Greenfield in Highland County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Smith Tannery is the oldest original structure remaining in Greenfield. Built in 1821 by Revolutionary War veteran William Smith and his son Samuel, the tannery became a noted station on the fabled "Underground Railroad." The structure, which also served as the family residence, was the birthplace of Dr. Samuel M. Smith, Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War, and Dr. William R. Smith, who personally notified Abraham Lincoln of his nomination to the presidency in 1864.
The Smiths were active members of the Abolition Society of Paint Valley, which was established in 1833 in Greenfield and reorganized in 1836 as the Greenfield Anti-Slavery Society. In 1844, the Society assisted the efforts of Frederick Douglass, one of the nation's leading abolitionists. The Society provided an important junction on the Underground Railroad, assisting many fugitive slaves to gain freedom, including, it is said, Eliza Jane Harris of Uncle Tom's Cabin fame. The Smith Tannery was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
placed on the
of Historic Places
by the United States
Department of the Interior
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
Location. 39° 21.155′ N, 83° 22.752′ W. Marker is in Greenfield, Ohio, in Highland County. Marker is at the intersection of Jefferson Street (Ohio Route 28/138) and McArthur Way, on the right when traveling west on Jefferson Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenfield OH 45123, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Travellers Rest Inn (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); B&O and DT&I Railroad Depots (about 300 feet away); Corner Pharmacy (approx. 0.2 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greenfield, Ohio, Timeline (approx. ¼ mile away); West Settlement and Abolition Lane (approx. half a mile away); Edward Lee McClain High School (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenfield.
Also see . . .
1. Paint Creek Freedom Trail Brochure. (Submitted on November 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Ohio Underground Railroad Information Station (Submitted on November 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Oldest Existing Structure in Greenfield Getting Facelift (2012). (Submitted on November 4, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 279 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.