The Montgomery Mansion

Claysville, PA
October 10, 2008

We came across this amazing looking house - which is a private residence! - while leaving a campground in this town where we stayed for one night.

Legend has it that the five-bedroom house constructed during the 1870s was the first in Claysville to have a bathroom.

It was built by William Porter, who was a wood planer and lumber yard owner.

In 1901, he sold it to the Montgomery family, which owned it for 79 years and in 1974, had it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1980, the house was sold to the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese for use by its next-door neighbor, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Sunday school and classes were held there.

By 1987, the house had fallen into such disrepair that the church was planning to demolish it. Historians objected and it was sold to Kathleen & Terrence McAuliffe, who spent the next dozen years restoring its period details and adding modern upgrades.

The couple had the original panes installed in new Queen Anne-style window frames, covered the mansard roof with fish-scale shingles cut from discarded slate shingles, hung antique crystal chandeliers and put up Victorian-era wallpaper.

They couldn't save the original horsehair plaster when new wiring, plumbing and hot water radiators were installed. But they did preserve one key element of the house's original Italianate style: a windowed turret that rises some 10 feet above the roof line.

The front parlor features gold-leaf details, an original fireplace with mirror and surrounded by ceramic tile, and stained-glass windows with interior shutters. The wide-plank wood floors are also original.

The property also includes a Gothic Revival carriage house at the end of the driveway that the McAuliffes have rehabbed into a four-car garage with a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Known as the Margaret Derrow house, it originally stood next door on West Main. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was listed For Sale in Nov. 2007 with a $300,000-plus price tag. While this is on the high side for Claysville, especially for a home without a lot of acreage, the price is nearly half what it was when it went on the market in 2003 at $649,000.

Video I took of the house is on you tube.


Jana said...

Your photography of this 'Grande Dame' is perfection! Thank you for the history & eye candy. Much appreciated!

Yvonne said...

Thank you, Jana! I haven't looked at these pics in a very long time but saw them again in checking your comment. They did come out beautiful, didn't they? I lost my originals, unfortunately, so only have the reduced sized set that I posted on my blog :) Thanks for writing! Yvonne