In 1869, Samuel Smock, a wealthy farmer, blacksmith, and land speculator, purchased a two story brick farmhouse and 190 acres of land from Jonathan Sharpless. During the 1880's and 1890's, Smock sold most of this property to coal companies who developed the village's coal and coke industry.
Smock Family Photo
Several years later, when the Monongahela Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad moved through his property, Smock granted the railroad right-of-way, with the stipulation that the railroad station be named after him. The train station, no longer in existence, was named Smock Station. This name was later applied to the village.
Smock's development as a mining town was unusual. Typically, mining towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania after 1880 were developed and built by one coal company. The housing was architecturally uniform. Smock differs because it was developed into five architecturally distinct settlements by three coal companies and one individual. This unique combination of housing has led to their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic district maintains the integrity of feeling, location, setting, association, workmanship and materials of this type of industrial community, despite some additions and alteration to the district's building inventory.
Coal miners and coke plant workers who lived in Smock and worked at Colonial #1 and #2 mines were primarily of Polish, Slovak, Italian, and Russian (Ruthenian) extraction. African-Americans, who came to the area during the mining strikes, complete the ethnic mix of the town.
Smock is now a peaceful bedroom community situated along State Route 4016 in Menallen, Jefferson, and Franklin Townships in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Two major highways provide easy access for Visitors. Route 51, which connects Pittsburgh and Uniontown, is one mile east of Smock. Route 40, the National Road, which connects Brownsville and Uniontown, is approximately 6 miles to the west of Smock.
The Smock Historical Society was formed in 1994 as a result of the nomination and placement of Smock on the National Register of Historic Places. The Society which began with 11 members, now numbers 120.
With the cooperation of the Smock Community Center, the society has established the Smock Heritage Museum to preserve the heritage of this special coal mining community. It is located on the second floor of the Center which was formerly the HC Frick Company Store. Visitors will climb the exterior or interior stairs from the community center to the museum and enter an area that takes you back in time. There are two murals to view, maps, aerial views of the town, artifacts, antiques, photographs, books, three rooms that replicate rooms in a “Patch House”, a local “Cicconi” tavern display, wedding gown display and much much more to hold your interest. If you are interested in handmade crafts, we also have a craft shop!