FREEDOM TRAIL PROJECT
The Addison White Freedom Trail is a proposed 3.5-mile non-motorized trail in Union County, Ohio. The trail will utilize a vacant segment of the former Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway on a southwest to northeast alignment beginning at Milford Center Community Park (Railroad Street) in the village of Milford Center and terminating near the intersection of Milford Avenue and US-36 in the city of Marysville.
The proposed trail will connect to the two communities and provide direct access to the proposed Kurtis A. Tunnell Memorial Trail (Heritage Trail Extension) from Marysville. Future expansions of the Addison White Freedom Trail will eventually reach Mechanicsburg, Urbana, and Springfield, as well as planned neighborhood trails within the city of Marysville.
The Addison White Freedom Trail will cross the Big Darby Scenic River and travel across the picturesque Big Darby Plains. The trail is close in proximity to the Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway, which features the scenic river, nature preserves, parks, historic covered bridges, century farms, pioneer cemeteries, and historic homes.
The trail is named in honor of Addison White, an escaped slave from Kentucky who gained freedom in Mechanicsburg, Ohio (Champaign County).
In 1856, White escaped from Fleming County, Kentucky using the Underground Railroad. He settled in Mechanicsburg where he met abolitionist Udney Hyde, who hid him from federal authorities.
As federal marshals arrived in town to arrest White and return him to Kentucky under the Fugitive Slave Law, the citizens of the town fought back with pitchforks and shovels, repelling the marshals. White managed to escape arrest and eluded the marshals for several weeks until the residents of Mechanicsburg agreed to buy his freedom for $950.
After being freed, White stayed in Mechanicsburg and worked for the town’s street department except during the Civil War, when he joined the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and fought for his country.
For more information about Addison White, please click here.