Mont Clare, Phoenixville, Local PA Towns Home to Large Number of Preserved Underground Railroad Sites

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Fitzwater Station in Mont Clare, along the canal.

While many areas in different states are home to Underground Railroad locations, parts of Montgomery County and Chester County boasts an especially large number of preserved sites with documented history, writes Kimberly Haas for Hidden City Philadelphia.

Several stops were in Kennett Square, including the Pines, the home of Bartholomew Fussell, who was one of the original signers of the American Anti-Slavery Society’s “Declaration of Sentiments” in 1833.

Another site is the former home of the Society of Progressive Friends at Longwood. Established in 1853 to work against slavery, the Society hosted many renowned speakers, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth.

In Mont Clare, on Canal Road, Abel and Isabel Fitzwater’s membership in the Church of the Brethren, which was known for its anti-slavery stance during the early to mid-1800s, led them to offer shelter to freedom seekers. The farm buildings, alongside the Schuylkill Canal, are a restaurant still bearing the name Fitzwater Station.

This Chadds Ford estate had a concealed room in its carriage house to harbor fugitive slaves.

Meanwhile, People’s Hall was constructed in East Fallowfield Township in 1845 as a place for the East Fallowfield Anti-Slavery Society to meet.

In Downingtown, a boarding school operated by Zebulon Thomas and his daughters had an additional building that was used to shelter freedom seekers.

Vickers Pottery in Exton also served as another station. The owner, John Vickers, was renowned as an abolitionist.

Read more about local Underground Railroad sites at Hidden City Philadelphia here.


See how Mont Clare, Phoenixville, and other local towns were stops along the Underground Railroad. Video host- Ryan Conroy.

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