Smethport Residents

Chamber Dinner to Celebrate Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

Smethport Web - by Nathan Muller

The Smethport Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its 13th Annual Business Dinner at 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 24th at the Court of Angels Restaurant. The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise”.

This is a community event. Everyone is invited… You do not have to be a member of the Chamber to attend.

Click here for the dinner announcement and RSVP.

The Smethport Chamber will announce its participation in a summer program called Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, which is now in its 36th year. More than 2,000 young men and women will attend one of its five sessions during July and August.

The Chamber will sponsor several scholarships for Smethport area sophomore/junior students to attend the PFEW program.

PFEW teaches young people about the world of business by allowing them to act the parts of senior management in an imaginary company. During their seven-day stay, students operate these imaginary firms for the equivalent of three years in a computer-simulated environment, experiencing every aspect of what it takes to make a business profitable.

They will also hear speakers daily who address a variety of issues that are germane and important to the health of our state’s business community. Graduates take away a vastly improved understanding of how our free market system operates and an appreciation of the critical issues that face all Pennsylvania businesses.

The Chamber dinner will feature a special presentation by Karen Musante from PA Free Enterprise Week and a student participant from Pittsburgh who will talk about lessons learned from attending the program.

The Chamber will present several awards:

  • Mansion District Inn Suites – Business of the Year
  • James Herzog – Volunteer of the Year
  • Hamlin Memorial Library – Community Service Organization of the Year

Please take a few moments to contact your family and friends… Encourage them to come out and support these honorees. You are encouraged to forward copies to those on your personal email lists to help ensure we give them the recognition they deserve.

Click here for the dinner announcement and RSVP.

This is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, neighbors and business colleagues who make Smethport the special community we all enjoy.

More information: Nathan Muller at 814-887-4134 or


April 11, 2014

Around the Forest Region

1st Annual “Backyard Tour” of McKean County

Smethport Web - by Nathan Muller

You’re invited! Join in on the fun April 24th for an educational motorcoach tour, where you are the traveler, visiting a variety of sites throughout McKean County as you learn about grants and funding opportunities, tourism and recreational development projects, and visit key assets within the region.

This tour, hosted by the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, is specifically designed for business owners, managers, and key employees. Managers are encouraged to bring staff.

Lunch and wine sampling, plus a stop at the new craft distillery CJ Spirits in Kane, are included in the tour.

The tour begins at the ANF Visitors Bureau Welcome Center in Bradford at 9:00 am, returning at 5:00 pm.

Cost is $20.00 for ANFVB members, $25.00 for non-members.

Make your reservation now!
Call 800-473-9370 or email

April 6, 2014

History of Wooly Willy Visit the Home of Wooly Willy

Discover Smethport

Part 1  |  Part 2

Smethport Electronics

McClelland Financial Management

Total Engraving


Please consider a tax deductible donation to the Hamlin Memorial Library. You can donate online - any amount is welcome. You’ll get a receipt via email. The library is a recognized charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

If you prefer, you can send a check by mail at any time using this form.

Become a fan of the library on Facebook and learn about upcoming events.

Newspaper Archives Available

An archive of local newspapers, from 1833 to 1978, is available for viewing online or through microfilm at the Hamlin Memorial Library. Every newspaper in the online database is fully searchable by keyword and date, making it easy to quickly explore historical content. You can also order a full page copy on heavy paper.

More to do in Smethport

Smethport's Haunted Jail

Mansion District Walking Tour

Motorcycles and Smethport

Sena Kean Manor

Keppel Stone Works

Food King Chinese Restaurant


McKean County E-Sales

Specializing and Experienced in Estate & Downsizing Sales and After Sale Clean Up

Organization, Decluttering, Home Beautification & Curb Appeal of Your Home or Business

In need of these services? Contact Ric Toner


Burdick's Lodge


Join us for the 13th annual Smethport Area Chamber of Commerce business dinner at the Court of Angels restaurant on April 24th. Get your reservation form here.

Attention businesses: Join the Smethport Area Chamber of Commerce today! Already a member? Use the form to renew your membership for 2014-15.  Membership Form

Any Chamber member bringing a new member into the organization will receive $250 dollars of radio advertising on the Colonial Media + Entertainment radio station of your choice. The new member will receive a free interview on the VTT radio station. This offer is courtesy of Colonial Media + Entertainment.

Kids’ Fest 2014 - Child health screenings (5 yrs. and under) will be held on April 26 at Bradford Family YMCA. Call 814-368-6101. Click here for details.

Cleanup week is May 11 through May 17. The cost for participating households is $35, payable at the Borough office.

   Visit Smethport's YouTube Channel.

Note: Click images below for enlargements, slideshows, audio, and other information!

Fishing Season Opener on Hamlin Lake

Smethport Web – Nathan Muller

With the respite of winter weather, anglers of all ages swarmed the banks of Hamlin Lake on the opening day of fishing season. With the water still cold, the trout were ready to snap at pretty much anything cast their way.

As the day wore on, most folks seemed content with just enjoying a rare sunny day, and less concerned with snagging a trophy size trout.

But a whole season of fishing awaits Hamlin Lake and nearby rivers and streams. That means there’s a big story waiting to be told.

April 12, 2014

End of an Era - Patch Products to Close Smethport Toy Factory

Smethport Web - by Nathan Muller

Patch Products in Beloit, Wisconsin has announced that its toy factory in Smethport, Pennsylvania will close as of February 28, 2014.

The facility, known for producing the locally-invented, world-famous Wooly Willy magnetic toy, will impact 15 employees. Positions include both management and those working the assembly line.

“While the decision to close the Smethport, Pennsylvania facility was a difficult one, it is important for the long term health of the organization. As we evaluate the trends of the toy industry and the needs of the future, we felt it was important to consolidate our manufacturing facilities.” said Brian Maxwell, President of Patch.

“I want to thank our employees for their service and dedication to Patch. This is a difficult time, and we’re doing everything possible to provide support to those affected,” said Maxwell.

According to Patch, employees whose jobs have been eliminated have been provided a severance package and resources to assist them in their job search.

While Patch Products has been moving some toy production to China in recent years, a spokesperson for Patch Products said the company intends to produce the original Wooly Willy magnetic toy, invented in 1955 by Smethport’s Jim Herzog, at its plant in Beloit.

Herzog noted that Smethport had been an ideal location for a toy industry for many years. He said the community was central to the population of the United States, offering good resources in the form of supplies and talented employees.

“Obviously I find the firm’s demise a sad occasion for those still employed and for the community in general,” said Herzog. “I do hope a new industry can be found that will enjoy the same support given the firm when I was involved over 20 years ago.”

Reflecting on the current situation, Herzog said the toy industry thrives on new products, either evolutionary or revolutionary. “Even though Wooly Willy gave Patch a good base product, it was no longer capable of supporting the company on its own merits.”

Smethport Mayor Wayne Foltz had concerns that this day might come based on downsizing and the direction many manufacturing companies are going today.

“When I read it to be fact my heart sank,” said Foltz. “While I won’t pretend to know the heartache of the employees about to lose their livelihood, I do hope the best for them. There is sadness and shock within the community, but I know in the end our community and its citizens will get through this,” he said.

“Thank you to the Herzog family, especially Wooly Willy creator Jim Herzog, for giving Smethport such a great place for employment and Patch Products for continuing that for as long as possible,” said Foltz. “Best regards to all and remember that the Wooly Willy heritage will never disappear. ”

See related story in Bradford Era.


January 30, 2014

Bowl for Kids’ Sake - Sign Up Now!

Smethport Web — by Annie Wolfe

It’s time for Bowl For Kids’ Sake, the largest annual FUN-raising event that supports Big Brothers Big Sisters in McKean County. The event will be held Saturday, March 29th at Byllye Lanes in Bradford.

Help make 2014 the biggest event ever! Participants may choose to bowl at 2 p.m., 5:00 p.m. or at 8 p.m. You can register to bowl by calling Big Brothers Big Sisters at 1-877-776-1636 or by downloading and filling out our Bowler Packet.

Each bowler is asked to collect a minimum of $35 in sponsorships. Then join the fun: enjoy two FREE games of bowling, FREE food and a night full of fun activities, entertainment, and lots of great prize giveaways. It’s all for fun, no skill required! The best part is all of the money raised at Bowl For Kids’ Sake stays in McKean County to provide mentoring services for local youth.

Businesses are also encouraged to get involved as lane sponsors and prize donors. Our program’s success depends on support from you. To register a team, sponsor a lane or donate a prize, please call toll free 1-877-776-1636.

January 15, 2014

Smethport Begins Year with New Mayor

Smethport Web - by Nathan Muller

Wayne Foltz, with wife Lisa, sworn in as Smethport  Mayor by Judge Bill Todd.Wayne Foltz was sworn into office by Magisterial District Court Judge Bill Todd at last evening’s Borough Council meeting. The Mayor’s wife, Lisa, took part in the ceremony by holding the Bible upon which the Mayor took the oath. Foltz is captain in the Smethport Fire Department and a former Smethport Chamber of Commerce president. He is currently employed as district manager at Universal Well Services in Bradford.

Council members Greg Rounsville, Josh Costa, Kent Herzog and Jeff Tanner were sworn into office, having won reelection last year. Leo Church, the newest member of the Council, was also sworn in by Judge Todd.

By unanimous vote, the Council reelected Greg Rounsville as President and Brian Gustafson as Vice President.
Read more »

January 7, 2014

American Red Cross Hosted Blood Drive in Memory of Alan Hamilton

Smethport Web - Melissa A. Riehle

Alan Hamilton Memorial Blood DriveThe Hamilton family and the American Red Cross held their first annual blood drive in memory of Alan Hamilton on Monday, December 16 at the Smethport Fire Hall.

Alan was an avid blood donor, who donated over six gallons of blood during his lifetime. Alan’s family co-sponsored the drive to increase community awareness about the need for blood.

Alan was initially admitted into the hospital on April 21, 2013 because he was having trouble breathing. It was at this visit that they diagnosed him with pneumonia. Alan was in and out of the hospital from April until June. On June 7, he was taken by ambulance to a larger hospital in Erie, Pa. He was there for 12 days and then transported to a facility in Pittsburgh on June 19.

It was on June 26 that Alan was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare disorder in which blood vessels become inflamed, making it hard for blood to flow. During his sickness, he received multiple blood transfusions that helped him stay alive. Sadly, on August 2, 2013 Alan passed away.

Approximately every two seconds a patient in the United States needs blood. That’s why your blood donation through the Red Cross is so important. Your blood donation can help save the life of a real person in our community.

Local blood donors are needed all year round to ensure the blood supply stays strong. Donors can schedule an appointment any time by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by visiting

December 17, 2013

Two-Day Sale - Unique Gift Items at the Old Jail Museum

Smethport Web - by Claudia Caminite

museum_editedIf you are looking for a unique and original gift, the McKean County Historical Society announces a pre-holiday sale of a variety of items at the Old Jail Museum Gift Shop, 502 West King Street, Smethport, PA.

There are many historical books and locally written books, hand-made jewelry, woven rugs, knitted hats and scarves, and wooden crafted shelves. There are unique gift items galore.

Pat Rogge, a volunteer for many years, who was a civil servant employed by the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., donated four signed, matted, and framed prints by Don Cannovaro, who is known for his drawings of our national monuments. Mrs. Rogge also donated a variety of prints she acquired at the Smithsonian Art Gallery. This wonderful collection is for sale.

An exciting new collection of paintings by local artist, Virginia Cherrington, is also available. Shoppers will also find matted, framed photos by Rocky Holland. Christopher Robbins’s print “Made in the USA” is available.

This is the first sale at Old Jail Museum Gift Shop, behind the McKean County Court House, Smethport. The two day sale will be 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM, Wednesday, December 11 and Thursday, December 12. Light refreshment s will be served.

December 5, 2013

Chef Specialties Company Honored by The Rehabilitation Center

Smethport Web — News Desk

Chef Specialties Company honored by The Rehabilitation Center of Olean, NY.Chef Specialties Company, Inc. of Smethport, Pennsylvania was honored at a business leaders luncheon by The Rehabilitation Center of Olean, New York for their support of the Center’s mission through the SubCon Industries division. During the luncheon, Chef Specialties Company received the 2013 “Business of the Year” Award.

The ceremony was held at the St. Bonaventure Country Club on Thursday, November 14, 2013. Jack and Mary Pierotti represented Chef Specialties Company.

SubCon Industries is a non-profit organization that provides employment-training opportunities for 200 adults with disabilities. The company is dedicated to developing their vocational skills, and good work habits, to help them achieve their individual goals. Chef Specialties Company has partnered with SubCon Industries for the last twenty-five years providing clients the opportunities to earn a living by filling and packing some of Chef’s pepper mill and salt mill products.

Chef Specialties Company was founded in Detroit in 1940. The company was moved to Smethport from Kane in 1974 when the Pierotti family purchased the assembly operation. The company had been making metal parts for the pepper mills before that time.

The company is the largest supplier of pepper mills to the Foodservice Industry. Chef Specialties Company sells through large food supply distributors such as US Foods, Edward Don Company, Sysco Corporation, Gordon Foods, US Foods, Wasserstrom, SEFA, and many others. In turn, these distributors then sell to individual restaurants and restaurant chains.

Chef Specialties Company mills will be found in TGI Fridays, Longhorn Steakhouse, Outback Steakhouse, and many more. The Professional Wood mills are also used in the White House kitchens.

On the retail market side the company supplies many small gourmet shops, grocery chains, and online sites such as Target, The Chef’s Catalog, The Wine Enthusiast Catalog, Woodcraft, and

November 19, 2013

Another fine website made in the USA by Linda and Nathan Muller - Smethport, PA