Browse Exhibits (5 total)

As a woman living most of her life independently one most wonder, what was she like? Even though she was seen as a hermit she did have a fair amount of friends and they usually had someone that tagged along with them  when they went to visit Ms. Smith, so there are actually a few accounts of people that remember meeting her and many of them described her using desripted words that seem to make the image of Anna vivid. This exhibit explores who Anna Clift Smith was using words that have been used to describe her to create an interactive word cloud powered by 


*Click on "Strange Bird" on the top right of this page to view this exhibit*

Living in an cottage alone in the winter wasn't very common. But, some did this inlcuding Anna. The diary was written in the winter of 1904-1905. Life during the winter on Van Buren Bay would've been very quiet since these cottage were typically for summer time enjoyment since the cottages are on Van Buren Bay attached to Lake Erie. Anna's diary did express how some of her family was concerned for her since she was alone often. She had to make sure to stay in touch with them becuase they all feared she was starving alone in her cottage, which she was not. Images have been taken of the Van Buren Point area and some have been found of Anna's dog "Mae" giving insite on her life and the area she lived in.


*To view this exhibit click on "Anna's Home" to see life from her perspetive*

Anna was a writer and artist. As a student of the Buffalo Art Council she participated in the association from 1902-1908, she demonstrates her raw talent in the diary and homemade postcards she sent to friends. The illistrations in her diary constisted of sketchs created from chalk and watercolor. Her pieces are small but, have lovely detail.  It is believed that Anna sold some of her written work to make money when she was struggling economicly.That would explain why some pf her pieces that she has created are around the local Fredonia/Portland, NY area in the Chataqua County muesum and homes of private collectors.


*To view the exhibit of Anna's creations click on "Anna's Art" at the top right of the page.*

A diary found amoungst the papers of a local judge, John Lambert had many historians curious as to who the author was and why was it amoung the papers of this man? After reading the diary it was discovered that a local women named Anna Clift Smith left the journal behind. But, who did she leave it for? When reading the diary you will discover many of the enteries are addressed to someone named "Joe." Who would this mystery Joe turn out to be? It could be a Joseph Martino, who was mentioned in her will often or according to a resreacher on the Anna Clift Smith team, it was discovered that an old friend of Anna's, Mrs. Geraldine Briggs was called "Joe." Since the diary discusses the geography of the area and the person almost expecting the reader to understand what she is discussing. It leads some to belive that it was Mrs. Briggs. Anna seemed to plan that she was going leave the diary behind but, seemed to be meant for one reader. She tried to leave with no trail left behind her, but her story proved to have a significant interest to local historians and residents.


*Click on the exhibit titled "Finis" to your top right to view the exhibit.*

Beyond the average woman Anna was more masculine and nothing like the women of the 20th century. This was the time of the victorian women who were proper, polite, and needed to act "like a lady." Anna, being a strong individual that typically wore men's clothes wouldn't  be seen as a normal lady of the society and that didn't seem to bother her since she typically liked to be alone and occasionally see a few close friends. She built her own home, chopped her own fire wood, and even carried a pistol in a holster to ward off bootleggers when they crossed her property to smuggle alcohol into the U.S.


*To explore this visual exhibit of Anna Clift Smith and 20th century women click on "Beyond Average" to the top right.*