Morrisville & Peterboro Area

Molly's Choice ice cream, produced locally at Morrisville State’s dairy complex, can be enjoyed at the Copper Turret.

In 1848, black abolitionists declared that “there are yet two places where slave holders cannot come, Heaven and Peterboro.” These words were inspired by the work of Peterboro resident Gerrit Smith, who used his wealth to operate a busy station on the Underground Railroad, purchase African Americans from slavery, and finance local, state, and national abolition activities. 

At Smith’s invitation, the New York State Anti-Slavery Society held its inaugural meeting in Peterboro in 1835. And it was Smith, along with Frederick Douglass, who organized the Cazenovia Convention protest against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. 

Today, Smith’s legacy is remembered in Peterboro by the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum and the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark. Be sure to start your tour of the hamlet’s sites at the visitor’s center, where you can see a short video on the life of Gerrit Smith and even browse books and other relevant items in their gift shop. 

Just five miles from Peterboro is one of the most innovative colleges in the state university system, Morrisville State College. Over the years, Morrisville has been ahead of many academic trends. In fact, they were one of the first schools in the nation to supply every student with a laptop. Today they’re leading the way in the fields of equine rehabilitation, travel and tourism, and the culinary arts. 

You can taste the fruits of the restauranteurs of tomorrow at the Copper Turret, a restaurant operated by the college. This fine-dining establishment serves top-tier meals featuring local ingredients and also operates as a “learning laboratory” for the college’s culinary students.