Greene Smith (1842-1886) was an avid amateur scientist and ornithologist. He was bird watching at age nine and collecting specimens of birds from around the world as a young adult. In 1863, he built a three-story museum, the Ornithon, in Peterboro to house the thousands of specimens of birds, eggs, and nests that are now in university collections at Colgate, Cornell, and Harvard.
The public fascination with the “Bird House,” as it’s affectionately called, prompted Dann to turn the focus of his Smith research to Greene Smith. Dann’s study of family letters, military records, and Smith’s personal Catalogue of Birds as well as the pursuit of his hunting apparatus and the ownership and investigation of the Bird House site have all contributed to another fascinating book— Greene Smith and the Wild Life: The Story of Peterboro’s Avid Outdoorsman.
Dann, professor emeritus Morrisville State College, is a founder and current Cabinet member of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, a Steward of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, a member of the Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend, and the Treasurer of the Peterboro Area Museum.
Books will be available at both events for purchases and signing. For more information on these or other events at the Cazenovia Public Library, call 655-9322.