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    SMITHVILLE, TEXAS

    Bastrop County, Central Texas S
    Hwy 71
    40 miles E of Austin
    12 miles E of Bastrop
    20 miles W of LaGrange

    Population 3,901 (2000)

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    Smithville Hotels

    Unlike most "railroad" towns, Smithville's main street (First) doesn't run parallel to the tracks.

    In addition, the railroad hasn't completely left. Repair facilities still work on cars, although not to the degree of days past. If you start at the Railroad Historical Park and walk North you'll pass the commercial district, The Smithville Times, City Hall, the Library, the Post Office, residences and eventually you’ll come to a rest area overlooking the Colorado River.
    Smithville TX Depot
    The Railroad in Smithville
    TE photo, May 2010

    Railroad Theme in Smithville

    Riverbend Park out on Highway 71 has a real caboose on display in addition to the two others in Railroad Park.

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    Smithville Hotels
    Smithville TX Railroad Arrival And Departures 1930s
    Photo Courtesy Smithville Historical Society
    From Arcadia Publishing's Images of America Series: Smithville, Texas
    The Railroad in Smithville
    Scene of locomotive boiler explosion, Smithville Texas
    1911 Locomotive Boiler Explosion
    Smithville's Dexter

    Smithville's Dexter - From Underdog to Best of (Picture) Show by Ted R. Krueger
    "Adena Lewis called asking us to bring our dogs to a casting call for the movie "The Tree of Life" that was soon to be filmed in Smithville. The director, Terrence Malick, wanted the "hero dog" (to be called "Shep" in the movie) to be an untrained dog..."

    Movie Theme in Smithville

    At present, Smithville displays artifacts (mostly bogus storefronts) from the movie Hope Floats. We think it’s worth mentioning that Smithville was called Smithville in the movie, the only time we can remember that happening. Even Hollywood couldn’t improve their name.

    The restaurant Pockets (Hwy 90 and First St.) displays many more of the signs used in the picture.

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    Smithville Hotels
    Movie artifacts Star Biscuit  sign on brick wall
    A ghost sign of a product that never was - but is.
    Smithville, Texas

    TE Photo, 2003
    movie sign
    Bright and Early
    A ghost sign in Smithville
    TE Photo
    Smithville’s 2nd Colorado River Bridge
    Photo Courtesy of the Smithville Historical Society
    From Arcadia Publishing's Images of America Series: Smithville, Texas
    LIIFE SPAN OF A SPAN
    Smithville’s 2nd Colorado River Bridge 1915-1950

    Smithville’s 1st Colorado River Bridge
    Smithville Texas post office WPAmural -The Law - Texas Rangers, 1940 by Minnie Teichmueller
    Smithville, Texas Post Office "WPA" mural
    The Law – Texas Rangers, 1940 by Minnie Teichmueller
    Remembrances
  • Henry Mordorff - A San Jacinto Veteran
  • Smithville Chronicles
  • Small Town Philanthropy
    Floyd R. "Skip" Hyson and Smithville Heritage Society Building


  • Locomotive Boiler Explosion
    Smithville Blast of 1911

  • Texas War Casualties
    Delhi, Smithville and Praha. Stone markers and chapels quietly reveal where America gets its soldiers.

    For the curious: There are at least 28 families with the surname Smith living in Smithville. That's one out of 143. Bastrop has a ratio of one Smith out of 86. Not one person named Bastrop lives in either town.
  • Smithville TX - Former Masonic Lodge
    Former Masonic Lodge
    Smithville's Tallest Building
    TE photo, May 2010
    Smithville TX - Mobil Gas Station
    Smithville's Mobil Gas Station
    Photo courtesy Carl Owen, 2009
    More Texas Gas Stations
    Smithville, Texas main street
    Smithville street scene
    Courtesy Cissy CeCe Wong
    Smithville SchoolSmithville Valentine Rice
    L - Smithville School TE photo
    R - Texas Cuisine Courtesy Valentine Ricé
    Smithville, Texas Nearby Destinations
    Buescher State Park
    2 miles NW of Smithville on Hwy 71.
    From Hwy 71, go north on 153 for .5 mile to enter Park Road 1.
    Austin | Bastrop | Flatonia | LaGrange

    Where to Stay
    Smithville Hotels
    Snake over the door

    The snake over the door
    Courtesy of The Smithville Times.
    Smithville Library

    We recently called the library on a Monday and said; "Oh, you’re open!" The response was: "Why? Is it a holiday? Are we missing out on something?" This is representative of the openness (and the ever-present fear of missing out on something) of Smithvillians.

    A few more words about the Library: They have a new copier with a "photo" key, which copies a photo better than you’ve ever seen. They also give you a choice of a regular borrower’s card, or one of their bar-coded, state-of-the-art, postage stamp-sized cards that fit on one’s key chain and (wait, there’s more) they’re waterproof! Unlike many current trendy libraries, these folks aren’t hell-bent on making shelf space. We’ve found many books other libraries have discarded. If you haven’t read it, it’s news to you. Our only complaint about the library is that it is underused. The staff is competent and friendly. It’s rare to find this mixture of "cutting-edge" technology and practical tradition. They have even been heard saying "thank you" when books are returned.

    And while we’re mentioning subtlety (the kitten's names-not Geraldo), a visit last year found three of the hour hands knocked loose from the four-faced clock at the end of First Street. Less than a week later we returned and all had been reattached and were in perfect synchronization. These are the same people who put Christmas lights on their old Fire-truck, and fence the fire station's property with old fire hydrants as posts. What's not to like about Smithville?

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    Smithville Hotels
    Smithville, Texas - Baby swallows
    When the Swallows Come Back to Smithville
    TE Photo, May 6, 2010
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
    Where to Stay
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    This page last modified: March 12, 2011