Past and present residents celebrating Smithwick homecoming April 26

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

SMITHWICK — Who says you need a football game to hold homecoming? All you really need is a place to meet and a common bond of some sort.

On April 26, that bond is the Smithwick community, located about 12 miles east of Marble Falls.

“It’s just a chance for people to come back, get together and enjoy some time together,” organizer Sherry Hays said.

The 2014 Smithwick Homecoming starts at 4 p.m. at the Smithwick Community Center, located on RR 1431 on the north side of the road. Donations will be accepted at the door and will go to the maintenance and upkeep of the community center.

Hays said, while Smithwick isn’t a large community, the people who live there now and in the past share a link.

“A lot of people have moved off, so this is a chance for those to come back and visit,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for anybody connected with Smithwick to visit, really.”

Smithwick traces its roots to 1855 when Noah Smithwick moved to the area after selling his Mormon Mill, which was closer to the Burnet area. He built Smithwick Mills, along with a home, on a 100-acre piece of property.

Nearby settlements included Hickory Creek and Elm Grove. Eventually, those two combined with Smithwick Mills to become simply Smithwick.

The community thrived for many years. Smithwick had a school district of its very own and even a post office. People could shop at the local store or get their equipment fixed at the blacksmith shop. And on Sundays, they could worship at the local church. The Masons even established a lodge in Smithwick.

Over the years, people stayed, but most of the commerce moved west into Marble Falls. The post office closed in 1926, and, in 1946, the school district merged with Marble Falls.

The few things that remain are the Masonic lodge, the church, the cemetery and the community center.

But they’re still a big part of the lives of those who still call Smithwick home.

“I think it’s important for people to have the time to come together, talk, get caught up and visit,” Hays said. “For a lot of people, this is one of the few times they get a chance to see everybody.”

And while it’s a homecoming, the event also gives newer residents a chance to connect with their neighbors. In times past, people would gather at church, the store, the community center and school, but, with most of the activity moving away, those connection points aren’t quite as vibrant.

A homecoming, however, gives all Smithwick residents an opportunity to connect.

Hays said a meal, typically a fish fry, will be served 5:30-6 p.m. Tea and coffee will be provided. Folks are asked to bring side dishes and desserts. After the meal, people can continue to visit along with the auction.

Call Hays at (830) 798-5083 for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com