September is Connecticut Freedom Trail Month, and parts of western Connecticut played an important role in the Underground Railroad.

As you might know, I am intrigued with the fascinating history of our great state of Connecticut. September is Connecticut Freedom Trail month, which recognizes over 130 heritage sites in nearly 50 towns. These sites include buildings that were reported to be used on the Underground Railroad, which was a vast network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans for escape to Canada and/or free states.

Connecticut played an important role in the Underground Railroad. Fugitive slaves entered Connecticut at several different points including a western Connecticut route that included Waterbury, New Milford, Washington, Torrington, Winsted, and Winchester. Slaves escaping via the Underground Railroad sometimes decided to settle in some of the communities along the way.

One of the Underground Railroad's safe houses was located in Oxford called the Washband Tavern, which was built in the early 1700's. Hiding places were said to exist in the cellar, but unfortunately, the Tavern is now a private residence and is not open for tours. The purpose of the Connecticut Freedom Trail is to document and designate sites that capture the struggle for freedom, and to recognize the distinguished accomplishments of Connecticut's African American communities. There are now more than 130 sites where you can explore the concept of FREEDOM.

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