Watch CBS News

Four Maryland Sites Added To National Underground Railroad Network To Freedom

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Four Maryland sites have been added by the National Park Service to the National Underground Railroad Network To Freedom, a program promoting locations associated with enslaved people who escaped to freedom.

Mount Clare Railroad Station at the B&O Railroad Museum, Elkridge Furnace at Patapsco Valley State Park, a farm that historically used slave labor and a former plantation were added to the program, the Maryland Office of Tourism said Monday.

"The stories of freedom seekers, who risked everything to claim their liberty, inspire us every time we review Network to Freedom applications," said National Park Service Deputy Director Shawn Benge. "The new listings remind us of the power Underground Railroad histories hold today and we are eager to work alongside our new members sharing Underground Railroad history with the public."

The B&O Railroad Museum announced in October the station had been chosen after researchers determined at least eight people seeking their freedom went through the station on their way north.

According to a tourism pamphlet on the state's Network to Freedom sites, Elkridge Furnace used slaves, indentured servants and convicts to make iron. At least five people escaped from the site. Some were captured and brought back, only to escape again.

Both the farm and former plantation are not yet accessible by the public.

Belle Vue Farm in Havre de Grace is where Eliza Howard, her mother and siblings were enslaved before fleeing to freedom in the mid-1840s, the tourism office said. They established a new home in Christiana, Pennsylvania, site of a 1851 battle between free Blacks and a federal marshal trying to capture escaped former slavers.

In 1849, 14-year-old Henry Massey escaped from the Stoopley-Gibson Plantation in Chester, the tourism office said. Five years later, he was identified in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and, after being convicted in a trial, was returned to his enslaver.

The Harford County Parks & Recreation Department purchased Belle Vue Farm in 2020 and is in the planning stages of opening the site as a park, the state tourism office said.

The Stoopley-Gibson Plantation is now the site of the Gibson's Grant development. Tours and interpretive signs are being planned, the the Maryland Office of Tourism said.

Other Network to Freedom sites in the state include the Turkey Point Farm and Light Station in North East, the Lizzie Amby Escape Site / Dr. Alexander Hamilton Bayly House in Cambridge, and the William Still Interpretive Site in Denton.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.