Several Bradford County communities were important stops on the "Underground Railroad" for escaped slaves fleeing to Canada during the pre-Civil War years. They were Sugar Run, Rummerfield, Towanda and Ulster, all points along the Susquehanna River that the runaways followed just as the Indians, General Sullivan and many other travelers did centuries before.
In Rummerfield, a hotel known as The Old Tavern, was owned by William Griffis who later became Bradford County Sheriff. Griffis had several secret places built on his property in which fugitive slave could hide before continuing their journey north.
The busiest "station" was the Dr. Carter home on Main Street in Towanda. The slaves came from the river, were given a meal and time to rest before being sent on to Ulster. There is evidence that Harriet Tubman visited Towanda many times in her efforts to help free others of her race.
A number of black people who came to Bradford County by way of the Underground Railroad never went any further, but took up residence there and were valuable members of the community.
Text Provided by the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau
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