kids encyclopedia robot

Peterboro, New York facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Peterboro, New York
1875 map
1875 map
Peterboro, New York is located in New York
Peterboro, New York
Peterboro, New York
Location in New York
Peterboro, New York is located in the United States
Peterboro, New York
Peterboro, New York
Location in the United States
Country United States
State New York
County Madison
Town Smithfield
1,296 ft (395 m)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 315 & 680
GNIS feature ID 960231
Smithfield Presbyterian Church Peterboro NY Jul 10
Smithfield Town Hall and town clerk's office (small sign at right), Peterboro, New York. On upper floor, the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. Built in 1820 as Presbyterian church.

Peterboro, located approximately 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Syracuse, New York, is a historic hamlet and currently the administrative center for the Town of Smithfield, Madison County, New York, United States. The Town Hall, in a former Presbyterian church, houses the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum. Another historic building is the Peterboro Land Office of Peterboro's most famous resident ever, Gerrit Smith. Peterboro has a Post Office, ZIP code 13134.


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.

Historic sites

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.

Notable people

Gerrit Smith

In the 1820s, Gerrit Smith took over the business interests of his father, Peter Smith Sr., managing his family's property holdings in the town and the surrounding area. The Peterboro Land Office—the surviving building of the Smith estate—was built as his 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. Less successful was Smith's temperance campaign, which did not enjoy local support; he built one of the first temperance hotels in the country in Peterboro, which commercially was not successful. 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.


  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a founder of the women's rights movement and cousin of Gerrit Smith's on his mother's side, met her husband, Henry B. Stanton, at the Smith home in 1839.
  • George Pack, his wife Maria Lathrop, and family resided in Peterboro in the late 1830s and early 1840s. From Peterboro, Pack went on to Michigan's Lower Peninsula, where he founded the family's business interests in timber. Pack's son, George Willis Pack, who was born in Peterboro, and grandson, Charles Lathrop Pack, both became well-known timbermen in their own right.
  • Alexander Preston Ellinwood, Wisconsin politician, teacher, and businessman, was born in Peterboro.
kids search engine
Peterboro, New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.