Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Borough (Pennsylvania) United States Census Bureau Pennsylvania
Coudersport, Pennsylvania
The Potter County Courthouse
Gods Country
Location of Coudersport in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Coudersport in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
Coudersport is located in Pennsylvania
Location within the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Coudersport is located in the United States
Coudersport (the United States)
Coordinates: 41°46′26″N 78°01′07″W / 41.77389°N 78.01861°W / 41.77389; -78.01861Coordinates: 41°46′26″N 78°01′07″W / 41.77389°N 78.01861°W / 41.77389; -78.01861
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (borough)1848
 • MayorMichael Walker
 • Total5.63 sq mi (14.59 km2)
 • Land5.63 sq mi (14.59 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
[2] (borough benchmark)
1,655 ft (504 m)
Highest elevation
[2] (mountain south of Coudersport downtown)
2,400 ft (700 m)
Lowest elevation
[2] (Allegheny River)
1,620 ft (490 m)
 • Total2,546
 • Estimate 
 • Density426.70/sq mi (164.76/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)814
FIPS code42-16448
GNIS feature ID1172494[4]
WebsiteCoudersport Chamber of Commerce

Coudersport is a borough in and the county seat of Potter County, Pennsylvania, United States,[5] located approximately 110 miles (180 km) east by south of Erie on the Allegheny River. The population was 2,546 at the 2010 census.


The Coudersport and Port Allegany Railroad Station, Coudersport Historic District, and Potter County Courthouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


Coudersport is located at 41°46′26″N 78°1′7″W / 41.77389°N 78.01861°W / 41.77389; -78.01861 (41.773903, -78.018559).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 5.7 square miles (15 km2), all of it land.

Coudersport lies in a broad valley at the joining of the Allegheny River and Mill Creek. It is surrounded by the great hilltop plateaus of the Allegheny highlands. Highways enter north and south on Pennsylvania Route 44, the very old Jersey Shore (log road) Turnpike, and from west to east on U.S. Route 6, the "Grand Army of the Republic Highway", which had been long a major mid-east-states east-west corridor before Interstate highways of the late 1950s. The most noted hilltops, located here on this plateau, are Dutch Hill stretching to the southeast, and Vader Hill stretching to the southwest. The Allegheny river makes a quick turn at this point, going from North to West; for that reason these features are distinctly individual from afar in the broad turning valley, and rise 2400–2500 feet above sea-level.


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 2,650 people, 1,101 households, and 700 families residing in the borough. The population density was 467.2 people per square mile (180.5/km2). There were 1,189 housing units at an average density of 209.6 per square mile (81.0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.02% White, 0.49% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.

There were 1,101 households, out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 25.3% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

Gazebo in Town Square behind Potter County Courthouse in Coudersport, PA

The median income for a household in the borough was $35,813, and the median income for a family was $44,053. Males had a median income of $32,288 versus $22,439 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,209. About 6.9% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

Coudersport Area Municipal Authority Fracking Wastewater Plant Controversy

In early 2018, the Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) became involved in a controversial proposal for a fracking wastewater plant near Coudersport.[11] JKLM Energy proposes trucking "produced water" (fracking wastewater) to a centralized plant for treatment to be located adjacent to the CAMA plant in Eulalia Township when and if the plant is approved and licensed by governmental authorities. The treated wastewater would then be transferred to CAMA for disposal into the headwaters of the Allegheny River.[12]

The entire proposal is opposed by many residents of the borough and the county, as well as by the Seneca Nation of Indians who reside downriver from the proposed plant location.[13][14][15][16][17]

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined JKLM $472,317 in 2016 for groundwater contamination caused by the use of an unapproved surfactant during the drilling of a natural gas well. The contamination impacted six private drinking water wells in Sweden and Eulalia townships (Potter County).[18]

The Cattaraugus County, New York legislature as well as New York State Senator Catharine Young (R-NY) have joined the Seneca Nation in opposition to the proposed fracking wastewater plant.[19][20] The Coudersport Borough Council voted to oppose siting the plant near Coudersport.[21][22][23] The Coudersport Borough Council's resolution of opposition was forwarded to the Coudersport Area Municipal Authority (CAMA), who has not yet considered it in a public forum.[24][25]

Notable locals

Notable facts

Coudersport is home to a Scottish Rite Consistory. With over 5000 members, Coudersport's Consistory has the largest per-capita membership of any Scottish Rite Consistory.

The newly re-opened Ice Mine is a popular tourist attraction in Coudersport. The mine freezes with ice in the summer, and the ice melts in the winter.

Coudersport was the home of "Untouchable" Eliot Ness at the time of his death. He was a principal in the Guaranty Paper Corporation, which specialized in watermarking legal & official documents to prevent counterfeiting. The company moved from Cleveland to Coudersport around 1955 because operating costs were lower. Ness, with his wife and son, were living in the Brocklebank home from 1956-57. Ness died there from a heart attack in May 1957.[citation needed]

Located in the northern portion of Coudersport is the Coudersport Area Recreation Park (CARP). This sports and recreation park was established in the 1960s by a group of town leaders including Dr. William L. Mitchell, a local veterinarian. It currently has a football field with track & field capabilities, baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, picnic areas and hiking trails.

According to historical books at the Penn State University Park library, Coudersport derived its name from a Dutchman named Couder who was a primary funder for the surveying of the future town as a "port" on the Allegheny River, thus becoming Couder's Port.

Coudersport was the former headquarters of Adelphia, which at its peak was the 5th largest cable provider in the United States.[27] The company went bankrupt due to internal corruption in 2002, and the headquarters were moved to Colorado a few years later.[28]

The fictional town of Farringdon, depicted in the Judy Bolton detective series by Margaret Sutton, is based on Coudersport, where Sutton grew up and attended school.[29] The school, town hall, and several recognizable residences are described in her books. Judy Bolton Days, an annual festival honoring the books of the late Sutton, is hosted each October by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Radio stations WNG591 (a NOAA Weather Radio outlet programmed out of State College) and WFRM (a locally programmed AM radio station, 600 kHz) are licensed to Coudersport. The former WFRM-FM, 96.7 MHz, was licensed to Coudersport for much of its existence but was later reallocated to Portville, New York. The local newspaper, the Potter Leader-Enterprise, is published out of Coudersport.

Coudersport is located near Cherry Springs State Park, which features some of the darkest skies on the East Coast. This means the town is a prominent destination for stargazers.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Coudersport Topo Map, Potter County PA (Coudersport Area)". TopoZone. Locality, LLC. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Coudersport". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Proposal to dump Pegula Frackwater in Allegheny River upstream of NY's southern tier advances - Artvoice". Artvoice. 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  12. ^ "Proposal to dump Pegula Frackwater in Allegheny River upstream of NY's southern tier advances - Artvoice". Artvoice. 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  13. ^ "At Allegheny River's headwaters, treatment plant for fracking wastewater stirs debate". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  14. ^ Hartranft, Nick. "Seneca Nation opposes Epiphany plan: 100 protest proposed wastewater facility at Coudy". TiogaPublishing.com. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  15. ^ "'Reckless assault on Mother Earth': Seneca Nation fights fracking treatment plant". RT International. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  16. ^ "Senecas ramp up opposition to Pegula fracking proposal". Niagara Falls Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  17. ^ Olean Times Herald, Bob Clark (2018-03-29). "Seneca Nation and Others Fire Back Against Ceases and Desist Letters". Olean Times Herald. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  18. ^ "DEP Fines JKLM Energy LLC $472,317 for 2015 Potter County Surfactant Discharge". media.pa.gov. 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  19. ^ Olean Times Herald, Rick Miller. "Seneca Nation treasurer thanks Cattaraugus County lawmakers for support in opposing fracking waste treatment plant". Olean Times Herald. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  20. ^ "Young Urges Pa. Environmental Dept. To Deny Fracking Project". post-journal.com. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  21. ^ "Opposition mounts to proposed shale gas wastewater facility". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  22. ^ Bradford Era, Bob Clark, Special to The Era. "Coudersport Borough Council opposes treatment plant". The Bradford Era. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  23. ^ "Coudersport Borough Council Voices Opposition to Allegheny River Dumping Plan". wivb.com. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  24. ^ Olean Times Herald, Bob Clark. "Heated CAMA meeting drawn to close following outburst over fracking wastewater project". Olean Times Herald. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  25. ^ "Tensions Erupt at Coudersport Fracking Wastewater Plant Meeting". Salamanca Press. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  26. ^ "Coudersport native hits the 'big time'". Endeavor News. December 26, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  27. ^ "Contact Information." Adelphia Media Services; retrieved April 29, 2010.
  28. ^ "Adelphia founder gets 15-year term; son gets 20". NBCnews.com.
  29. ^ "Obituary: Margaret Sutton, 98; Wrote Mystery Series". New York Times. 2001-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-22.