Few people today have heard of C.E. Smith, yet many in Vernon see the buildings he built nearly every day.
Clarence Eben Smith was born in Vernon Center, the grandson of one of the founders of Vernon & Vernon Center. He grew up on the hill on Norton Road, just beyond the Sconondoa Creek. He and his brother were noted singers, and both were members of the Vernon Center Presbyterian Church Choir.
Here are some of the buildings constructed by C.E. Smith:
The Maple Park Gazebo in Vernon Center
Smith built the historic Gazebo in the park, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. When the Gazebo was being refurbished in the 1980s, Smith’s name, date and pay rate were found written underneath one of the floorboards. “Built by C.E. Smith. $100. 1901”
Dibble’s Inn, formerly the Cushman House
Vernon Public Library, formerly the Case carriage house
Vernon Center Presbyterian Church Steeple
Smith’s name is inscribed on one of the slate tiles. He either assisted with its construction in 1885, or with a repair sometime later on.
Also Built by Smith
Smith also built various other buildings:
- A house on Seneca Street in Oneida Castle – in fact, he built it twice! It burned down only a few days before it was finished the first time. He rebuilt it, with his son staying there each night to ensure it didn’t burn down again.
- Several houses on Van Epps Street. If you know which, let us know!
- The house on the northwest corner of South Sconondoa and Peterboro Street.