During one of our restoration meetings one community member reminisced about hearing the church bell ring on Christmas Eve. To remedy that situation SCRFI Members decided to meet on Christmas Eve, sing a few Carols and then ring the bell. Since that time the bell has fallen in disrepair and is silent, but thanks to the new tradition of SCRFI leading Christmas Caroling in Smartsville for the past six years, the town is not silent. It is our goal to finish the restoration of the bell tower so once again hear the bell on Christmas Eve and other occasions.
A special event was held in 2008 celebrating the official return of Smartsville’s name. Famed television Huell Howser was here to film a segment on Smartsville and Timbuctoo and he returned a few months later to film the party.
This year we will celebrate the ten year anniversary of the return of the S on September 8, 2018. Stay tuned for details.
Part of SCRFI's mission is to provide a gathering place for the community similar to the past although not as a church. Gatherings for holidays and other celebrations or events have been held on the church grounds with the approval of SCRFI.
For many years Smartsville had been without a general store until Jacob and Alyson Shortridge came along. They saw a need and filled it. For the past several years they had been supplying a much needed service to the town. It was such a welcoming presence and made the town feel alive again. Now the store is once again empty and closed and we really hope some special entrepreneur will come along and see the potential and take on the challenge.
Our restoration meetings have become another way neighbors connect. At meetings events are dreamed up like a piñata for Halloween or a community BBQ on Independence Day and others are inspired by a collective memory.
Smartsville has a new attraction for visitors. A winery called Meade Hill located on historically named Meade Hill which was named after the Irish Immigrant Garrett Meade who was a miner. Later his family farmed there. Of course everyone asked if they were going to make Mead, so they do and its really pretty good. I think it is probably one of their best sellers. Stop by and tell them Scruffy sent you!
We believe one of our proudest achievements as a result of our restoration efforts at SCRFI is the impact we see on the town of Smartsville. The united effort to save the historic church and public attention given to Smartsville, and community events, have given Smartsville a renewed sense of pride. At SCRFI we do not spend any of our restoration money on events not related to our work, but we give freely of our time and energy to events that are important to the community.
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