Smithfield has a long tradition of hospitality to travellers, but these days the beds are more comfortable than those described in early accounts by explorers passing through. With its strategic position on the tourism route to unspoilt Eastern Cape Wild Coast beaches, Smithfield is often in the news. Typically, articles highlight the town's facilities, the state of the road and other information useful to tourists and locals.
Smithfield - named after Sir Harry Smith, governor of the Cape from 1847 to 52 - was founded in 1848, making it one of the oldest towns in the Free State. But its history goes back much further, with archaeological evidence of Stone Age occupation. More recently, Basotho, Boer and Brit have all contributed to the rich texture of life in the region.