McKean County Historical Society Presents McPaint and McCraft

March 21, 2015

Smethport Web — by Barbara Bowman

McPaint and McCraft are two hours of fun and creativity at different venues within McKean County sponsored by the McKean County Historical Society.

During each session, participants will complete something creative to take home. Each month there will be a different activity in a different location.

Changing locations gives participants an opportunity to go somewhere they may be familiar with or go somewhere they may have never been. This is a win-win situation for participants and proprietors.

Last year’s events were well attended and a lot of fun. Participants created many beautiful paintings and crafts. Read more

The Face of Smethport - Wooly Willy Voted as a Top-40 Toy for Three Decades

March 6, 2015

Pennsylvania Magazine - by Sharon Watts

We’ve all heard of one-industry towns. Up until last year, the borough of Smethport in McKean County was home to a one-town industry, thanks to the production of a simple toy known to baby boomers as Wooly Willy.

Recently voted one of the top-40 toys from the 1950s through the 1980s, Wooly Willy is an unlikely success story. It consists of a piece of cardboard featuring a funny-looking, bulbous-nosed, bald-headed “everyman” that can be “drawn on” with a magnet, shaping black powder into a moustache, a goatee, hair or eyebrows. Read more »

Mansion District Inn B&B Honored with TripAdvisor Award

February 20, 2015

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Ross and Jovanna Porter, owners and innkeepers of the Mansion District Inn B&B in Smethport, Pennsylvania are pleased to announce that their carefully restored Victorian era inn has earned TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice® award as one of the Top 25 Best Bed and Breakfasts in the United States.

The B&B placed Number 1 in Pennsylvania and Number 7 nationwide.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website, with more than 200 million reviews and opinions by travelers around the world.  Now in its 13th year, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their reputations from those who know them best – real travelers.  This year’s Travelers’ Choice Awards are based on reviews and opinions collected in 2014 from among more than 890,000 reviewed hotels, B&Bs and specialty lodgings on TripAdvisor sites worldwide. Read more

Local Program Marks National Mentoring Month

January 21, 2015

Smethport Web — by Annie Wolfe

Smethport's Little Sister ‘Nicole’ and Big Sister ‘Cheryl’ celebrate 6-year anniversary.January marks the 14th annual National Mentoring Month and The Guidance Center’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program would like to recognize a Little Sister and Big Sister in Smethport who recently celebrated their six-year anniversary.

Little Sister ‘Nicole’ and Big Sister ‘Cheryl’ enjoy hiking at Rimrock, baking, crafts, and more recently, shopping together as part of their match activities. Cheryl also enjoys cheering on Nicole during her softball games. Having Cheryl involved in her life has improved Nicole’s academic performance, attitude toward school, school attendance, and self-confidence. Nicole plans to attend college after high school and is interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice.

As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we share a simple message: Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters. Not only do quality mentoring programs improve young people’s prospects for success in school and life, but people who serve as mentors also say that their lives are greatly enriched, as mentoring leads to new experiences, new connections and new satisfactions.

If you would like to mentor a child in your community, please call Big Brothers Big Sisters of McKean County toll-free at 1-877-776-1636 or locally at 1-814-887-5591 or visit our website at www.bbbs-jem.org

Holiday Decorating Winners Announced

December 15, 2014

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

The Smethport Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored a contest for the most beautifully decorated homes in in the Borough this holiday season.

The winners are:

Ron Willis on German Street won the 1st Place prize of $50.

Jim and Georgeanne Sample on E. Water Street won the 2nd place prize of $30.

Ben Ball at 102 E. Water Street won the 3rd place prize of $20.

View photos of the winning homes on the Facebook page of Les Jordan, Jr.

Judging for the contest was done by members of the Smethport Area Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to all the winners!

Smethport’s Andrulonis Elected as Chairman of PAB

December 13, 2014

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Smethport's Jeff Andrulonis, President & CEO, Colonial Media + Entertainment.Colonial Media + Entertainment, an integrated marketing organization headquartered in Olean, NY, has announced that its President/CEO, Jeffrey M. Andrulonis from Smethport, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for 2015.

Since 1939, the PAB has been the voice for the Commonwealth’s radio and television broadcasters.

As Chairman, Jeff will spend the year overseeing the statewide association, which is headquartered near Harrisburg, PA. He also heads the Executive Committee for the PAB, having been elected to the position at the Board of Directors meeting in Hershey earlier this month.

As head of Colonial Media + Entertainment, Jeff oversees eight FM Radio stations, numerous websites and social media, event marketing operations, and an ad agency – all focused on promoting local businesses throughout the Twin Tiers region.

Smethport’s Jim Herzog Comments on Dapper Dan TV Ad from 1960s

November 15, 2014

Smethport Web - by Nathan Muller

Smethport toy inventor Jim Herzog, best known for creating Wooly Willy, narrates this promotional video for the magnetic drawing sets Dapper Dan, Pattie Petite, and Doodle Poodle.

The video was produced in the early 1960s as a TV advertisement, but aired only a few times because of the high cost and limited coverage.

This copy, made years ago, has no sound track and the lighting fades in and out. These impairments were probably due to a combination of factors, including media degradation, synchronization problems, and lack of technical proficiency during the copy process.

Jim’s narration provides a good approximation of the original sound track’s content and the video provides a glimpse into how toy advertisements looked “back in the day”.

Look for this: the video shows an automated Dapper Dan that was used for storefront windows and in-store toy displays!

Bonus Content: Jim talks more about the advertisement and provides some history about the magnetic drawing market and how Wooly Willy almost failed because the chain stores thought it was too ugly. He also tells a great Dapper Dan story about the toy’s amazing impact on a hospitalized child. Listen here »

It’s Official - “Bucktail Regiment Memorial Bridge”

October 27, 2014

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

After more than a year of planning, Marvin Street Bridge in Smethport was officially named as “Bucktail Regiment Memorial Bridge” during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday.

Signs are now placed at both ends of the bridge to honor the area’s Civil War volunteers recruited by Thomas Lieper Kane in 1861. The Bucktails served with “high distinction” in 18 major battles in a war that ultimately took over 750,000 lives.

The following remarks delivered by Ross Porter acknowledge the events that led to the construction of the bridge… Read more

Broadcast Premiere of ‘Our Town: Smethport’

October 16, 2014

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

On Thursday, October 16 at 8 pm WPSU live-streamed the broadcast premiere of “Our Town: Smethport.”

This summer, volunteer storytellers from Smethport, Pennsylvania came together for the 79th production in the “Our Town” series. Their stories captured the rich history of this friendly community.

They shared stories about the McKean County Historical Society Old Jail Museum, Compton’s Mom & Pop Shop, the Smethport Fire Department, the Mansion District, Hamlin Memorial Library, Smethport Country Club, McKean County Court House, Smethport Area High School, and so much more.

In addition to local residents, people from all over the country with ties to Smethport called in their pledges of support for “Our Town: Smethport.” Donors of $75 or more will receive a DVD with bonus features and content not shown during the live broadcast.

During the pledge drive breaks, many familiar localites were seen manning the phones in the background, including Mayor Wayne Foltz, Julie Mader, Bart Barton, Tony Alfieri, Diana Covert, Claudia Caminite, and Judy Church.

A great evening of fun — just one more reason Smethport is a GREAT hometown!

Check out the Twitter feed for commentary during the broadcast. Our favorite comment: “SHUT THE HELL UP EVERYONE, ROSS PORTER IS ON.”

See how Smethport has changed in 10 years… Here is the full broadcast of “Our Town: Smethport” done in 2005:

McPaint Time at the McKean County Historical Society’s Second Annual Pig Roast

September 29, 2014

Smethport Web — by Barbara Bowman

McPaint Time is socializing while being creative. At the Pig Roast, October 4, at McKean County Fairgrounds, participants will complete an acrylic painting in two hours or less. The painting is titled, “Barnum Swamp”.

The session will begin at 1:00 pm. The fee of $20.00 includes all materials. Please call the McKean County Historical Society at 814-887-5142 to register.

While at the Fairgrounds, enjoy the Pig Roast, craft show, and demonstrations. You may even try Square Dancing. Gates open at 10:00 am. Pig Roast will be served starting at 11:30 am.

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