Chairman of the Connecticut Freedom Trail
Since 1995, the Connecticut Freedom Trail (CFT) has commemorated the fight for emancipation from slavery, honoring the courageous African American individuals who paved the way for future generations.
The CFT includes a diverse range of locations, including the Underground Railroad’s safe houses, sites associated with the Amistad case of 1839, and the Civil Rights Movement’s sites, gravesites, monuments, homes, and other structures.
Each site is carefully documented and designated to ensure future generations remember the remarkable stories of those who fought for freedom and human dignity.
The Connecticut Freedom Trail program documents and designates sites that embody the struggle toward freedom and human dignity, celebrate the accomplishments of the state’s African American community, and promote heritage tourism.
The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the Amistad Committee, Inc. of New Haven are responsible for maintaining and administering the Connecticut Freedom Trail.
How to List a Site on the Connecticut Freedom Trail!
Established in 1995 by an act of the Connecticut Legislature, the Connecticut Freedom Trail program documents and designates sites that embody the struggle toward freedom and human dignity, celebrates the accomplishments of the state’s African American community, and promotes heritage tourism. The Trail officially opened in September, 1996, with 60 sites in 30 towns as inaugural members. As of 2023, there are over 160 sites in more than 70 towns, and the Trail continues to grow.
Places listed on the Connecticut Freedom Trail are significant in four major categories: sites associated with the Amistad Case of 1839-1842; buildings or structures reported to have been used as part of the Underground Railroad; spaces that were the location of events or associated with individuals significant to the Civil Rights movement; and gravesites, monuments, homes, and buildings associated with the heritage and movement towards freedom of Connecticut’s African American communities.
Administration of the Trail is the responsibility of the State Historic Preservation Office and the Amistad Committee, Inc. of New Haven. Sites are approved for listing by the Freedom Trail Selection Committee, which consists of Site Ambassadors from each site. The Committee meets monthly to review potential sites, and discuss important topics/issues affecting members and their sites.
A main goal of the Trail is to designate at least one site in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities. This can only be accomplished through the participation of the public to help identify and document these important places.
Applications to the Connecticut Freedom Trail consist of a two-part process:
- A Letter of Inquiry briefly summarizing the proposed site, and under which category it would be eligible for listing (link to a sample letter), along with representative photos; and
- A Full Application, which narratively and visually conveys the site’s significance.
The application form is available as a fillable PDF, and can be submitted digitally to CTFreedomTrail@ct.gov, or by USPS mail to:
Connecticut Freedom Trial Selection Committee
c/o Todd Levine
Connecticut Freedom Trail Coordinator
State Historic Preservation Office
Department of Economic & Community Development
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 5
Hartford, CT 06103
Todd Levine, Freedom Trail Coordinator E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 860-500-2337