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The Smock Heritage Museum is located on the top floor of the Smock Community Recreation and Heritage Center which was the old Company Store.
The museum is closed for the winter but reopens June through October from 11AM to 4PM, SATURDAYS ONLY. You can also visit us Sunday through Friday by appointment only. Please call Jim at 724-677-4660 to schedule a visit.
In most mining communities, the company store was the center of activity. Not only did the company store provide the miners and their families with food, clothing, tools, and other goods, it also provided a place for them to foster friendships which developed the community spirit that still exists today.
There were three company stores that served the Smock miners. The first store, built in the 1880s was destroyed by fire, as was the second store. In 1905, the third company store was opened by the Pittsburgh Coal Company and operated by the Federal Supply Company until 1911. The Union Supply Company, a subsidiary of the H.C. Frick Coke Company, managed the store after the H.C. Frick Company purchased the mines from the Pittsburgh Coal Company. The company store closed in 1944.
On January 27, 1961, the United States Steel Corporation sold the existing company store to the Smock Community Recreation Center. The front of the first floor is now used by the U S. Postal Service. The remainder of the first floor consists of a kitchen and hall where social events are held on a regular basis. A cental staircase leads to a large, open area on the second floor. Adjacent to this open area are 7 small rooms. At various times, these rooms were used by the local doctor and dentist. During the mine strike of 1922, scab workers were housed in these rooms. These rooms are now used to portray the rooms of a "Patch House" as they were in the coal and coke era.
HERITAGE MUSEUM - PATCH HOUSE LIFE
Our museum is a trip back in time. We have a collection of things from life in a coal patch town that is unmatched. Visit our "Patch House' where we have recreated a patch kitchen, livingroom, and bedroom. We have also gathered landmarks from Smock including the original bar from Cicconi's Union Tavern and the original barber chair and sign from Spooner's Barber Shop.
An old coal stove in our patch kitchen
The kitchen sink as it was in the old patch kitchens.
The bedroom in our Patch Home.
An antique vanity that was restored sits in the bedroom.
An old Victrolla finds a home in our patch livingroom.
The bar from Cicconi's Tavern - see more about the Union Tavern and the FDR picture at the bottom of this page.
"The Enforcer" that hung next to the bar
The sign that hung at Ray Spooner's Barber Shop
Mary Spooner stands next to the original barber chair that her husband Ray used in his barber shop. Ray Spooner operated his barber shop from 1941 to 1985. He began to cut hair at age 18 during the Depression. His shop was in his home then later moved to a trailer. Ray married Mary Rebidas in 1939 and they had 4 children: Ray, Bernice, Armand, and Jeff. Ray passed away in 1986 at age 73. Mary still lives in Smock and enjoys her 7 grandkids and 10 great-grandkids.
The original chair, mirror, and sink, once removed from Smock to the homes of the Spooner children, have all been returned and are preserved in the Spooner Barber Shop display.
Mary had kept many of the original equipment that Ray used. Now these treasures sit on the shelf in the museum.
PENNY CANDY MEMORIES
The old candy case is original to Smock and it was where alot of penny candy was bought.
ANTIQUE WEDDING GOWNS AND CLOTHES
A wedding gown and wedding album showing a 1950s wedding in Smock.
Antique wedding gowns dating from the early 1900s are on display.
Dolores Kordella's wedding gown circa 1950. On loan Fall 2004.
A handpainted mural shows the old train station and company store.
Another handpainted mural shows the original front of the Company Store.
FDR Picture and Drive-By Shooting
The people of the 1990's tend to think that they were the first people to experience drive-by shootings. Perky Cicconi told the following story hundreds of times about what was one of the earliest drive-by shootings.
He related that in the early 1900's his dad, Guillo, permitted the local unions to use part of his establishments (known as Colonial Cleaners and Dyers and Union Beer Garden) to hold their meetings. At this point in history, the Unions were just starting and were not very popular with the coal companies. Mr. Guillo Cicconi recognized the importance of the unions for the common working man. He himself had chose to leave his native Italy to come to the USA, the land of freedom, and found that this was a place where you could voice your conviction. Giving the union a place to convene gave him a special pride by practicing this freedom and voicing his opinion.
The story goes that the anti-union personnel decided to discourage Mr. Cicconi from further involvement with the union meetings. One way of doing this was to drive past his establishments and shoot at the buildings. In the course of spraying bullets everywhere, one would think that there would have been numerous fatalities. But the only things that were damaged were the windows and a picture of FDR. The picture was hanging on the back bar of the Union Beer Garden. The picture was a symbol of patriotism and represented the freedom to have unions not only to the owner but to the patrons.
FDR's picture which was damaged in a shooting
The bullet that hit the picture went straight through Roosevelt's heart. It seemed like an omen, because the picture was still hanging and the glass was barely shattered, representing that no matter what, the unions would prevail. At some point after this incident, representatives from Washington, DC came to Smock and took the FDR picture to Washington to be put on display. It was returned some years later to the Cicconi family. Perky (Lawrence) Cicconi was very proud of the fact that this story was told to him and that he had the opportunity to share it with everyone that he met. Keeping this fact in mind, his wife and daughter felt that it was only appropriate to allow the Smock Historical Society to display the picture which was an important part of his ancestry.
Bullet hole in picture
Signed "Martie 1876"
This handpainting of Jesus was donated in the summer of 2004. It was hidden in an antique frame behind a newer painting of horses. We cherish it.
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