1900: Smethport, PA - Looking South/South East from Town Hill (s-c-r-o-l-l to see entire panarama)
photo credit: Donald and Adene Johnson Collection

Jim Freer, a long time Planet Smethport community contributor brought in a high resolution provided a scan form the Donald and Adene Johnson photo collection of an early 1900s photo taken from the Smethport hillside overlooking the east central portion of the borough and the Rose Hill Cemetery area. The Johnsons have been frequent photo scan contributors to the Planet Smethport Project. The photographer is unknown at least for now.

The photo offers a rare glimpse into the flourishing Smethport's Nelson Street region. During the turn-of-the-century 1900 era Nelson Street was a second, major north-south corridor to Mechanic Street. Unlike Nelson Street, Mechanic Street is still a major thoroughfare.

In addition to Nelson Street the photo also features a bird's-eye view of the then, newly formed giant Camp Glass Company factory in its the central right. Camp Glass, a major plate glass plant, was located in the region of today's Costa's Supermarket and the adjoining Emerald Isle.

Camp Glass was build by entrepreneur Thomas Wescot Camp. Camp, a New Castle, PA native began in the glass industry in 1860 at the age of 9, constructed his plate glass factory on East Water Street in 1900. Both the BB& K and the Shawmut railroads offered spurs to the factory and his Smethport factory produced plate glass was marketed globally. In addition to the Smethport plant Camp also served as president of the Empire Glass Co. of Shinglehouse, Camp Glass Co. of Huntington, W. V., N. Y. & P. R. R. Co., Canisteo, N. Y., and served several terms as president of the National Association of Window Glass Manufacturers.

The new photo has linked arrows to the Camp Glass factory and from there the viewer can enter and explore the factory interior, meet Mr. and Mrs Camp. Photo scans of a close-up photo of the factory and a separate scan its owners, Camp and his wife, Sarah Catherine (Barber) Camp surfaced in 2003 from the Dona Fizzel Cooper photo collection and are accessible by entering the factory in the Planet Smethport project. Dona Fizzel Cooper is also a frequent contributor of scanned images for the project.

Also featured in the new hillside photo is a portion of the Smethport Bottling Plant, later know as the Haines-Flint Bottle Factory and the Bernie Bond Bottle Factory. The bottling manufactory was located where today's Costa's Ace Hardware as well as the District Justice office building location. Originally, the bottle factory manufactured all types of bottles for industry with the notable exception of beer bottles. A staunch prohibitionist, the owner refused to produce bottles to be used for beer or alcoholic products. As with all locations in the Planet Smethport site the bottling factory complex is also linked via the project's traditional red arrows.

The Camp factory was eventually torn down whereas the bottle factory was destroyed by fire in 1918. Nelson Street lost its bridge during the 1960s and has faded in importance. A foot bridge was placed at the Nelson Street to (now) German Street crossing by the Smethport Borough during 2007.

Camp Glass Co, (center right) is the location of today's Costa's Super Market.