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Bastrop County TX
Bastrop County

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Smithville Hotels

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Bastrop County, Central Texas S

30°0'26"N 97°9'18"W
Hwy 71
40 miles E of Austin
12 miles E of Bastrop
20 miles W of LaGrange
Population: 4,218 est. (2016)
3,817 (2010) 3,901 (2000) 3,196 (1990)

Book Hotels Here › 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

Historical Marker (in front of City Hall , 316 Main St.)


In 1691 missionaries on the expedition of Don Domingo Teran de Los Rios sighted a lagoon which the Indians called Nenocadda. The lagoon, known today as Shipp's Lake, is on the southern edge of present Smithville. Frederick W. Grasmeyer operated a ferry here on the Colorado River in 1836. Steamboats plied the river from 1845 to about 1865. The village of "Old Smithville" was laid out on 640 acres of land granted to Thomas J. Gazley and Lewis Lomas. The town was located along the Colorado River in the northeast section of present Smithville. There were mercantile stores, dry good shops, and a Masonic lodge. In 1876 the first post office was established with John Pride Jones as postmaster. The Taylor, Bastrop & Houston Railroad, later a part of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas system, arrived in 1887, and the town relocated along the tracks. The legend is that a coin was tossed to decide if the name would be changed to Burlesonville for Murray Burleson, who gave land for the railroad depot. The coin toss resulted in "Smithville" being retained as the name, apparently in honor of pioneer settler William Smith. The town was incorporated in 1895 and T. C. Collins served as the first mayor.
Incise in base:
Marker Sponsor: Smithville Chamber of Commerce 1977-78

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.
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 2nd Colorado River Bridge
Photo Courtesy of the Smithville Historical Society
From Arcadia Publishing's Images of America Series: Smithville, Texas
Smithville’s 2nd Colorado River Bridge 1915-1950

Smithville’s 1st Colorado River Bridge
Smithville, TX - Bridge over Colorado River
Bridge over Colorado River, Smithville, Texas
Postcard courtesy Danny Whatley
More Texas Bridges
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
TX - Smithville Central School
Smithville Central School
Photo courtesy Don Jellison, July 2014
L.D. Clark
L.D. Clark
1922 - 2014

My Lunch with L.D.
by John Troesser

Tom Tierney
Tom Tierney

by John Troesser
  • Henry Mordorff - A San Jacinto Veteran

  • 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.
    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 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 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 School Smithville 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

    Book Hotel Here > 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?

    Book Hotels Here > Smithville Hotels
    Smithville, Texas - Baby swallows
    When the Swallows Come Back to Smithville
    TE Photo, May 6, 2010

    Smithville Area Towns:

    Bastrop County
    Central Texas S

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