Underground Railroad stop
The Gammon House is one of only 3 existing Ohio “stops” on the Underground Railroad owned by a free person of color. It was built in 1850, the same year that the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, imposing fines and imprisonment on any person aiding a runaway slave.
George Gammon and his wife Sarah (née Bradley) built this modest brick home on land purchased from her parents. Their families were among the many free Black Springfield citizens who actively operated the Underground Railroad in Clark County, and Sarah and George continued the brave tradition in this home.
Charles Gammon, the youngest of their 7 children, enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the first all-Black military unit to be raised in the North during the Civil War. The effort of these soldiers is recounted in the 1989 film, “Glory.”
After sitting empty for about 20 years, the Gammon House was slated for demolition in the late 1990s. Through the hard, and ongoing, work of community members, donors and foundations, it has been turned into a small house museum and is now open for tours.