Re-Introducing The Discover Syracuse Freedom Trail
by Samuel D. Gruber
In July 2007, while President of the Preservation Association of Central New York, I had the privilege of unveiling with then-Mayor Matt Driscoll and others the 11-sign Freedom Trail through parts of the City of Syracuse designed to commemorate and teach the important history of Underground Railroad, Abolitionist and African-American historic and cultural sites in the city. Syracuse was a center of the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad. The famous Jerry Rescue had already been commemorated in a striking monument on Clinton Square erected in 1990, but there was little else to tell the story of people and places throughout Syracuse.
I'm afraid that these signs are still too-little known, and that those who do know them now take them for granted. It took a lot of research and hard work by many people (mostly volunteers) to create this project - and now, during Black History Month I want to remind people of its existence. It was mean, too, to be only the beginning. There are still more places to mark, and this trail can be and should be the basis of a local history curriculum for schools and civic, community and church groups.
I look forward to walking and biking the full Freedom Trail route when the weather warms up.
Read the entire post about all the sites and signs here, and see pictures.