Side A: 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.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Greenfield Historical Society, The Ohio Historical Society