BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Belle Vue Farm in Havre De Grace, Maryland, is one of the newest sites on the National Park Services’ National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
“This site is important because, number one, it represents a place in Harford County that enslaved labor, maintained this property,” Dr. Iris Barnes, a historian and educator, said.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Warm & Dry Fourth Of July Forecast
People that were enslaved here escaped to freedom and were a part of a major event in American history known as the Christiana Resistance.
A battle, in 1851, between free Blacks and a federal marshal trying to capture escaped former slavers.
Harford County played a big role in the underground railroad, thanks in part to its estuaries, rivers, and creeks—and close proximity to the free state of Pennsylvania.READ MORE: 1 Killed In Fourth Of July Shooting In Southeast Baltimore, Police Say
“They would try to get to this area, the slaves, and they would work their way to Pennsylvania,” Bruce Russell, the president of Havre de Grace Maritime Museum said. “They could go by boat, they would have to cross the river and they could follow streams and they would follow the river.”
The Havre de Grace Maritime Museum has just unveiled a new 600 square-foot gallery and an interactive exhibit that tells the story of those who escaped to freedom through the area. It’s called The Underground Railroad: Other Voices of Freedom.
“We put this exhibit together to show how Harford County, how the Susquehanna River, how the Chesapeake River, were involved in the underground railroad,” Russell said.
It’s telling a story of American history that happened in our own backyard.MORE NEWS: New Poll Reveals How Parents Are Doing On Fireworks Safety
“It’s really important for people of Harford County to know the role of people who lived here and these American history events,” Barnes said. “It’s not just African American history, it’s American history.”