Gerrit Smith historic buildings to be closed for 2020 season; exterior exhibits remain open for socially-distancing walkers


PETERBORO — The Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark buildings in Peterboro will be closed for the 2020 season and upcoming events have been canceled due to COVID-19.

These events include the Saturday, June 13 Peterboro Freedom Festival; the Saturday, Aug. 1 Emancipation Day and the Saturday, Sept. 26 Bloomer Tea Party. The estate intends to hold the planned Bell Ringing nineteen times on Equality Day Aug. 26 at 6:19 p.m. to celebrate the centennial of Women’s Suffrage.

The exterior exhibits on the grounds of the estate will remain open each day from dawn to dusk for persons practicing social distancing and respecting the properties. GSENHL management encourages people to take a fresh air walk of as many steps as possible around three acres of the landmark as they engage with spaces where enslaved persons found freedom and abolitionists walked and talked. Exhibit signage describes the buildings and the people in those buildings during the 19th Century.

Gerrit Smith Estate officials said the estate can provide field lessons for home history classes by bringing notebooks, sketchbooks, pens, crayons, and phones for assignments.

The Peterboro Mercantile is undertaking a make-over but can still take online orders for books, buttons, jewelry, magnets, stationery, tee shirts, and other articles related to Peterboro.

For more information go online to; email, or call 315-280-8828.

The Gerrit Smith Estate is a site on the Madison County Freedom Trail, one of two National Historic Landmarks in the county, one of 22 sites on the Heritage NY Underground Railroad Trail, a founder of the Underground Railroad Consortium of New York State, and an early designation to the National Park Service Network to Freedom, the national Underground Railroad path.


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