Smithville Travel GuideBrowse 3 travel reviews, travel blogs and 8 travel photos from real travelers to Smithville.
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Smithville, best known today from Sandra Bullock's 1998 movie "Hope Floats", is located off State Hwy. 71 in southeast Bastrop County. In 1827, Thomas Gazeley settled and operated a store near the present location. As a community sprung up, it was named Smithville after another early settler, William Smith. A post office came in 1876 and Smithville became known as a "thriving village". In 1887, the Bastrop and Taylor Railway laid rail two miles west of the community. This encouraged seventeen families to move and meet it. Smithville had grown to 616 residents by 1890. More businesses came as the rail line extended to Lockhart in 1892 and again to Houston in 1893. Renamed in 1886, the line merged with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas system in 1891. With the rails establishment of its central shops in 1894, the population of Smithville doubled. The town was incorporated in March 1895. By 1900, Smithville had a population of 2,577. Ten percent of the Bastrop County population. A bank had been established in 1907 and the Smithville Times had been in print for thirteen years. With its peak in the mid-1940's at 4,200, the population in 1962 had dropped below 3,000. The mid-1970's brought a new library, a city hall and a storm drainage system. By 1984, Smithville had become a trade and manufaturing center with more than seventy rated businesses, 3,470 people and home to a three-day festival, known as the Smithville Jamboree. As of the 2000, the population was 3,901.