Underground Railroad

The next time you make a pit stop along the Ohio Turnpike, you can also get a little history lesson.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled Underground Railroad historical markers at two Ohio Turnpike rest areas Wednesday.

The first unveiling was at the Commodore Perry Service Plaza, an eastbound service stop in Clyde. The second was at the Portage Service Place, a westbound service stop in Mantua. Both locations were chosen because of ties to the Underground Railroad.

Columbus Symphony / Facebook

The Columbus Symphony is taking on the Underground Railroad.

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, the Underground Railroad ferried enslaved African Americans in the South to freedom in the northern United States and Canada. And Southwest Ohio, bordering the slave states of Virginia and Kentucky, played an especially important role in the clandestine network.

One stop along the Underground Railroad still stands in Springfield. Preservationists have spent nearly two decades restoring the historic Gammon House and say it holds a message for future generations.

The Bartholomew House on state Route 315 was one of several homes that used to safeguard escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad in Delaware County.
Delaware County Historical Society

Delaware County’s historical society has identified several homes that were stations on the Underground Railroad between 1800 and 1863.