The Smith Museum is named in honor of three generations of Smiths: George A. Smith, Reverend Samuel Abbot Smith, and Reverend Abiel Abbot. The funds for the museum building itself were donated by Elizabeth Abbot Smith, George A. Smith’s daughter, who inherited her father’s fortune and realized his vision for his beloved Jason Russell House.
One day in the middle of the last century, the nearly ninety-year old George Smith came down for breakfast, stood by his chair and announced to his daughter, “I have had a vision.” George A. Smith wanted the Jason Russell House to have a landscape equal to its role in history. “I would like,” Mr. Smith stated with a glowing face,” to see our beautiful old Jason Russell House with a spacious lawn about it,” To that end he, and after his death, his daughter, bought neighboring houses which then obscured the view of The Jason Russell House. With a lawn planted on the now ample acreage and a stone fence once again encircling it, The Jason Russell House is set as beautifully as a gem at the corner of Jason Street and Massachusetts Avenue .