Six Underground Railroad sites Recognized

Congratulations to the following local applicants who were accepted for inclusion in the Network to Freedom (U.S. Park Service) in the twenty-eighth round of applications.The committee reviewed the applications on September 
10, 2014 at the Penn Center, St. Helena Island, South Carolina:

Charles Cheney Home Site [site]

Kirby Avenue Corridor (Escape Route of the 28) [site]

Salmon Portland Chase Historical Marker [site]

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum [site]

Wesleyan Cemetery [site]

Zion Baptist Church [site]


I have wonderful news for our area –several National Parks Service “Network to Freedom” listings (division specifically for the underground railroad) have been approved! Up until now, only 2 in the Cincinnati area had listings specific for UGRR- 1) Harriet Beecher Stowe house in Walnut Hills and 2) Samuel and Sally Wilson house in College Hill. I am pleased to announce we can add six more to that list. Three applications were submitted by the members of Hamilton Avenue Road to Freedom committee:

Wesleyan Cemetery (Northside)  prepared by; Stefanie Sunderland 

For abolitionist John Van Zandt burial– 1847 US Supreme Court “Jones vs. Van Zandt”,  defended  by Salmon P Chase and Von Trompe character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

Funeral decoy for the Escape of the 28

Escape of the 28 Corridor, Kirby, Glenview and Belmont Avenues (Northside, College) prepared by: Betty Ann Smiddy 

After the 28 passed Wesleyan they followed these roads with an overnight stay in College Hill

Charles Cheney site now Heritage Park (Mt Healthy) prepared by: Karen Arnett

Cheney was an active abolitionist and part of the anti-slavery Liberty Party

 Applications research, photographs, attachments and general assistance provided by: Kathy Dahl and Diana Porter

 But there is more! Unbeknownst to us, three more applications were being submitted for our area. We had only found out about these close to our deadline of July 15. They were submitted by Barry Jurgensen’s high school history class from Arlington High School in Omaha Nebraska. Yes, you read that correctly, students from Nebraska. Many thanks to all of them!

 Spring Grove Cemetery (Spring Grove Village) for Salmon P Chase, Henry Boyd (renown African American furniture maker and abolitionist in Cincinnati), Samuel and Sally Wilson (as mentioned above), Levi and Catherine Coffin (“President of the UGRR”), John and Elizabeth Coleman and Edward Harwood.    

 Salmon P Chase Law office ( current Ohio Historic marker at 3rd and Main downtown)

 Zion Baptist Church ( formerly on Plum Street now on Glenwood Ave. Avondale) 

 You can view the listings here:

 I wish to thank everyone for your support of these projects. I personally wish to thank those who have contributed their time for assisting at Wesleyan and the many organizations that supported us. Countless volunteer hours have gone into restoring the Cemetery. Projects have included: volunteer cleanups, documenting veterans, cataloging burials with current records, tour programs, Memorial Day Services, Veteran Marker Dedications, and many other projects

I also wish thank my former co workers at the Cincinnati Park Board. The Explore! Nature Dept. (Nature Education) family supported me thru the creations of the Ravine to Freedom  (LaBoiteaux Woods)and Wesleyan Cemetery programs, which in turn, led to the Hamilton Avenue Road to Freedom committee being formed.

And to the members of this Committee, who have worked tirelessly to research and share with the public an important part of this areas history, thank you for sharing this journey with me 


Kathy Dahl

Executive Committee: Hamilton Avenue Road to Freedom

Historian /Docent: Wesleyan Cemetery


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