Self-guided walking tour gains recognition

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — International Underground Railroad Month is designed to bring awareness to the Underground Railroad. The state of Maryland played a pivotal role in the underground railroad and Washington county has an immense amount of history along the route.

“We have 11 sites we’ve identified in downtown Hagerstown that were critical to the underground railroad,” said Daniel Spedden, president of Hagerstown County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The brochure for the self-guided walking tour received multiple awards including one from preservation Maryland for its graphics.

“Back then, you had to get north of the Mason Dixon into Pennsylvania to reach freedom, so if you’re enslaved in Maryland, you were pretty close, but if you were south in Maryland and West Virginia or Virginia or the Carolinas, you had to pass through Maryland to get into Pennsylvania. Maryland became a rallying point for abolitionists and underground railroad conductors, bringing people into Pennsylvania,” said Spedden.

The self-guided tour is walkable and drivable and can take you about an hour to complete the entire tour. You can find the brochure here.

“We talk about the civil war, we talk about monuments and generals and troop movements, but it’s not really about that as much. It is about bringing people to freedom,” said Spedden.

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