In 1843, Herman and Hannah Phillips walked with their four children from slavery in Maryland to Sherwood, New York. There, sponsored by Quaker storeowner Slocum Howland, they found work and a home. Recognized by a former Maryland neighbor who visited Sherwood in the late 1850s, the Phillips family fled to Canada. They soon returned to Sherwood, however, and in 1854, they bought land from Slocum Howland. They moved this house (built before 1837) to this spot about 1855, and here they raised their eight children. Three sons served in the Civil War. The house remained in the family until 1913, when Rose E. and Estella Phillips, daughter-in-law and granddaughter of Hannah and Herman, sold it to Isabel Howland, granddaughter of Slocum Howland. Estella Phillips remained in Sherwood, a friend, and employee of Isabel Howland, until Isabel’s death in 1942, when Estella moved to Fitch Avenue in Auburn. Herman, Hannah, and several of their children are buried in the Sherwood cemetery, across the road from their house, Relatives of this family still remain in the area. Primary source documentation for this family is extensive through letters and diaries kept by Emily Howland, daughter of Slocum Howland.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 3000 State Route 34B, Aurora, 13021
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Thomas & Virginia Bianconi
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: Hannah Phillips,Herman Phillips
UGRR Operatives: Slocum Howland