Church Street meets Public Avenue and S. Main Street. Lake Avenue is a handsome residential street with late-nineteenth-century houses in Italianate, Gothic Revival, and Queen Anne styles, many with classical details. The assessment of Montrose by Charles Trego in The Geography of Pennsylvania (1843) still holds true: “The houses are generally built of wood; mostly painted white and presenting a neat appearance; the whole, as has been frequently remarked, much resembles a New England country village.” Stone houses were so rare in the nineteenth century that an 1864 stone building for a newspaper publishing office on Maple Street is still known as “The Stone House.” The finest of the town's churches is Richard M. Upjohn's St. Paul's Episcopal Church (60 Church Street), considered “a perfect gem” when it was dedicated in 1857. Montrose no longer has the two railroad depots it had a century ago, but it is a treasure of nineteenth-century architecture.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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