The Burlington County Railroad completed its line to Pembarton in 1861. The benefits of the railroad had a great influence on the village of Smithville. The route provided access to Philadelphia with only an hour's ride and connections to Boston and Washington, D.C., which cities could be reached in a day.
The Smithville railroad station stood nearly a half-mile below the creek and the main section of the village. The Jacksonville-Vincentown Road crossed the tracks nearby and connected the station with the upper village.
Turning north from the train station and traveling the main road toward the upper village, one could see a large stand of hardwood trees which began two-hundred or so yards to the east. Known as "Smith's Forest," this grove served the workers as one of the main recreation areas in the village. The forest consisted mainly of mature beech trees covering about forty acres on the dry upland area south of the Rancocas Creek. Residents took walks and drives among the trees, making it more of a pleasure park than anything else.
This area provided a pleasant refuge during the summer and groups from Mount Holly, as well as local villagers frequented these woods. Smith charged no admission to the forest and revelers often held picnics and dances here.
(Inscription under the images at the top) Left: The warehouse was located next to the rail line. Above: Part of the warehouse can be seen to the left of the train station.
(Inscription in the upper right) "Smith's Forest was a popular destination not only for those living in Smithville but also from neighboring towns, such as Mount Holly.
"H.B. Smith Esquire of Smithville as his usual progressive spirit has been laying out his woods between his place and Evansville in a neat, beautiful manner." Mount Holly Herald, August 1, 1874
(Inscription beside the image on the right) Left: A view of the railroad tower. Right: The Smithville railroad station seen about 1900. This station building was built in 1884, replacing an earlier structure.