Samuel F Dale House

Franklin City, Venango County, PA

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The Samuel F. Dale House (1409 Elk Street) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]


The Samuel Dale House, Franklin, is a large residence in the Italianate style, built in 1875. It is red brick, two stories high, with a mansard roof. The original slate roof covering is intact. Italianate style arched dormers project from the roof. A dentilled moulded rim lines the top of the mansard roof. The Italianate style windows on the main stories are trimmed with tin in an incised scroll design to achieve a "dripstone" effect. The window sills are made of curved sandstone. Those windows without elaborate trim are arched, and have louvered shutters. Most of the window glass is original. The cornice which surrounds the building is wooden; it consists of elaborately carved modillions alternating with brackets. On the east front side of the house is a two-story projecting bay, with Italianate windows. A porch extends across the main facade and across the back. The cornices of the porches are similar to the main cornice. There are four sets of entrance doors, each arched, and carved out of walnut. Their original oval etched glass inserts are still intact.

A gabled wing of the house extends towards the south. Attached to it is a solarium with sleeping porch above.

The interior of the Dale House has undergone few changes since its construction. Among them have been the removal of two interior walls and two of the original eight fireplaces. The kitchen was entirely replaced in 1972.

Interior furnishings of note include the original dining-room chandelier, carved wood ceiling trim, parquet floor in the dining room, and fireplaces trimmed in Italian marble and tile. Most of the original hardware — door knobs, locks, etc. — is still in use.

A carriage house near the main dwelling is also built of brick. Originally the carriage house had room for horse and buggy, with hay mow above. It has since been converted into a five-car garage.


The Dale House is significant architecturally and as the home of a prominent local businessman.

The house is a good example of the Italianate style in local architecture. There is no other house of this size and quality in this part of the state. Its red brick and Victorian detail are skillfully combined. The house is in an excellent state of preservation, with little of its architectural integrity impaired.

The Dale family had been prominent in the state before the builder of this house came to Franklin. Ancestors of Samuel F. Dale served as legislators, judges, and surveyors. Samuel F. Dale himself was chiefly a businessman. Dale's commercial ventures were diverse and generally successful. Among them was the establishment of a line of stage coaches between Erie and Pittsburgh. Later he was involved in the iron business, operating a forge, sawmill, and grist mill at Franklin Furnace. In 1843 he expanded his interests to cooperate with Nock, Dangerfield and Co. in the operation of a rolling mill and nail mill. Dale also became involved in the construction of railroads between Franklin and the towns of Jamestown and Meadville. He was a director of the First National Bank of Franklin, of the Franklin and Oil City Turnpike, the Venango Mills, and the Galena Oil Refinery. Thus Samuel Dale was a prominent figure in local and statewide commercial and industrial life.


Bell, Herbert C. History of Venango County, Pa. Chicago: Brown and Co., 1890.

Donaho, George P. Pennsylvania - A History, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co, 1926.

Jordan, John W. Genealogical and Personal History of the Allegheny Valley, Pa., Vol. II, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1913.

"The Venango Citizen," June 8, 1876 - obituaries - Samuel F. Dale.

  1. YaSenka, Kathryn and McMurray, Sally, Samuel F. Dale Home, nomination document, 1975, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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