Archives – Historic Photos

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Smithville Historical Society Museum – 2015  
This building was once an automotive service station owned by Bill Stone (Willard Clayton Stone), who lived in the adjacent home to the west that had once been the home of Dr. Luther J. Purdy.  The building was later owned by Fred and Milly Auwarter.  Mrs. Auwarter was a longtime supporter and member of the Smithville Historical Society and donated it to them in 2009.

Dr. Luther Purdy Home – circa 1880
The home and office of Dr. Purdy stands at the corner of today’s Route 41 and Genegantslet Road (County Road 2) in Smithville Flats.  Dr. Purdy was an 1871 graduate of Albany Medical College, practiced in Smithville Flats, and operated a pharmacy on Main Street.  Pictured are Dr. Purdy with daughter Hattie and his wife Emma Rogers Purdy, in a dark dress, standing.  Wearing white aprons are Lucy Warn and Mrs. Brown.   

Crazy House” – Tarbell Rd
The Crazy House was built by Andrew Nichols in the early 1870s.  He was a Civil War Veteran and carpenter who had worked on the construction of the Central Valley House, a mansard-roofed hotel later known as the Ticknor House.

The house was undermined by the flood of 1935.  The building remained relatively intact but was skewed at a “crazy” angle.  The occupants of the house at the time of the flood were Burdette and Emma Nichols (daughter of Andrew Nichols).  Thousands of people paid ten cents each for the privilege of touring the tilted house. 

Smithville Town Baseball Game – 1908
Smithville has a long history of town baseball teams, going back into the 1800s.  For many years, the team’s home field was behind the Smithville Union School in the Flats.  This view is looking northeast, with the Presbyterian Church spire at left and the mansard-roofed Ticknor Hotel to the right of center.   The church and hotel buildings are both gone, the church burned on August 20, 1937.  The corner of the building at the right is the Smithville Union School, which still exists in 2019 and has been used as a residence for several years.

Hansmann Barn Framing
The Hansmann family had a large farm on the west side of today’s State Route 221.  This photo shows the raising of the large barn which is no longer standing in 2019.

Post Office Smithville Flats – circa 1910
Smithville’s former post office and shoe store, built about 1905, replaced a building at a different location destroyed by fire.  Note the horsedrawn “Smithville Stage” in front of the building.  For many years, this building has served as a general store.  Today it is home to the Smithville General Store.

Hansmann Home – Smithville Flats
The home the Hansmanns after they purchased the gristmill/sawmill site on route 41.

Seeber’s Tavern – 1950s
Seeber’s Tavern is one of the oldest buildings and businesses in Smithville.  It was originally constructed in the 1830s by Erastus Agard.  For many years it operated as “The Smithville House”, owned by John Wiles.

Frederick H. Hansmann, Laddie, and Sign-1939
Mr. Hansmann developed the pre-mixed, self-rising pancake flour that carried his family’s name.  The mix was sold with other products ground at his mill in Smithville Flats.  For marketing purposes, he erected large pancake-bag-shaped signs on Route 41 at the east and west entrances to Smithville Flats.