Network to Freedom


Spring Grove Cemetery has been accepted into The National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program (NTF).  Spring Grove was 1 of 16 newly designated Network to Freedom sites across the United States, according to a March 29, 2022 National Park Service press release.
                  
The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom serves to honor, preserve, and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight.
 
Medina has a rich history and role in the Underground Railroad and American Abolitionist Movement during the mid-to-late 19th century.  Spring Grove Cemetery has verifiable connections to the anti-slavery movement and is the final resting place for some of the good people who actively assisted freedom seekers and/or participated in the resistance to slavery.  Among those was Harrison Gray Otis Blake (1818-1876), former Ohio delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senator, who worked in tandem with his wife Elizabeth (1821-1893) to provide shelter and resources to freedom seekers at their Medina home on East Washington Street.  

The Blakes are buried in Section 5 of Spring Grove Cemetery.  Several others with connections to the Underground Railroad and American Abolitionist Movement are buried at Spring Grove and, after further research and verification of their roles in the movement to abolish slavery, will be added to the Spring Grove NTF designation.