The History of Historic Smithville, NJ
By Marilyn Loeser
accurate description of Smithville, NJ, might be an outdoor mall of specialty
shops with a historic flavor.
to be confused with the Smithville located near Philadelphia, this village is on
the other side of the state, 15 miles from
Atlantic City making it popular with both tourists and residents with its
more than 60 shops and restaurants in late 18th century buildings arranged along
cobble-stone streets and boardwalks.
shops specializing in British, Irish and Italian imports to gift shops filled
with lace, collectables, Christmas ornaments and hand-made glass art, this
little village is visited year round by anyone interested in browsing for or
buying the unusual and one-of-a-kind.
But, what is so historic about Historic Smithville and
During the American Revolution, at the forks of the nearby
Little Egg Harbor River, smugglers were "running goods" when Philadelphia was in
possession of the British.
The river was a favorite for privateers to land their
cargoes, until the British discovered the storehouses, set them on fire, and the
privateers were forced to leave.
Soon after the war, James Baremore built what is now
Smithville Inn in 1787, a single room along a well-traveled stagecoach route.
Historians debate whether it was originally planned as an
inn. Houses were far apart, and it is thought, word of the Baremore's
hospitality spread until inn-keeping became the Baremoreís living.
The family continued to operate the inn and by 1874, it had grown to six times
its original size. Its success was well established, yet sometime after the last
turn-of-the-century, it was abandoned.
1949, the inn was rediscovered; its history researched; and in 1952 a local
couple purchased the inn and seven acres, restored the building and opened it as
a 42-seat restaurant.
With its success, plans were made to expand the experience
of dinerís looking for a historic experience. Soon, historic homes and other
buildings from southern New Jersey's past were brought to the Town of Historic
Smithville, restored with attention to detail and reopened to the public as
shops, eateries and accommodations.
The Historic Smithville Inn was designated a Historic Site by the U. S.
Department of the Interior in 1964.
events are held throughout the year, and a Victorian carousel and a steam train
add to the fun for children.
now you know and its your turn to make the trip, enjoy the day with family or
friends, watch your children play in the park-like setting.
After all, beyond the inn and the assembled historic
buildings, youíll be making a little history of your own!
If you go:
Colonial Inn offers accommodations in the heart of the village. The Bed and
Breakfast is designed to give guests a historic atmosphere while providing all
the modern amenities.
Historic Smithville is located on US Route 9 and Moss Mill
Rd (alt 561). You can access it by taking the Garden State Parkway (from the
north) at exit 48.
For more information call 1-609-652-7777; or on the
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