In 2007, the City of Sandusky, Ohio dedicated the "Path to Freedom", an interpretive sculpture, located in Facer Park, that commemorates the city’s important role in the Underground Railroad. The life-sized sculpture, by Susan Schultz, depicts a slave family’s (man, woman, and child) flight to freedom. Informational plaques that surround the sculpture memorialize participants, black and white, enslaved and free that contributed to the Sandusky’s evolution as a terminus of the Underground Railroad.
The sculpture’s location, 50 yards from Sandusky Bay, is symbolic of Sandusky's strategic waterfront location, where only Lake Erie separated fugitive slaves from true freedom on the Canadian mainland, a mere 35 miles north of Sandusky.
Sandusky’s role in Underground Railroad activities is well documented. Levi Coffin, President of the Underground Railroad, revealed that Sandusky was an important route to freedom. Harriet Beecher Stowe referenced Sandusky in the fictional but based on historical fact, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, released in 1852. In 1854, in two separate legal cases, the federal government tried noted Sandusky abolitionist Rush Sloane for violating the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act for orchestrating an escape of captured slaves. However, these incidences barely touch the surface of Sandusky’s relevance to the Underground Railroad.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Intersection of Hancock and East Water Streets, Snadusky, Erie, 44870
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Victoria Kurt, Recreation Division Supervisor
Location Type: Site