port of harlem magazine
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New Underground Railroad Sites – Older Ones Amplified
April 7 – April 20, 2022
st mary college

The National Park Service has added 16 new listings to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The 16 new listings across 11 states join 700 sites, facilities, and programs already in the Network and provide insight into the diverse experiences of freedom seekers who bravely escaped slavery and those who assisted them.

"It's fitting to welcome new additions to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom as we celebrate Harriet Tubman's 200th birthday. Like Harriet Tubman, the freedom seekers and allies highlighted in each Network to Freedom listing remind us of what can be accomplished when people take action against injustice," said Diane Miller, national program manager of the Network to Freedom. "Each listing holds a unique part of the Underground Railroad story, and we look forward to working with members to amplify the power of these places."

The Network to Freedom?s newest listings are in alphabetical order by the state where the site is located:

Previously Listed Sites Amplified

To amplify the power of the Jan and Aagje Ton Farm site at 134th Street and St. Lawrence Avenue in Chicago, Tom Shepherd, of the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project, says the National Park Service awarded them $9,000 to enhance the site with signage and other improvements. “We will have at least six panels with educational narratives and images, a kiosk, a sign at the entrance to the property, and another large sign facing the Little Calumet River,” he says.

The group currently conducts hikes and tours at the site, which is within 30 minutes of the to-be-built Obama Presidential Library in Chicago and the newly opened Hard Rock Casino in Gary, IN. “We are regularly doing presentations for community groups, schools, church groups, and historical societies,” he added.

In Maryland, the state created Maryland's Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Visitor Guide. One of the more interesting amplications is that created by St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Many National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sites are privately owned. If the site is not open to the public, the National Park Service asks that the privacy of the site owner be respected.

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