This is the story of Bellville, Georgia. Named for area pioneer Frances Bell Smith and built upon the lands of Sikes Smith, John Wood, and Berry Brewton, the town originated as a railroad community in 1890. The Savannah and Western Railroad began acquiring right-of-ways in 1887, and by March 1890 the railroad laid tracks through the site. The town became an important location for shipment of agricultural and timber products. After a disastrous fire that burned most of Bellville’s structures in 1901, residents rebuilt the town, and it continued as a transportation hub until the decline of the railroad and development of paved roads. From Bellville Academy in the 1890s to today’s Pinewood Academy, schools have been an important part of the town’s history. Soon after it started, Bellville Academy became one of the largest and finest schools in the area and now Pinewood Christian Academy, a premiere educational institution, continues the tradition of excellence. When spoken aloud, Bellville rolls off the tongue with an appealing, comfortable ring. The town’s name is not unique to Georgia, for there are Bellvilles in 22 other states. Despite the popularity of its name, however, Bellville is unique in a significant way. Both today and historically, the town enjoys an unsurpassed reputation as a groomed, well-ordered community. From its modest beginnings as a railroad town, to the community’s positive image after more than 100 years, Bellville provides a fine example in rural progress and development. This fully indexed book contains five historical maps and over 180 photographs. It includes interviews with residents and histories of Bellville's churches, schools, homes, cemeteries and businesses.