1904 – The birhtplace of the original SMS was 34 Center Street, on November 6, 1904. The original officers were John Salotti (President), Oreste Roffo (Vice-President), and Charles Fornesi (Treasurer). Charter members who helped establish the SMS were Armando Salotti, Renauldo Rossi, Nicasio Barbi, Natale Barbi, Olinto Barbi and Angelo Salotti.
1906 – Incorporated under the name SMS, the group stated that it’s function was to “promote the mutual welfare of the members, encourage the moral and material progress of those of Italian decent, and respect all religious, philosophic and political opinions.
1913 – SMS Band formed. A group of amateurs who played at festive social occassions as well as solemn funeral processions.
1921 – SMS purchased property at 95 Ovid Street and construction of the hall began. The hall was financed totally by it’s members who each contributed a $25.00 bond which was later repaid. The members were also required to physically help construct the hall from digging ditches to painting the building. The first building cost $5,000.
1923 – The SMS Hall was completed and the bonds were returned to the members.
1931 – SMS Auxiliary was founded on June 11th. It’s function was to promote mutual aid for members, the men’s society and the community.
1946 – Plans were formulated to remodel the hall. The remodeling, done by Bellardino Construction Company cost $20,000. The new hall was dedicated to the two servicemen who lost their lives in WWII, John Sandroni and Fernandino Rossetti.
1954 – The mortgage was paid off and a small ceremony was held in which the 1946 mortgage papers were burned.
1957 – The SMS Band, under the direction of Peter Bestini, won first prize in the senior band competition at the NYS Fair.
2003 – The downstairs bar area was remodeled and dedicated to Angelo Suffredini and Sam Scibona.
2006 – The SMS launched a new website at www.smslodge.com.
Throughout the last century, with it’s growing membership, social and support programs, the SMS became an active organization reaching out unto the community and state. SMS members have found their way in every walk of life – merchants, manufacturers, farmers, laborers, politicians and professional men and women.
The SMS initiated a Columbus Day celebration, Christmas programs, and an annual Communion Breakfast, a Founder Banquet, a state trophy winning band, bocce, bowling and baseball teams. Through awards, the SMS recognize acheivements of local middle and high school students.
In Civic Affairs, SMS has always been active. In addition to the large public events, there has been quiet support of one another on many occassions. During times of bereavement, the members stayed with the family all night, served as pallbearers and honor guards. The Auxiliary prepared food for the family and friends. During times of hospitalization or illness, the SMS members looked after the needs of the family.
Today, perhaps the most public event is St. Anthony’s Italian Festival sponsored in conjunction with the Rumseyville Sportsmen’s Club held on Labor Day Weekend each year. The festival honors a person of Italian heritage who best exemplifies the credo of Italian heritage in church, community and civic affairs.
With the accomplishments of the last 100 years and a growing membership base, we believe that the SMS will continue well into the next century.