Peterboro, New York

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Peterboro, located about twenty-five miles southeast of Syracuse, New York, is a historic hamlet situated in the Town of Smithfield, Madison County, New York.



In 1795, Peter Smith, Sr., a partner of John Jacob Astor's who built his fortune in the fur trade, founded Peterborough, naming the town after himself. Smith moved his family to Peterborough in 1804 and built the family home there. In 1894 the town name was changed to Peterboro, which is the form it retains to this day.

Gerrit Smith[edit]

In the 1820s, Gerrit Smith, took over his father's, Peter Smith, Sr.'s, business interests, managing his family's property holdings in the town and the surrounding area. The Peterboro Land Office was built as the office for these activities.

Gerrit Smith's commitment to both the abolition and temperance movements led to the Smith estate in Peterboro becoming a stop on the underground railroad and to Smith building one of the first temperance hotels in the country in Peterboro. The Smith estate also served as an important meeting place for abolitionists from both New York and other parts of the country, including John Brown and Frederick Douglass.

In 2001, the Gerrit Smith Estate was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Peterboro Land Office building and Smithfield Presbyterian Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Other notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Eyle, Alexandra. 1992. Charles Lathrop Pack: Timberman, Forest Conservationist, and Pioneer in Forest Education. Syracuse, NY: ESF College Foundation and College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Distributed by Syracuse University Press. Available: Google books


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Eyle, p. 2
  3. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1879,' Biographical Sketch of Alexander Preston Ellinwood, pg. 504

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°58′02″N 75°41′17″W / 42.96722°N 75.68806°W / 42.96722; -75.68806