Towne of Historic Smithville
This image shows the heart of one side of the town, where the local shops all face toward a quaint gazebo. Photo from historicsmithville.com.
This image shows the entrance/exit of the bridge to cross from one side of the town to the other where a picture worthy sign is posted labeled "Ye are Welcome to the Towne of Historic Smithville." Photo from historicsmithville.com.
This image was taken by Susan Wood in the 1975 Good Housekeeping article discussing the Towne of Historic Smithville.
Taken from the official Historic Smithville webpage, this image shows the waterfront that Smithville is located on.
Backstory and Context
The Towne of Historic Smithville is located on 615 E Moss Mill Road, Smithville, New Jersey. This quaint little recreated town offers more than 40 unique shoppes, dining options, a carousel, paddleboats, and more. Situated just off Route 9, this colonial inspired town is easy to find and contains all you need for a full day adventure. This beautiful historic site allows families to shop, get a bite to eat, and enjoy history all at the same time.
This area’s historic value dates back as far as the 16th century. It was in this area of southern New Jersey that sea captains would stop and trade and explore the Americas on their voyages to the New World. Just south of Smithville is Little Egg Harbor River, which was used for traveling by these sea captains, pirates, and privateers. This river served as an ideal spot for smuggling trade goods to bypass British taxes which encouraged the development of a town. Thus a community blossomed in Smithville.
In the 1950s, a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Noyes, Jr., bought the Old Historic Inn at Smithville and began renovating it. They then began rehabilitating other nearby structures that had fallen into disrepair for many years. These renovations revitalized the little community. They also imported old historic structures from other areas, and had them transported to Smithville. In fact, the town that exists now, never existed as a town per say, but was created from numerous historical buildings. The renovation and creation of this unique town is truly a treasure for lovers of history.
By the 1970s, the Historic Towne of Smithville had become a travel destination. Full of re-enactors of all ages, the town came to life, showing visitors what life was like 200 years prior.
The Towne of Historic Smithville is a wonderful destination for lovers of history and those looking to go shopping, offering enough places to shop and eat that it will require more than one visit. This beautiful time reflects the colonial era and is historical in all respects, connecting to both revolutionary American history and modern historical efforts of preservation.
Barber, John Warner. Historical Collections of New Jersey, Past and Present: Containing a General Collection of the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc., Relating to the History and Antiquities, with Geographical Descriptions, of All the Important Places in the State, and the State Census of All the Towns in 1865. New Haven, 1868. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/pst.000045796500.
“Historic Smithville History, Leeds Point, South Jersey,Fred and Ethel Noyes.” Accessed March 7, 2019. https://colonialinnsmithville.com/history/index.htm.
“History.” Historic Smithville. Accessed March 7, 2019. http://www.historicsmithville.com/history/.
“The Historic Towne of Smithville: Colonial Times Live Again.” Good Housekeeping. New York, December 1975.
“Towne of Historic Smithville.” Accessed March 7, 2019. http://historicsmithvillenj.com/.
Walsh, Tracy. “How About A Little History?” Historic Smithville, August 29, 2014. http://www.historicsmithville.com/uncategorized/how-about-a-little-history/.