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Smith, Gerrit, Estate

Peterboro, New York
County of Madison.
Main Street
National Register Number: 97001386
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Domestic - single dwelling. The threat level was Threatened in
2004.
Congressional District: NY-23 Certified Local Government: NO
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Current use/information: The Land Office building is open: http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/ny3.htm.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 3, 2001):
The Gerrit Smith Estate is significant for its association with Gerrit Smith (1797-1874), a figure of national prominence in politics and social reform movements. Smith’s wealth and numerous business ventures gave him the financial means to fund extensive reform efforts, mostly pertaining to abolition and temperance. Smith engaged in the abolition movement through active involvement in national Anti-Slavery societies, reform through political involvement, the Free Church movement, education reform, and land reform. He openly defied the Fugitive Slave Act, providing a widely-recognized safe haven in Peterboro for refugees from enslavement en route to Canada. The estate was also an important gathering place for abolitionists interested in discussing the issues of the day and planning political action.

Condition:
Several wooden outbuildings are deteriorating due to a lack of maintenance and weathering. The most deteriorated buildings are privately owned and must be acquired at an estimated cost of $110,000 before preservation activities could begin.


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