Historic Smithville Village Brings Back Long Awaited Water Wheel

Drum and Fife lead spectators from the Smithville Inn to the Water Wheel
Drum and Fife lead spectators from the Smithville Inn to the Water Wheel

We gathered at the new water wheel in Smithville Village with enthusiastic onlookers waiting to see the long awaited water wheel on the old mill start for the first time in almost 50 years and to hear the Galloway Patriot’s Civil War cannon fire as the Towne Crier proclaimed……….

Me Lords Me Ladies
We are gathered today in the Historic Town of Smithville to dedicate the revival of the Smithville Mill Waterwheel.
While some see a simple large wheel turned by water, I see history, stories of old, photo ops and perhaps, a first romantic stolen kiss.
The christening of the wheel is yet another step of the possessors of Smithville keeping our history alive.
The mill in its early years was built to supply the community with fresh flour, corn meal and feed in order to survive.
Because of the importance of the mill, and no availability of processed foods and convenient stores, this mill supplied the community with nourishment, not only for their bodies, but their community, as the mill was a source of information and sharing.
It was kneaded by the people so the community could rise together, and not loaf!
Today we discover the tradition again by witnessing this auspicious event. As our celebration concludes may I remind you that Monday it’s back to the same old grind!
May God protect the good people of Smithville and now more than ever may God bless America!

Galloway’s Mayor Don Purdy, Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola, Councilman Rich Klute, Port Republic Mayor Gary B Giberson and the Maxwell family who helped restore the wheel listened as Tony Coppola Senior remarked about the history and effort to restore the wheel. Fran Coppola along with other Smithville Village proprietors, Chuck and Laura Bushar with Wendy and Ed Fitzgerald could not have been happier with the crowd or the magnificent new water wheel.

Once the water wheel started to spin, the cannon fired, another great milestone in the dedicated effort to make Historic Smithville Village a true American landmark.

Here are the lyrics to a song about Smithville by Galloway resident Wilbur Hoch.

Old Historic Smithville Inn
Words and Music by Wilbur Z. Hoch and Maxine T. Archambault
There’s a famous old Inn down southern New Jersey way, where friendly folk gather to feast as in by gone days Old Historic Smithville Inn, warm loving and gracious Inn, Your days of old now still retold ‘mid the charm and grace near a fireplace, Old Historic country Inn echos folk lore and legend dim, fills this grand old place where happy people set the pace thru the window stands sugar hill chapel, country shops sparkling their home spun wares on the village pond white ducks are gliding, while lovers watch by an old grist mill….Old Historic Smithville Inn warm loving and gracious Inn, your days of old now still retold, ‘mid the charm and grace near a fireplace Historic Smithville Inn.

Applause erupts as the water wheel starts to spin at Smithville Village
Applause erupts as the water wheel starts to spin at Smithville Village


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