Freedom Trails Commission

Protecting and Preserving Historical Sites

The Rochester-Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission serves as the local authority in support of state and national efforts to document, protect and preserve sites and information pertaining to the Underground Railroad in the Rochester area.

The Underground Railroad, which flourished from the end of the 18th century until the end of the Civil War, comprised hundreds of secret hideaways along a trail through 29 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Several thousand former slaves used the trail to secure their freedom by traveling to northern states and to Canada. Increased public awareness of and appreciation for the important role that the Underground Railroad played in both American and New York State history, has led to recent legislation at both the federal and state levels. The legislation is designed to help preserve the historic sites and to document the history of the Underground Railroad in America.

Local Underground Railroad Stations

Many Monroe County locations were used as safe-houses to shelter slaves before they were placed on boats. The primary Monroe County route was from Henrietta to Rochester.

Better known stations include:

  • The Henry Quinby farm by Mendon Ponds Park.
  • The David H. Richardson farm on East Henrietta Road near Castle Road.
  • The Warrant farm in Brighton, now 1956 West Henrietta Road.
  • The old Frederick Douglass home near Highland Park.
  • A cluster of houses where numerous Quakers lived (the current Blue Cross Arena location).
  • The Harvey Humphrey, Esp. house at 669 Genesee Street.

Learn more at the Rochester Freedom Trail website.

Learn more about Rochester and Monroe County at the University of Rochester Department of History.

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