I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Where-To-Go Wednesday - Smithville Mansion

What: Smithville Mansion 

Where:803 Smithville Rd. 
            Eastampton, NJ 

Who: All ages

Me - Smithville Mansion was a nice place to visit. They had a lot of interesting things there. It was very fascinating that one of the beds in the house had actually belonged to President James Polk. There was a fancy bathroom. It was pretty. That was unusual. You don't usually see bathrooms when you tour historic homes. The lamp in the bathroom was made to be a replica of the Statue of Liberty holding the lamp. It was unique. I never saw anything like that before. It was also a little creepy because of the fact that it looked like a hand was holding the lamp. There was a table that was so heavy that it could not be knocked over. It was made that way to be used for playing cards so people could not get angry and flip over the table if they were losing. The owner of the mansion had the table made special. That was fascinating too. There was an old bike. It looked really weird and uncomfortable. It looked like it would be hard to ride. Our tour guide told us a lot of interesting and amusing stories about the house and the people who lived there. One of them was about how Mr. Smith cut the information about his first marriage out of his bible and tried to act like it never happened even though he had kids with his first wife. That's just crazy!

Mom - The Smithville Mansion is the former home of the late Hezekiah B. Smith, who was a factory owner, inventor, and major New Jersey political figure whose career included both stints in the Senate and the House of Representatives in the late 1800s. The Smithville Mansion was part of the village of Smithville which was a  completely self-contained model town that housed not only the Smith family but Mr. Smith's workers and their families as well. Although remnants of some of the other buildings remain as well,  the Mansion is the crown jewel of what is now the Smithville Historic District. 

Reserved tours of the mansion are available for groups of six or less on Wednesdays and Sundays at a cost of $6.00 per person. Children under 6 are admitted free. As the history of the man, the town, and the mansion are all quite fascinating, and the tour guides are quite informative, taking a tour is quite worthwhile. The house is full of a large collection of beautiful historic objects and furniture, including a lovely colorful needlework picture over one of the fireplaces and a gorgeous custom-built piano. Not all of it actually belonged to the Smith's but it is all true to the time period. The way the house is set up with objects on tables and articles of clothing neatly arranged throughout, it gives the house more of a lived in vibe than the typical historic home. It feels as though the family is just out for a while, and will be returning momentarily and not like nobody has resided there in the over forty years since the property was purchased by the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Smithville Mansion and the village of Smithville are both listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. 

And that's our view.

For more information about the Smithville Mansion or to find out how to reserve a tour, visit www.smithvillemansion.org.

Tune in tomorrow for Theater Thursday.

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