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1922 Tent City in Smock
In 1922, the coal workers in SMock attempted to organize in order to get better wages and working conditions. The H. C. Frick Coal Company was so upset with the workers that the company promptly threw the workers, their families, and their belongings out of the company homes. The people, young and old, were forced to find shelter. Some raised tents like the one shown below. Mary Spooner of Smock remembers the exact field that her belongings were thrown into that year. She was a little girl of 4 and is shown in the picture below. She is the little head of blond hair standing next to the woman(her mom)at the tent's entrance holding a little boy. The little boy was Mary's brother Joe who died within the year due to sickness.
Mary relates that farmers let people stay inside barns and sheds during the winter months. Another Smock resident, Ernest Farina, now in his 80s, remembers his father opening thier barn to the miners. Amazing to think of such tough times that people have seen.
1933 Strike Memories
Duncan Bennett of Maryville, TN recently emailed us this memory of his life near Smock:
"My earliest memories are of Rowes Run in the duplex house in what we called Newtown about 1929. I must have been about two when we moved there from Uniontown. We moved out of the duplex house when I was 13 across the hollow to the house next to the foreman's house. He was Jim Yoakum, a childhood friend of my father's. Ralph Kirk, a friend of my parents from when they lived in Tars, was the superintendent. Later the superintendent was Bill Merwin. I have some pictures of the 1933 strike. My mother took them from in front of our house. They show the highway with a union parade. I remember my father going to work during the strike, and walking down over the hill towards the picket line. My mother was very afraid for him. The pickets (all of whom he knew well) would crowd around him. Once they took his bucket away and then called him back and gave it back. He told them if they did not let him go to the mine it would fill with water and the horses would starve. That's what he did during the strike, run the pumps and feed horses. I have lots of other memories too -- of the strike and life in the town. I'll be glad to work on a memoir this winter and the pictures I have from the early 30's and share them with your historic society." Nov 2004
UNIONTOWN-ROYAL TAXI SERVICE
The following pictures were donated by Ginny Leichliter, 2004.
Franklin Boarding House Rules
Franklin Boarding House
The Original Club House Rules which hung in the Boarding House (on loan from Darlene Cicconi)
The following is taken directly from the Franklin Club House Rules dated April 1, 1924:
?This building was erected by the H. C. Frick Coke Company for the purpose of providing living quarters for the employees of their Colonial No. 1 Plant, and to supply the growing demand on the part of the employees for a boarding house with modern conveniences....Although operated for use by the employees of this plant, meals will be furnished to transients during meal hours, lodging will be furnished [to] transients when possible to do so.
To Employees: Boarding $10/week Rooms $8/month
1. Room rent shall include a personal locker in the downstairs wash room.
Practice Cleanliness and safety at all times.
DOWNLOAD COPY OF ORIGINAL BOARDING HOUSE RULES HERE:download Rules.pdf
New Information about Boarding House Proprietors
Oscar Canterbury ran the Boarding House along with his wife Jerusha. Jerusha's granddaughter Olive Scott visited the museum in 2003 and brought a wonderful collection of pictures. Not only do we have pictures of the boarding house, but also of the Frick Hotel as it was being built. Our thanks to Olive for sharing the following pictures.
Oscar and Jerusha Canterbury - Proprietors of the Smock Boarding House
Jerusha Canterbury poses in the soon-to-be Frick Hotel
A picnic at the Smock ballfield
Here is the promised Pagash recipe from lifelong Smock resident Mary Rebidas Spooner:
3/4 c sweetened milk
1 tsp salt
4 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs shortening
3 c flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cake yeast
1/4 c warm water
Pour milk over salt, sugar, and shortening. Dissolve yeast in water. Add egg and yeast to mixture. Add 1/2 of the flour to the mixture. Beat well. Add rest of flour. Place dough on board. Knead 5 minutes. Set dough in a bowl and let rise until double. Divide in half. Roll one half until about 2" thick.
3 medium cooked potatoes
Can add to potatoesany or all of the following- cheese, butter, or fried cabbage
Spread filling about 3/4" thick. Roll out other half of dough to 2" and set on top of filling. Place this creation on greased cookie sheet and let rise 30 minutes. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. When done, butter both sides and serve.
CHURCHES IN SMOCK
An important part of patch town life was the church life of the people. Smock currently has four churches, with three of them having been around since the early 1900's or earlier. Here is the history of Smock's churches. Pictures will also be added soon.
St. Hedwig Church
An Ethnic Church
An ethnic church has been added to our Museum. Appreciation goes to Nick Bozek, son of George III and Cheryl Bozek, on the completion of our church. Nick, under the direction of Scout Master, Roger Rittenhouse, earned his Eagle Scout Badge for the project. The former parishioners of St. Casimir of Keisterville graciously donated the church's alter and other artifacts. They put their resources together and made sure these items stayed in the area when their church recently closed. Also, we have received items from St. Hedwig and Pleasantview Church. We are asking all churches of Smock to bring something to our church display in the museum.
RECENTLY DONATED ITEMS
Items donated, 2004
This "Essential of Spelling" book circa 1919, Gilette Blue Blades, Merthiolate Applicators, and Little Old Woman in the Shoe Charm were donated to the Heritage museum in honor of George Rakushin by his cousin, Gregory Raskushin. Also donated in honor of George Rakushin were 1 cent, 3 cent and 1 cent postcards which were donated by "his Lil Ole Friend" Mabel Martin, 2004.
SMOCK CENTRAL GARAGE
The garage in 2004- deserted and in need of repair.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people have a connection to Smock. I was recently emailing several people about helping me set up a Health Fair when I received this reply from a helpful lady:
"Smock brings back old memories. My grandma lived there and when I was a very young girl I spent many summers there. That was when there were outhouses in the back yards and kerosene lamps. I remember how we used to wait and hope someone would throw their wash water down the ditches so we could sail our "boats" down the street and chase them. The general store trusted everyone. They had a movie once a week and we coulden't wait for the next episode of series like Rin Tin Tin, Hop-a-Long Cassidy. Everyone had a garden."
What beautiful sentiments. You can tell by how she tells her story that she has very fond memories of her times in Smock. Please send us any of your Smock memories that you would like to share.
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