Underground Railroad

Merrell-Soule photo: Andrea Zlotucha Kozub; Huntington House: Virginia Bartos

Two Central New York properties were recently nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  WAER News decided to dig a little deeper and find out what makes them historially significant.



Syracuse Stage’s newest play tells a fascinating story of an Underground Railroad escape to freedom, here in Central New York 180 years ago.  The main character in the new play Possessing Harriet made contact with important historical figures, while her story resonates with issues today.

John Smith/WAER News

This weekend the City of Syracuse marks 152nd Anniversary of when African Americans learned they would be freed from slavery.  The Juneteenth Flag Raising ceremony at Syracuse City Hall reflected on the past and the promise of a brighter future.  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner presented a proclamation.


Most people have heard of or seen the Jerry Rescue Story and Monument.  You might also know the Mission Restaurant downtown gave safe harbor to escaped slaves, as did other local homes.  In the last part of C-N-Y Unknown Underground, we’ll fill in some interesting details; each historic connection might have had more significance than you know.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Many people have walked or driven right past one of the most prolific passageways of the Underground Railroad in Syracuse…and never even knew it.  Why is an unassuming street corner in Syracuse really an important weigh station of history?

You very well might have driven past the intersection of East Genesee Street and Pine…maybe thousands of times.  Writer and local resident Madis Senner had a friend that lived just a few doors down.  

Marlee Tuskes / WAER News

With the start of the holiday season, staff at the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion in Syracuse has spent the past few days decorating for the many events planned for December. And while one of the goals is to raise money to renovate the 163-year-old mansion, foundation director Mary Therese Zorbo says they’re also trying to raise awareness of the mansion and its rich history.

Christian Unkenholz / WAER News

  Auburn residents Friday celebrated the unveiling of a plaque in honor of little known abolitionist and friend of Harriet Tubman, Morgan “Luke” Freeman.   Here's how it all happened:

Not many people know the name, Morgan “Luke” Freeman but fourth graders; Elliot, Xavia, and Kara do.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The history of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad is an important story in Central New York and really throughout the state.  A unique project “Harriet Was Here” brought elementary students together with musicians and historians found a unique way to teach those lessons. 

David Armstrong - Syracuse University

For more than a decade the non-profit group that owns the Harriet Tubman Home and grounds in Auburn, New York have been trying to get the historical place designated as a national park. Last Friday, the US Senate voted to pass the measure by a vote of 89 to 11 and now it’s waiting for President Obama’s signature. Harriet Tubman Incorporated President and CEO Karen Hill wants that as a Christmas gift.

Harriet Tubman Honored in Auburn

Aug 5, 2013

The Harriet Tubman House is one step closer to becoming a national landmark after a special event in Auburn over the weekend. Reporter Julianne Dellorso takes us to the festivities.  Take a listen!