Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back to Woodlawn Manor

Woodlawn Manor, depicted in one of my first designs, was a part of the Underground Railroad. A trail near the barn brings you to a historic spring, a HUGE white ash tree and finally to the Friends Meeting House. This is from the Montgomery County Parks website: "The time is the 1850s. The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, have helped make Sandy Spring a prosperous farming and commercial center. The Friends Meeting House, built in 1817, is the center of religious and community life. Even though slavery will not be abolished in Maryland until 1864, Maryland Quakers outlawed the owning of slaves by its members in 1777. In Sandy Spring, free blacks own their own homes and have organized churches, schools, and an array of social clubs although such public gatherings are extremely dangerous in this anti-abolitionist county. Local patrols and slave catchers stalk the fields and woods. Quakers and free blacks assist escaping slaves via the secret “Underground Railroad”— a system of people and places organized to help slaves escape to freedom."

I was lucky enough to hike the trail with a friend on Friday! The photo below shows the Woodlawn Manor stone barn in the background. It will eventually become a visitor center focusing on the Underground Railroad experience.

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