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Underground Railroad

Fugitive slaves entered Connecticut at a number of points. Some passed through the state by way of Stamford, New Haven or Old Lyme, often traveling on to Farmington, the “Grand Central Station” in Connecticut. From there, they headed north to Westfield or Springfield, Massachusetts. Some traveled to Springfield by way of Middletown, Hartford and other communities along the Connecticut River. Those who passed through the state by way of New London or Westerly, Rhode Island, went north to Norwich and Putnam, and then to Worcester, Massachusetts. A western Connecticut route included Waterbury, New Milford, Washington, Torrington, Winchester and Winsted. Slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad would sometimes choose to settle in communities along the way. There are several examples of these communities on the Freedom Trail, including “Little Liberia” in Bridgeport, Jail Hill in Norwich and the William Winters Neighborhood in Deep River.

Some of the buildings listed cannot be documented with precision. Their inclusion on the Freedom Trail, however, is based on written histories, studies and traditions.