Smock Music Center in Port Angeles is shown in 1957.

BACK WHEN: Music center, and its teacher, remembered fondly

SEVERAL PEOPLE RECOGNIZED the July picture from the past as Smock Music Center at 625 E. Front St.

The building was built in 1929, but the Port Angeles Directories do not list a resident until 1936.

At that time, Oliver L. Guy was the owner.

Guy also had Guy Apartments at 623 E. Front St.

By 1946, Guy was no longer the owner and the apartments at 623 E. Front St. had been renamed the Phillips Apartments.

In 1936, Jim Hinshaw’s father was hired to level the land at 719 S. Race St. (where Parkway Grocery stands now) with his scraper and horses so Ralph and Lucy Smock could build a gas station.

Jerry Austin, who was a neighbor at the time, remembered the gas pump with the glass bubble.

That same year, Donavan “Don” Smock and his wife, Tura, resided at a state Route 2 address.

Don Smock worked at the Port Angeles Conservatory of Music at 332 E. Fifth St., which was owned and managed by Ben Taylor.

In 1937, a store was added to the gas station.

By 1939, Don and Tura were living with Lucy Smock, who was a widow, and helping her with the gas station and store.

Don Smock was still working at the Port Angeles Conservatory of Music.

In 1941-42, the Smocks were still at 719 S. Race St.

The business was closed during World War II and the first record of it being open was 1946.

At that time, it was known as Parkway Grocery and owned by Edward and Joyce Hermann.

By 1946, Don Smock and his wife were residing at 625 E. Front St.

Lucy, his mother, lived at 629 in a house close by.

Smock was a piano tuner.

The apartments at 623 E. Front St. were then called the San Juan Apartments.

In the 1950s, the Smocks added to their residence and opened Smock Music Center.

They had a selection of pianos and instruments for sale and Smock gave lessons.

James Thomsen wrote that he took violin lessons from Smock in the late 1940s.

Smock gave lessons in his home and the addition hadn’t been built yet.

Thomsen wrote that he lived in Sequim at the time and one of his close neighbors also had lessons in town although from a different teacher.

Their families took turns driving to Port Angeles.

Judith Lindberg commented, “Oh, yes, indeed I do remember this picture from the past.

“Mr. Don Smock gave me private clarinet lessons.

“I remember Mr. Smock as a gentle soul, who was patient and kind, even when he knew that I had not practiced my instrument sufficiently for the week.

“He spoke in a soft voice and guided me through my lessons like the master musician that he was.

“My goal was to march in the Derby Days parade, which I did, and quite proudly.

“This is a fond memory of days gone past, one that will stay with me always.”

Lindberg took lessons from Smock in 1958-1959 and was a student at Roosevelt Junior High.

She said her teacher, David Hargrave, had a great sense of dry humor.

She did march in the Derby Days parade.

Lindberg became a teacher and school counselor in Port Angeles and is now retired.

Bernice Byrne took violin lessons from Smock in the late 1950s for several years.

She remembered him as a wonderful teacher.

By 1966, Smock had retired from the music store but continued to tune pianos.

The apartments at 623 E. Front St. were no longer there.

Merry Mac Music Center, operated by Colin McDonald and James McGuire, kept the music store open until 1969.

Hansen’s Trophy was there from 1971 until 1979.

Rose Marie’s Creative Home Décor was in the Front Street location until the early 1990s.

It sat vacant for a few years until Karon Nichols moved Karon’s Frame Center there.

She had her business there until 2010 when she sold to Rene and Larry Baugher who renamed it Imagine it Framed.

Imagine it Framed resides at this location at present. It is now painted bright and cheerful colors.

Parkway Grocery was sold in 1971 by the Hermanns to Bob Thom who sold to Frank McFee in 1977.

McFee owns it presently and has made many changes.

In reference to last month’s column about the 206 E. Front St. building, current owner, David Gladwin, is currently working on building an apartment at that site where he plans to reside.

He has gutted the inside and his plan is to move into the apartment within three or four months.

We will then see positive changes to this beautiful old brick building.


Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family. She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards. She can be reached at [email protected].

Alice’s Clallam history column appears the first Sunday of every month, alternating with Linnea Patrick’s Jefferson County history column on the third Sunday of the month.

Do you know what was originally in this building? If you do or if you have memories, write to Alice Alexander at 204 W. Fourth St., Apt 14, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or email her at [email protected], and she will include your comments in her Sept. 3 column.

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