We love learning about the history of the various buildings along Main Street in Sharon Springs. Sandy Manko, the Sharon Springs town supervisor is often a go-to-source.
The Smith, Empie & Smith building (1910) was built by Seymour Smith, John Empie and Arthur Smith, who also owned the swimming pool and the Chalybeate Springs. The store sold the latest fashions as well as souvenirs.
The broken pediment and finial ball at the center of the roof, the decorated stringcourse above the first floor shop windows, and the frieze add to the charm of the structure. (The unique building to the left with a cantilevered corner porch on the second floor, had to be demolished in 1998.)
The Smith, Empie & Smith building was purchased by Timothy Hayes and George Papadi in 1947. They ran it as a variety store and soda fountain in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Edwin and Mary Lou Lindstrom purchased the former Hayes & Papadi building in 1970. They operated a mail order business under the name of Windfall Mdse., Inc. until 1978.
Before Jack and Rosalind Smile bought the building, in 1987, it was used as an art gallery. Initially, Mr. Smile had his jewelry workshop and operated a jewelry manufacturing business, but in November 1994, they hosted a grand opening for their Galleria where other artistans could display their crafts in individual shops. Meanwhile they continued making jewelry and the factory was moved to the second floor. At the back of the Galleria, was the Golden Knight Coffee House with live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.
After the Smile’s closed their jewelry business, their son Roberto continued to have auctions from time to time. The central staircase and the wooden display cases from the original retail store are still partially intact and can be seen as soon as you enter the building.
In 1994, approximately 180 buildings were surveyed, including bathhouses, hotels, and homes, including the Smith, Empie & Smith building and were granted recognition on New York State’s Register of Historic Places and also the National Register.
Look for this historic building on South Main Street the next time you pass through Sharon Springs