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About the Chamber and Coudersport
The Coudersport Chamber of Commerce is a group, consisting of over 100 businesses, organizations, and individuals, that strives to make Coudersport an even better place to live, work, play, or visit.A vital part of the Chamber is the Merchants’ Association which promotes Coudersport retail establishments and eateries.
Throughout the year, the Chamber sponsors additional events that attract visitors and enhance the quality of life in Coudersport. Popular Chamber events include the Potter-Tioga Maple Festival, Falling Leaves Festival and Judy Bolton Day and the Festival of Lights. The Coudersport Arboretum is also a project of the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce.
If you are not yet a member of the Chamber, then we strongly urge you to join. Please click below to learn how you can join the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce.
Two centuries ago, pioneers arrived in the headwaters of the Allegheny River to carve out a living in the wilderness. A new town was plotted at the convergence of the Allegheny River and Mill Creek. It was envisioned as the hub for the brand new Potter County.
John Coudere, as a member of an Amsterdam banking firm, provided loans to help the early land barons claim and develop the land. Although he never set food in the area, he was chosen to be honored when the town was named.
The early settlers met with hardships and suffering, but they worked faithfully, cutting the tall trees and buliding their homes from the huge logs. By 1850, Coudersport boasted five stores, three taverns, its own schoolhouse, a lumber mill and leather tannery, two doctors, a couple of preachers and five lawyers.
Coudersport was firmly established as the county seat in every sense of the word. Farmers from the outlying areas would bring their crops to town and gather provisions. The Potter County government offices, from the courtroom to the deed recorder, also brought steady traffic.
Tragedy sturct in 1880 when Coudersport saw much of its business district go up in flames. Buildings, all of wooden construction, fueled a blaze that burned out of control as townspeople looked on helplessly. But Coudersport soon rose from the ashes. Temporary structures were put up, then replaced with permanent buildings made of brick. These structures remain the foundation of the today's attractive business district.
Coudersport eventually became caught up in the lumber boom that rocked the region. From 1890 through 1910, timber cutters exploited the rich pine and hemlock resources. Rail lines were laid to usher the wood to market while boom towns sprung up around the area. A leather tannery, clothespin factor, glass plant and several lumber mills flourished.
Once the timber companies ran out of trees to cut, they moved on, leaving every hillside denuded. Many families departed for greener pastures. But in their wake, these lumbermen left the seeds of a diverse natural forest that flourishes today. The hemlock and pine now blends with maple, oak, cherry and other hardwoods, supporting wildlife and creating a breathtaking auroro of fiery colors during the fall.
Other industries arrived to take the place of the lumber-based industries. A silk mill, toy factory, pharmaceutical manufacturer, optical plans and several smaller employers kept the economy afloat. Pure Carbon (now Morgan AM & T), a carbon manufacturing company, opened in the late 1950s, providing hundred of jobs. A decade later, ground was broken for Charles Cole Memorial Hospital. These two facilities remain major employers today.