Jim Herzog, Ross Porter and students from Smethport High School discuss the development of Planet Smethport, a unique history-geography web site that is over 10 years old and operated as a school project under the leadership of Ross Porter. This video was created by Smethport teacher Shane Locke for George Romanowski, Superintendent of Schools for the Smethport Area School District, who included it as part of his presentation to the "Community Connections" session at the Florida Education Technology Conference held in Orlando on January 12 - 15, 2010. This conference, attended by 7,000 teachers and administrators, is one of the largest in the United States devoted to educational technology.


THANK YOU for stopping by and checking out the progress on this GIANT project/  We are building an immense puzzle in which we are fitting historic photos, post cards, biographies, geographies, histories, newspaper clippings, personal histories & interviews, obituaries, artifacts, & memorabilia all together to form huge portrait puzzle of this magnificent McKean County & Smethport area.  The pieces do not come in a box.  They are hidden in attics, shoe boxes, albums, and, of course, in our local museums.  It is our job to find them and put them back together to built this GIANT PUZZLE!


Through the magic of the internet we can now weave all the past into a single, connected unit , a mural jig-saw puzzle in a way absolutely never possible in the past.  This is not a book; its a creation that records and recreates our past so we can time travel through our streets and through our history and then back to the present.  Eventually all (or nearly all) of the scenes within the site will be linked to a CURRENT PHOTO of the same location.  It all takes time to put this together.


Please be patient!  This is a long term project!  We will be adding to this and expanding our giant tribute to McKean County for many years.
There is lots of research involved with each additional piece that is added.  We have LOTS of additional material (puzzle pieces) to add right now....probably double of what is already here!


Our long term goal is to recreate Smethport and its surrounding McKean communities.  Port Allegany, East Smethport, Crosby, Colegrove, Coryville, Clermont, Hazel Hurst, Betula (almost) are already at least partially on line.   We intend to continue building and connecting McKean County and in the process tell its rich and interesting history  These outlying communities will be connected to each other and Smethport (& more) via the various railroads of the day and you will connect to each by "riding the rails" to the next community!


Our PUZZLE PIECES (photos and information) come from all over.  We simply scan the photos and photocopy the info.  You can bring materials to Smethport Area High School any day that school is in session and we will scan the material while you wait!  The owner's name will be included under the contribution on the site.  Wonderful photos have been EMAILED to us from all over.  When you contribute materials or information we will add your name to the CONTRIBUTOR'S PAGE    If we have neglected anyone on this page let us know and we will rectify the situation.  WE NEED YOUR HELP.


Technically this site is owned and operated through Smethport Area School District and is a project of Mr. Ross Porter's local history class "smethporthistory.org".  It is being created by both Smethport  students both past and present as well as interested community members both past and present.  But this site is in reality owned by all the people & their ancestors who have helped to create this unique & beautiful location on the planet.  I want to personally invite you to become part of our project!


We have opted to share with you the very best quality of photos we can.  Consequently we have left the files larger than normal.  So it will take time to load photos....especially in the busiest times on the internet.  But we believe that those that are exploring Smethport's past want as good of a window into the past as possible.  We, while all photos are converted to 72 dpi jpegs the actual photo size is  left somewhat large...often 8-10 inches wide or more...so you can see what we are seeing...and this will take time to load.
Please feel free to contact us/me concerning any comments, histories, thoughts, leads, corrections, etc.  We need your feedback and very much appreciate all the comments we've received to date.

Please feel free to CONTACT  Virtual Historic Smethport & McKean County Project


Ross Edward Porter
Planet Smethport - Project Director
a Hamlin Memorial Library Project
P.O. Box 422 / 123 South Mechanic Street /
Smethport, PA  16749

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