The Smithfield Inn was built in 1752 for Henry Woodley. In 1756, William Rand, who built the adjacent courthouse, purchased the building for 135 pounds 10 shillings. In 1759, he applied for a license to operate a tavern, which he continued to manage until his death in 1771. The building continued to be operated as an inn during the 1800's when Smithfield was a stop on the stagecoach route from Portsmouth to Petersburg.
The inn was purchased in 1854 by Christ Episcopal Church to be used as a rectory. In 1922, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Webster Skyes purchased the old building and once again placed it in service as an inn. The name has now been changed from the Sykes Inn to the Smithfield Inn, but it maintains its reputation for excellent food, elegant decor, and southern hospitality.